Updated: September 26, 2019
0 Bookmark

Karuizawa, Nagano's Must-Eat Local Foods and Top Restaurants

While visiting the mountain town of Karuizawa, there are a few local Nagano specialties that you have to eat! We'll introduce those below, along with some recommendations of restaurants to eat at!

Feel free to follow favy!
Karuizawa is a small town tucked away in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture. Despite being small it's a popular vacation spot for Tokyoites hoping to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. If you're looking for a good meal in Karuizawa, you're in luck, because there a quite a few excellent restaurants worth visiting.

Here are few local specialties you should definitely try while you're in town:

Shinshu Miso

Miso is a staple of Japanese cuisine and can be found throughout the country. However, each region generally has its own variation that has a different flavor, ingredients, and color. Nagano's regional miso is called Shinshu Miso (信州味噌) and is actually popular in other parts of the country as well. While you're here, you've got to try some of the dishes that include miso.


Basashi (馬刺し) is horse meat sashimi (raw horse meat). It's fairly common to see it at Izakayas across the country these days, but it's known as a local dish in Nagano, where there's plenty of fresh horse meat.
If you've never eaten horse before, it might sound disturbing, especially to eat it raw. However, if you're a fan of sushi and sashimi, and have an open mind, I think you'll find it quite delicious.

Miso dishes and Basashi: 'Suju Masayuki'

One of our top recommendations for some outstanding local food in Karuizawa is a place called 'Resutoran Suju Masayuki.' It's located north of Karuizawa, near Old Karuizawa Ginza Street.
The prices are quite reasonable, yet the selection of dishes and flavors are fantastic. Try the miso katsudon to taste their delicious house-made Shinshu Miso, and go for the basashi to see what it's like! You won't regret it.


When most Japanese people think of Nagano, soba is one of the first things that comes to mind when identifying local specialties. The soba is Nagano is generally fantastic, using locally-grown soba, ground and hand-rolled into hearty, satisfying noodles. Indeed, people from Nagano often complain about the soba in Tokyo, saying it doesn't compare with the quality in Nagano. Definitely don't miss a chance to eat the soba while you're there!

Delicious Shinshu Soba: Kirisato

One of the most highly-rated soba restaurants in Karuizawa is 'Kirisato,' located about 10 minutes away from Karuizawa Station. The prices are reasonable, and the hand made noodles are wonderful.


This is definitely the strangest local specialty on this list (even including the basashi). Inago is a type of grasshopper that is preserved in soy sauce, sugar, and other ingredients and eaten in Kruizawa and throughout Nagano. The grasshoppers are preserved whole, so they definitely take some courage to try at first, but are strangely addicting once you start eating.

Try inago close to Karuizawa Station: Teuchi Soba Honjin

Honjin is a restaurant located right in front of Karuizawa Station which specializes in soba, but also serves interesting appetizers that include inago and hornet larvae. If you're feeling brave, stop by and give it a try!

Gohei Mochi

Gohei mochi is a type of mochi that can be found in the greater regional area that also includes Aichi and Shizuoka prefectures. Flat pieces of chunky mochi are roasted, smeared with miso, then roasted some more. The mochi is served on a skewer, meaning you can eat it while you walk! It's not exactly a meal, but it's definitely a fun snack that you should try while you're in the area.

Gohei mochi while you hike to the waterfall: Shiraitono Taki Baiten

Shiraito no Taki is a famous waterfall in Karuizawa that you'll probably want to check out while you're there. Along the way, you'll find the Shiraitono Taki Baiten, which sells a variety of goods including gohei mochi, which you can eat while you hike to the falls!

In Closing

Make sure to try as many of these delicious local foods as you can while you're in Karuizawa or Nagano in general!

If you're looking for other things to do in Nagano, check out our article about the wild snow monkey park:

Restaurants Mentioned in this Article

    I live in west Tokyo and spend most of my time thinking about food or going bouldering.

    Trending Posts


    12 Things To Do in Dotonbori (Near the Glico Man Sign), Osaka

    Osaka City

    Best Places To Try The Famous Japanese Fluffy Pancakes In Tokyo!


    Japanese McDonald's Special Menu Items And Prices


    10 Impossibly Cool Bars in Shinjuku, Tokyo


    12 Best Restaurants to Eat Kobe Beef in Kobe (affordable to high-end)

    More Trending Posts

    Recommended For You!


    Giant Pork Bowls At Buta Daigaku in Shinjuku!

    Foods hunter

    Just Caught This Morning! Eat Fish From Around Japan (In One Place!)


    Haneda Ichiba Ginza 7 Serves Sushi Of Unbeatable Freshness In Tokyo


    Refined, rich parfaits with liqueur pairing by coisof in Ginza


    Kobe Plaisir Ginza: Marvellous Kobe Beef Restaurant In Tokyo


    Featured Posts

    Michelin Star Restaurants In Tokyo & All Of Japan | Guide | Reservation

    Halal Restaurants In Japan!

    Things to do in Japan in all regions!

    More Features


    There's Going to Be a New Pokemon Cafe in Osaka!

    Sep 20, Fri ~ Nov 14, Thu

    Mister Donut Offering 5 Delicious Sweet Potato Donuts This Autumn!

    Sep 06, Fri ~ Oct 31, Thu

    Sanrio Puroland's Zombie Night

    Jun 08, Sat ~

    Vintage Sake Renaissance 2019

    Apr 21, Sun ~

    Trending Tags