Asama highland area, including Karuizawa, is a Japanese mecca of public road motorsports. The area has several competition events every year.
In 2015, we had the following events in the area.
Event courses are located within 30 minutes to an hour drive from Karuizawa, so, many spectators go there from here. You will often see those competition cars running in the town before and after the events, too.
This year, I went to the Asama Hill Climb in May, and took a photo above. Public roads in the Asama highland area were closed for this event, and super cars (like Ferrari above) and formula cars (I should have taken a photo of them, but it was running too fast for an amateur photographer to do it.) were running just in front of spectators in a watching zone. It was really exciting experience.
Last year, a public road just in front of my then apartment was a part of competition courses of La Festa Mille Miglia. I remember I woke up in the morning by series of exhaust sounds from rally cars. It was really strange experience, but fun of course.
For motorsports lovers, Mt. Asama area is a special place since the 1st Asama Volcano Motorcycle Race was held in closed public roads in North (Kita) Karuizawa in 1955. Tradition of the public road motorsports has been inherited to the current generation as a pride in this area.