Original map is provided by d-maps.com.
Karuizawa is a small town in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
Before I moved to the town, I thought it was too far for Tokyo residents to go back and forth to this mountain resort frequently. The fact is, it is only 70 minutes ride on Bullet Train, or 2 hour drive by expressway from downtown Tokyo. It is located at the east edge of Nagano prefecture, and adjacent to the Greater Tokyo (aka Kanto) area.
Tokyo people usually commute to their workplace in downtown Tokyo more or less for an hour from their home. It is not exceptional to spend 2 hours everyday for commute from their home in especially Kanagawa, Chiba, or Saitama regions. It is real pain to be on 200% crowded commuting train for an hour everyday.
Living in Karuizawa while working in Tokyo should be one of the housing options for progressive businesspersons, who love "work-life balance."
Source: JR East (Bullet Train operator)
Table above shows the growth in the number of commuting pass holder passengers in the Karuizawa station. The number includes both inbound (to Tokyo) and outbound (to Kanazawa via Nagano) passengers, but you can see recent growth in Karuizawa commuters is fairly significant.
Picture above is a very simplified map to show each of main residential areas in Karuizawa.
There are mainly 5 areas in the town.
I chose Shin Karuizawa area to build my permanent residence, to prioritize the distance to Karuizawa Station. However, I think all the areas are equally attractive.
I hope this post would be some help for people to study the area for their permanent or temporary residency.