One tourist attraction that represents Karuizawa is Old Karuizawa Ginza. During the Edo period, Karuizawa prospered as a lodging town on the Edo-Kyoto highway. Karuizawa made its name as one of Japan's prominent sites for holiday homes after the British missionary Alexander Croft Shaw built a villa there in the Meiji period. Old Karuizawa Ginza was created as a shopping district for purveyors to the government, "villa clans." The cherry blossom designs hand-carved into villa furniture are characteristic of the area. Known as "Karuizawa hori," they are still seen as a traditional technique in the present day. Old Karuizawa Ginza is also known as one of Japan's foremost locations for classic hotels such as the Mampei Hotel, as well as for St. Paul's Catholic Church, and numerous other existing examples of Meiji period historical buildings. We also recommend cycling through the retro streets on a rented bicycle.