Compared to the neighborhood around Karuizawa Station, the Naka-Karuizawa area is less commercialized, so you might be worried about not being able to find vegetarian/vegan food there. Surprisingly, there are a couple of good options in Naka-Karuizawa. Although getting to them requires a degree of effort as they aren’t located close to the train station, the food served in each restaurant below is amazing!
- Jinenya Karuizawa Bypass (じねんや軽井沢バイパス店)
- Cachette Karuizawa (カシェット)
- RK Garden (アールケイガーデン)
- TENKU TERRACE KARUIZAWA (天空テラス軽井沢)
The spots above are listed according to their distance from Naka-Karuizawa Station.
Jinenya Karuizawa Bypass (じねんや軽井沢バイパス店)
If you plan to visit the Naka-Karuizawa area, Jinenya is a nice restaurant where you can have a vegetarian lunch. It is a vegan macrobiotic spot offering typical Japanese home-cooked dishes. The couple who run the restaurant are particular about the freshness of the dishes served, so everything is made to order. Although it may take longer than usual for your order to be brought to you, the wait is worth it!
Because Jinenya has a private residence experience, the homey atmosphere might make you want to say, “I’m back!” as you walk through the door. Especially when the caring staff greets you, it would feel like you are visiting your grandparents!
Jinenya’s menu is extensive, and no matter what you choose, the carefully prepared dishes taste incredible. The restaurant is also child and pet friendly. Whether your little one is still a baby or in elementary school, it has a dish suitable for every age group.
There is also an organic vegetable and additive-free products and cosmetics corner.
☛ If you don’t eat pungent vegetables, such as garlic, let the staff know so they can remove it from your order.
☛ You can call them at +81-267-46-2476 to make a reservation of what you plan to order to reduce the waiting time. They accept reservations up to 2 hours before your arrival.
Jinenya Karuizawa Bypass’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Jinenya is open from 10 am to 7 pm.
- If you plan to visit the restaurant after 6 pm, please make a reservation.
- The restaurant is a 10 to 15-minute walk from Shinano Railway’s Naka-Karuizawa Station.
Cachette Karuizawa (カシェット)
You might have tried Galette already, but the ones made at Cachette are different. Why? Because they are made from 100% buckwheat flour! While they don’t have a vegetarian savory Galette menu, their dessert crepes and Galette are awesome! Because the Galette is made from buckwheat flour, it has the nice aroma of buckwheat and is more crispy compared to Galette, which is made from wheat flour. Plus it is a healthier ingredient compared to wheat flour!
☛ You can also use the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarians and Vegans article to check with the staff if they can custom-make a Galette filled with vegetables for you.
☛ Cachette is a popular café that can be full even on a weekday. So arrive early to avoid the need to queue.
Cachette Karuizawa’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Cachette Karuizawa is open from Wednesday to Sunday from
- 11 am to 5 pm from April to September
- 11:30 am to 5 pm from October to March
- The last order is taken at 4 pm.
- If Monday or Tuesday is a public holiday, it will close the next business day.
- If you plan to take a bus, get off at Shiozawa (塩沢).
RK Garden (アールケイガーデン)
If you are vegan or are after a healthy meal, a cafe to stop by for lunch or afternoon tea is RK Garden. The organic vegan cafe is an open-air space decorated with many plants and trees. Although the dining space isn’t in a garden, you will still feel like dining in one! The ambiance there is so nice that some even choose the cafe to hold wedding ceremonies!
For lunch, you can enjoy minestrone and homemade vegan quiches made from plenty of fresh local vegetables, as well as sweets such as parfaits. Their curry rice and pasta are also among the favorites of their customers.
The French toast made with soy milk and pumpkin is another must-try! But just note that the French toast only has 10 servings!
RK Garden’s Business Hours and Access Information
- RK Garden is open from
- 11 am to 4 pm on weekdays
- 9 am to 4 pm on weekends and public holidays
- The cafe is closed on Tuesdays.
- The cafe is around a 20-minute walk from Shinano Railway’s Shinano-Oiwake Station (信濃追分駅).
- You can also take the Town Loop Bus, West Line (町内循環パス 西コース) from JR Karuizawa Station’s north exit and get off at Seibu Shōgakkō-mae (西部小学校前). The cafe is then a 3-minute walk.
- If you plan to drive, there is also a small parking lot.
TENKU TERRACE KARUIZAWA (天空テラス軽井沢)
If you have access to a car and want a panoramic view of Karuizawa’s township, visit TENKU TERRACE KARUIZAWA. It is a spot where you can adore the magnificent natural scenery while enjoying nice food and drink. The terrace café is on a hill, so when the weather is good, Mt. Asama, the region’s most famous mountain, will be in front of you!
As TENKU TERRACE KARUIZAWA doesn’t have any savory breakfast/lunch options, having a morning or afternoon tea with a cup of tea or coffee and a plate of pancakes will be ideal. The pancakes covered with seasonal cut fruits and whipped cream are delicious and great for photos (^_-)-☆.
TENKU TERRACE KARUIZAWA’s Business Hours and Access Information
- TENKU TERRACE KARUIZAWA is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm.
- The last order for afternoon tea is taken at 4 pm.
- On weekends and public holidays, it opens for dinner until 9 pm.
- The café is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays unless it is a public holiday. It also doesn’t open from the end of November to March.
Discover Other Attractions in Naka-Karuizawa
As you may have guessed, Naka-Karuizawa has a lot more things to offer that you might be interested in. There are a couple of museums, unordinary but amazing church buildings, hot spring facilities, and even a wild bird sanctuary!
So refer to our article on Naka-Karuizawa to plan your visit!