Known for decades as an escape for the Japanese elite, Karuizawa is a break from the Toyko swelter and a village rich in hot springs and Western ideality. Isolated from the traditional Japanese countryside, the rare Alpine landscape is noteworthy but it is its collection of spectacular avant-garde houses that beg one’s attention.

Japan has always encouraged architectural experimentation and forward thinking designs. For as long as you abide by the culture’s manners and etiquette, the Japanese embrace self-expression.

What we see in Karuizawa’s architecture is that they’ve chosen to utilize their wealth to make something beautiful and unusual –the will to express oneself not in sameness but in difference.

Karuizawa is a town full of reflections and a homage to what architecture can do –creating a union between the forests, hillsides, and trees that have always been and marrying it with materials and reflections of this century to conceive something different.

View more stunning Karuizawa archiecture here