Jam is a must ingredient for Westerners as it is eaten every day with bread or meat. Karuizawa is home to jam similar to the ones made in western countries, so you can see many jam shops scattered around the town, offering many flavours of jams which taste very fresh and pure.
It has been said that Karuizawa is the birthplace of Japanese jam. A long time ago, foreign residents as well as Christian missionaries started teaching the basic steps of jam making to Karuizawa’s local residents who then produced many kinds of Karuizawa jams. There are a variety of Karuizawa jams made of fresh fruits such as grapes, blueberries, apples, apricots, peaches, and strawberries, as well as fresh vegetables like rhubarb, or unique flavours like cherry blossom. All of the ingredients are natural and locally sourced. Wherever possible they produce jam with no additives such as preservatives, giving them a taste that is not too sweet. They try to produce the most simple and fresh taste possible, which makes Karuizawa so popular among foreign tourists. We would like to introduce some representative jam shops to you.
SAWAYA is one of Karuizawa’s representative jam shops, with their shops at JR Karuizawa station, as well as Kyukaruizawa area and Shinkaruizawa area. Their jam, made without additives, uses only fresh fruits and vegetables picked at their best in each season. One of the most popular flavours is rhubarb jam, so you’re certain to see it at their shop.
Nakayama’s Jam sits along the Kyukaruizawa Ginza street and is renowned for being the oldest jam shop in Karuizawa. With a history dating back more than 100 years, they are loved by tourists as well as locals. They also produce additive-free jams made by locally produced ingredients, marking it so authentic and a must-try product whenever you visit Karuizawa.
JAM KOBAYASHI can be found on Kyukaruizawa Ginza street. It was originally established as a greengrocer, and since then it has gained a lot of popularity as a jam shop. It brings out the very best taste of the fruit, leaving a very refreshing aftertaste.
There are several Karuizawa Shirakabadou shops along the street in front of JR Karuizawa Station and Kyukaruizawa Ginza street, as well as Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza. Their jam is made with plenty of fruit, which makes it very famous both inside and outside Japan. They produce tarts and pudding as well as their locally produced jams and you can see their products on sale at Manpei Hotel and local supermarkets. Karuizawa jam is very flavourful with a lot of varieties, so make sure to try some jams whenever you visit Karuizawa.