The Nagano Prefecture resort town of Karuizawa has long been associated with green, natural energy.

Nestled in the mountains, Karuizawa has long attracted both Japanese and Westerners escaping the capital's heat to recharge their batteries in the verdant outdoors ever since the 19th century.

Recently, green energy has taken on a literal meaning, as Karuizawa and Nagano Prefecture seek to become environmental leaders.