People in Japan are great lovers of nature and the outdoors. There are plenty of ways to escape the concrete jungle of the big city for all levels of ‘outdoorsy’ people, from simple nature walks to the strenuous trek up Mount Fuji. The same goes for camping, and with Japan’s extensive number of campsites and ‘glampsites’ — decked out with all the comforts required for ‘glamping’, or ‘glamorous camping’ — you can rough it as much as or as little as you’d like. And for some of them, you don’t even need to stray far from the city to enjoy them.
Paddington Bear Campground, Kanagawa Prefecture
Paddington Bear Campground, located about an hour’s drive from Tokyo, is one of the largest campsites found in the Kanto region and is equipped with everything you need for a relaxing stay. Choose from various lodging options, including teepee-style tents, camper trailers, and deluxe cottages, all with meals included. The site is very family-friendly and is connected to the Sagamiko Resort ‘Pleasure Forest’, which offers plenty of activities for kids, including obstacle courses, zip lining, go-karts, and even a small amusement park with a Ferris wheel at the top of a mountain. At night, the resort is lit up with millions of brilliant LED fairy lights.
Snow Peak Headquarters Camp Field, Niigata Prefecture
This expansive 40-acre campsite beneath the big blue sky of Niigata Prefecture is located adjacent to the Snow Peak Headquarters, a family-owned Japanese company specializing in outdoor gear and apparel. The campsite is popular year-round, even in the winter, and Snow Peak offers tents and camping equipment for rent if you don’t have your own, as well as lessons for beginners to learn how to properly set up camp.
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Chihaya Enchi Park Mount Kongo Campground, Osaka Prefecture
One of the most popular campsites in the Kansai region, Mount Kongo offers excellent hiking, plus a cable car for those seeking a more leisurely way up the mountain, and is dotted with numerous shrines for exploring as well as the Chihaya Nature and Astronomy Museum. You can bring your own tent, stay in one of the tents that the campsite sets up during the summertime, or reserve a bungalow cabin for an additional fee. The facilities have barbecue grills and pizza ovens available for rent, as well as an onsen spa for bathing.
Yusui Shizen no Mori, Kumamoto Prefecture
This campsite located in Kumamoto Prefecture’s Yusui-kyo Gorge offers stunning views of waterfalls as well as verdant greenery in the spring and summertime and red and gold foliage in the autumn. Book a cottage amidst the trees or set up camp by the river, which is popular for swimming and canyoning. A quaint coffee shop serving delicious seasonal sweets is also located near the campsite.
HOSHINOYA Fuji, Yamanashi Prefecture
The first glampsite resort in Japan and still one of the best, HOSHINOYA Fuji overlooks Kawaguchi Lake at the base of Mount Fuji. Nestled in the mountains among red pine trees, the resort offers peaceful seclusion and the ultimate in comfort and relaxation. In the daytime, enjoy a serene canoe ride or an invigorating horseback ride through the forest. At night, dine on a camp-style meal prepared by a first-rate chef.
Inn The Park, Shizuoka Prefecture
At Inn The Park located in Numazu, Shizuoka, you’ll feel like you’re sleeping among the treetops staying in one of their hanging tsurushi tents with a skylight that offers a view of the forest canopy overhead. Cabins are also available for those who prefer to stay on the ground. For an additional fee, guests can enjoy restaurant-quality meals on site that are prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
Inn The Park, Ashitaka 220-4, Numazu City, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan, + 81 055-939-8366
Ise-Shima Everglades, Mie Prefecture
This American Everglades-inspired glampsite in Mie Prefecture is located on an open lagoon that has private bungalows accessed by canoe. Enjoy American-style food and barbecue, canoeing and paddle boating, and plenty of kid-friendly games and activities. The campsite also offers cottages with wheelchair ramps and accessible toilets and baths.