Back in Australia, we were repeat campers at a few not-so-well-kept secrets along the south coast of NSW. Since moving to Japan and getting a car, we have been getting back into the swing of things.
Thanks to some avid rock climbing friends for this recommended gem – Ogawayama was our first camping adventure in Japan. The location is amazing and even in Summer, the heat was a few hundred kilometres away (seriously – it was colder than we anticipated). This campsite also allows a fire with direct heat on the ground (something of a rarity in Japan) and an onsite onsen!
Owing to the sun’s unfortunately early (4:30 in summer!!) rise and the new member of our family we bought a new tent to make our adventuring easier and less early in the morning. We went with the Coleman Spruce Falls 4 Family tent – in the most part because the bedroom like pods have built in blackout material which has saved us MANY hours of sleep!
This was Jake’s first camping trip since he was 3ish months, and the first he remembers. Needless to say, like most kids, he loved it and is the biggest advocate of MOAR camping.
Here he is with his first hot chocolate – perhaps one of the contributing reasons behind his newfound love affair with camping?
And just to keep it real, here is what the first picture you see actually looks like. What is not seen is the large local produce stall just to the right of picture!
If you are thinking of going camping, here are the ones various that we have dropped in on. For most of these, some level of Japanese is best so you can call up in advance and check they are open and if there’s room.
Google translate on some of the websites does help. In addition to all the normal camping gear, the one specific piece of gear we recommend for Japan is a fire pit like this one – as you are not allowed direct fire most of the time.
I also fully recommend the Wild Camping Japan Facebook group! The map built by members is a great starting point – although it should be noted that not ALL those campsites are legitimate places you can get away with camping unless you are erecting your tent in the dark and packing up early.