If you go just a little way out from the center of Osaka, you will find many campsites where you can enjoy nature to the fullest. How about having a unique Japan experience that goes beyond sightseeing and shopping? Here are some recommended campsites in Osaka.
Maishima Sports Island is a campsite located on a manmade island in Osaka Bay. It’s easily accessible, only 20 minutes by car from Osaka, so you can enjoy the outdoors even when you’re in the metropolis. Since you can rent things like tents, barbecue grills, and more, it’s okay if you don’t have any camping supplies. Although there are convenience stores close by, the supermarkets are about 20 minutes away by car so it’s advisable to prepare your foodstuff in advance. Open fires, bonfires, and fireworks are prohibited. Inside the campground, you can go jogging while enjoying the fresh sea breeze, collect seashells and play with the jumbo equipment that both adults and children can enjoy. Although there are no swimming facilities, you’ll be happy to know that there are 24 hour hot water showers available.
*Photo is for illustration purposes.
1. Urban Auto Village Auto Campsite (All year round)
A children’s forest, year-round swimming pool, botanical gardens, multiple playgrounds and more are some of the highlights at the campsite in Hanahaku Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi. You can walk to the site from Tsurumi Ryokuchi Station on the subway Nagahori Tsurumi Ryokuchi line. There is camping equipment available to rent so while on your travels you can easily enjoy camping or a barbecue at what is said to be one of the best spots. Furthermore, you can use it free of charge! (While there is no charge to be in the campground, you must pay to rent equipment.) Although it is possible to rent equipment on the day you go, since it’s a highly popular campsite, we recommend making reservations in advance over the phone or online (Japanese only). Please note that after you make your reservations, you will be required to show the usage voucher that you can obtain up to the day before your reservation. There is a cookhouse situated in the center of the tent sites so it’s convenient no matter which site you are on. When you’ve had an ample amount of fun, you can wash away the sweat in the park’s natural hot spring facility Tsurumi Ryokuchi Yumoto Suishun. Play a lot, eat your fill of barbecue, and camp. Enjoy the varieties of camping in the heart of the city.
2. Hanahaku Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi Campsite (March - November)
This campsite is situated on Mount Kongo, the highest mountain peak in Osaka at 1,125m above sea level, and is accessible via ropeway from the foot of the mountain. It’s also possible to hike for about an hour. At the campsite, bungalows, standing tents, barbecue grills, tableware sets, firewood and charcoal are all available (for a fee) so you can enjoy camping all year round. Since it’s high above sea level, even during the summer the days are cool and the nights can be cold. During the period of November 30th to March 31st, you can only use the tent site and barbecue facilities. Although there might not be enough for skiing, you can enjoy playing and camping in the snow. It’s important to note that since you have to bring your own food and carry home your garbage, it is a good idea to buy pre-cut vegetables and meat to reduce the amount of waste you generate. There is also the Chihaya Star and Nature Museum where you can observe the stars up close and if the weather is good, you can see sunspots as well as Venus. Be sure to pay a visit.
3. Osaka Fumin-no-Mori Chihaya Enchi, Mount Kongo Campsite (All year round)
Ushitaki Onsen Iyoyaka no Sato is a campsite is located about 1 hour’s drive from Osaka in a place where you can enjoy nature to your heart’s content. Rentals are readily available and since there is a cookhouse with a roof attached, it’s recommended for beginners to the great outdoors. Vehicles can’t go all the way there so you’ll need to tote your luggage but there are carts available for free so no need to worry. If you rent a tent, it is set up beforehand so as soon as you unload your luggage you can begin enjoying nature to the fullest. There is a serviced river nearby where even children can play safely. If you take a net, you can catch crabs and small fish. In the summer, you can also collect rhinoceros beetles and stag beetles, so why not wake up early and take a stroll? Located a 10 minute walk away from the tent site is a natural hot spring with the popular bihada-no-yu where you can achieve moist, smooth skin so be sure to make use of it.
*Picture is for illustration purposes.
4. Ushitaki Onsen Iyoyaka no Sato Campsite (From March to November)
Ichirimatsu Campsite is located an hour and a half drive away from Osaka. The entrance fee is 1,000 JPY from ages 3 and up and there is a separate fee for using the tent site, making it a little pricey. However if you are in a group of 5, the entrance fee and bedding is covered in a value package for 12,500 JPY. There are also equipment rentals but you can’t purchase food so be sure to prepare some in advance. At the campsite, which runs along a mountain stream, the river runs into the camp grounds and makes the perfect place for playing with children. In early summer, you can meet lots of fireflies. Also, for a fee there is a mackerel catch-as-many-as-you-can! Trying to catch the fleeing mackerel with your bare hands as they try to swim away is a challenge! After you catch them, be sure to grill them. The abundance of nature and the ample fun things to do at this camp will have you forgetting that you’re in Osaka. Please note that their business period is from March to November.
*Picture is for illustration purposes.
5. Ichirimatsu Campsite (From March to November)
The aroma of charcoal lingering around a campsite, the smell of greenery, the murmuring of the stream - if you come to Osaka, try going a little out of your way and experience the great outdoors where you can enjoy Japan’s nature to the fullest.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.