If you venture a little outside of the megalopolis that is Tokyo, there is so much nature in the Kanto suburbs. Here are 5 popular campsites where you can enjoy the goodness of nature.
1. Kitakaruizawa Sweet Grass
At a location close enough to feel the scale of Mt. Asama, this is a campground with a high rate of satisfaction that anyone from beginners to experts can enjoy. The year is split into “green style” (April 1st - November 30th) and “white style” (December 1st - March 31st) so you can appreciate everything from the fresh greenery of spring and summer to the winter snow. There are rental services available so you can even go empty-handed. On the premises is a tree house that looks like it came straight out of a fairytale (lodging at the treehouse is hugely popular). You can enjoy the leisure facilities, go boating and swimming in the river and many other things to have fun. There are also campfire events held every day. There is a quiet time rule in place (from 10:00 pm - 7:00 am) so you can be still and appreciate nature at night. The facilities and surrounding areas are clean and hygienic so you can enjoy nature to its fullest degree. It’s a recommended campsite for spending a few nights.
*Image is for illustration purposes.
2. Tanukiko Campsite
This is a campsite where you can enjoy the picturesque scenery of Mt. Fuji. Cars cannot come into the tent site so you can bring in your luggage using the bicycle-drawn carts in the parking lot. The area is a free site where you can pitch your tent wherever you like so go through reception quickly and then bask in the Mt. Fuji scenery like the sunrise and the sunset that is so beautiful it will take your breath away. Particularly popular is what is called “Diamond Fuji,” the sight of the glittering morning sun right on the peak of Mt. Fuji. If the weather conditions are favorable, then you can see this phenomena, but only around the weeks of April 20th and August 20th at around 6:00 am. Many people visit to take photos. It’s also recommended to go around the 3.3km of Lake Tanuki by rented bicycle or on foot. Don’t forget your defences against insect bites in the summer; long sleeves, long pants, mosquito coils and bug spray are essential. You can make a reservation in advance for day camps but the overnight tent site can only be accessed on the same day.
*Image is of “Diamond Fuji” as seen from Lake Tanuki.
3. Horenbo no Mori Campsite
With a name that originates from the word “horeru” (“going outside to play”) in the Kosuge Village dialect, this campsite lives up to its name so you can fully enjoy river and mountain activities here. From the administrative building to the campsite, you have to cross a suspension bridge that is sometimes visited by wild monkeys. After you cross the suspension bridge, there are leisure facilities and cabins. Or, if your purpose is river activities, then the River Zone is the recommended spot for you. It’s a very clean river with just the perfect depth so even children can play there too. There are also paid, hands-on programs that revolve around the theme of healing. At the source of the Tamagawa River which runs into Tokyo, there are waterfalls with minus-ions that will cleanse your mind. There is forest therapy where you spend time in the mountains and almost feel like you are being welcomed by the spirits of the forest. There is also treehouse building under the guidance of a master architect and a number of other programs that you will not find anywhere else. When chestnut season comes around in September, after you receive permission from the manager, you can pick up as many chestnuts as you like on the premises! Don’t forget your working gloves and tongs. This is a campsite where you can relish in the type of pleasures not found in an inn or hotel and enjoy time well spent.
*Photo is for illustration purposes.
4. BOSCO Auto Camp Base
While treating nature with great care and respect, this popular campsite also offers clean facilities like a kitchen with hot running water and flushable toilets. Since it’s located high above sea level, it gets a bit chilly in the evenings even during summer so you’ll need to have an outer garment to keep warm. There’s a natural well on the grounds that you can use for cooking or drinking. If you’re worried about drinking untreated water, it’s recommended to use it to make coffee since it's boiled. In order to enjoy the abundant nature that surrounds the quasi-national park, there aren't any convenience stores available within a 30 minute drive so it's recommended to get groceries before hand. The campsite's shops mostly offer things like canned goods and cup noodles so you won’t find raw ingredients. The car camping site is quite large (around 70 square meters) and arranged like terraced fields so you’ll be happy not to have to worry about other campers. There’s also a pretty shallow river that runs in front of the campsite and the murmuring of the flowing water is comforting. Recommended for those who want to make the most of nature.
*Image is for illustration purposes.
5. MUJI Campagna Tsumagoi Campsite
This is a campsite managed by MUJI located 1,300m above sea level. The site is situated in the midst of abundant nature so you can make the most of camping in the outdoors. They have prepared a number of outdoor classrooms where you can have fun with mother nature including mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, making wieners, cooking in a stone oven, and so much more. There are actually over 250 classes to choose from. There are also lots of classes tailored just for children. The reception area has the atmosphere of a mountaintop resort and they have MUJI goods, necessary camping items, tools etc. prepared for your use. A high point is their hygienic toilets and cookhouse. For bathing, the onsen facilities located a five minute walk away is recommended. It’s a perfect campsite for making the most of mother nature and having fun with outdoor classrooms. You can register at their official website but you must sign up for a free MUJI.net member account (in Japanese only).
*Image is for illustration purposes
These campsites just outside of Tokyo are rich in nature beyond your imagination. Why not make some memories of your travels there?
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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