With global travel—and even domestic travel in many countries—essentially at a standstill, it seems like everyone’s been going a little stir crazy. 2020 has been a mad year, after all. Fortunately for those of us here in Japan, things are starting to open up and we can at least begin to enjoy some domestic travel just in time to enjoy the fall leaves. In fact, Japan’s current Go to Travel campaign is making it easier and cheaper than ever to visit any number of domestic travel destinations. Of course, there is still social distancing to be aware of. Enter: glamping! We have put together a list of 7 of our favorite glampsites across Japan. Whether you want a quick weekend getaway from Tokyo, or are looking for a trek to the far reaches of Hokkaido, or something in between, we’ve got you covered. Get out of the house and trade your cabin fever for glamping fun at one any one of these incredible glamping locales.
1. Wild Beach Seaside Glamping Park – Chiba
Courtesy of Wild Beach Seaside Glamping Park
If you find yourself wanting a mini American travel experience without having to venture across the seas, Wild Beach could be just what you’re looking for. Located in Chiba, it’s an easy trip from Tokyo and offers American-style barbeque and charcoal grills alongside a variety of tents and cabins. Each glampsite offers a different vibe, from the log tent (that’s right, it’s a log cabin and a camping tent all rolled into one) to the hunting camp (skip the too-early mornings and cut straight to the grilling) to the glamping cabana (cool cotton walls, hanging lights, and the interior décor of an upscale hotel) – and all are viewable on the website for guests to choose. The spacious grounds also offer a barbecue restaurant with a unique steak menu – for those who want to skip the grilling work – and barbeque only plans – for those who want to skip the camping. Alternately, for an even more upscale glamping experience, guests can stay in the Rhino Hotel – designed like an American motel.
Courtesy of Wild Beach Seaside Glamping Park
2. The Farm Camp – Chiba
Another Chiba camp with easy access to Tokyo, The Farm Camp offers a glamping experience unlike any other. You guessed it – you’ll be staying on an actual working farm. The Farm Camp offers a variety of activities designed to help guests reconnect with nature and enjoy the simple life. Be it picking vegetables in the planting fields, learning bushcraft under the shade of the trees, feeding animals at the mini zoo, or even making crafts like botanical candles, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. With a variety of glamping options from bringing your own tent (for those who prefer hands-on camping) to staying in their luxury cottages (for those who are more into the refined life), you’re free to choose just how glam you want to get. The vast complex also offers a barbeque area, café, and a local “onsen” (Japanese hot spring) for ultimate relaxation.
3. Hoshinoya Fuji – Yamanashi
Located a couple of hours to the west of Tokyo in Yamanashi, Hoshinoya Fuji will take your glamping to the next level of luxury and combine your upscale glamping experience (it’s actually a 4-star hotel) with one of the most famous landscapes in Japan. Each minimalist cabin offers a pair of beds, a table and chairs, and a perfectly framed view of Mount Fuji across Lake Kawaguchi. Nestled deep in the woods, guests can enjoy the peace and quiet alongside a rustic campfire after an active day of wood chopping, horseback riding, canoeing, or even learning the art of smoking meats in a workshop taught by a trained meat-smoking master. The resort also offers a variety of dining experiences, all of which offer fresh game meat as part of the course.
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4. Hatsushima Island Resort – Shizuoka
Enjoy all kinds of beachside food and fun at Hatsushima Island Resort in Shizuoka. Located south of Tokyo and a bit to the west in the prefecture of Shizuoka, Hatsushima is a tiny island dedicated almost entirely to tourism. The resort offers a variety of outdoor activities from fishing to zip-lines to treetop adventure courses. Guests can choose their desired level of luxury with options such as the minimalist trailer (for old-school camping vibes without the work) or a fully equipped villa (to really put the “glam” in “glamping”). There are multiple dining and barbeque options as well, including fresh seafood and Southeast Asian style vibes. And the island even offers an onsen with sweet ocean views.
5. Izu Shaboten Village – Shizuoka
This glamping site, also in Shizuoka offers luxury tents and cabins equipped with air conditioning for all seasons, not to mention a variety of amenities. Glampers can choose Western- or Japanese- style rooms or even go for a fusion Western-Japanese room, complete with beds, a futon, and even a “kotatsu” – a low, heating-equipped table with a blanket for your feet that is perfect for cozying up during the winter months. During the day, guests are just a few minutes’ walk from the Izu Shaboten zoo or the neighboring theme park. And in the evening, you can enjoy the authentic camping feel by heading down to the community bonfire after dinner for roasted marshmallows.
6. First Class Backpackers Inn – Hyogo
Take your pick between the chill vibes of bohemian tents or the cozy feel of rustic cabins at First Class Backpackers Inn in Hyogo. Guests who are down for some active adventure can opt for a SUP (stand up paddle board) experience, or those who prefer to lean into the leisure side can simply enjoy the beachside bar into the evening hours. (Or better yet, do both and follow up your SUP-ing in the sun with some evening drinksI) For guests who are itching to add barbecue to their camping experience, there’s a premium barbecue deck overlooking the ocean waves. And if you prefer to kick it old-school, First Class also offers classic tent rentals.
7. Niseko Cottage Bongo Square – Hokkaido
Enjoy some cold weather camping just minutes from your favorite snow sports at Niseko Cottage Bongo Square. This glampsite is located close to its sister, Niseko Village – one of Japan’s most famous ski resorts in Hokkaido. The tents are equipped with all you need to keep warm in the winter months, including charcoal fire pits for cold weather barbecuing. Glampers can also take advantage of several nearby onsen in one of Japan’s most scenic prefectures.
Let’s Go Glamping!
Whether you prefer beach waves, forest trails, or mountain breezes, you’re sure to find some peace of mind and ample opportunity to relax at one or more of these beautiful glampsites. Of course, while most of them offer restaurants and other dining options, make sure to check with each glampsite for suggested items to bring with you. Some glampsites suggest you take your own charcoal and grilling materials if you intend to use their barbecue. It’s also best to check on any additional corona measures that the glampsites may be taking, just in case. Lastly, some of these sites are actively taking part in the Go to Travel Campaign, so glampers may have a chance to save some extra bucks on their travel plans. All the above information should be available on the websites.
Finally – and most importantly – enjoy your glamping!
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