Fall has arrived. With it comes a refreshing drop in humidity, beautiful Japanese weather and autumn leaves. We get a lot of questions about whether you can camp near Tokyo, so we’ve pulled together a list of the best campsites near the capital to put up a tent.
There is nothing like grabbing a group of friends, family or even a solo camp to get down and dirty right in the middle of nature. These places are easily accessible with facilities from barbecue sets to free Wi-Fi.
1. Hikawa Camp Site in Okutama, Tokyo
For those looking to camp near Tokyo without a car, Okutama is easily reachable, within two hours from Shinjuku Station. After getting off the train at Okutama Station, visitors will be greeted by a small town — perfect to pick up barbecue supplies — and an easy 10-minute walk to the Hikawa Camp Site.
This site is great because it is so accessible from the station, making it perfect for walkers or even those with families. Like many Japanese camping sites, the grounds are located on the banks of a river and thankfully, mosquitoes are rare in the fall.
The camping ground also rents out barbecue sets and chairs. There are even glamping cottages complete with hot spring baths meaning that visitors can just rock up empty-handed, providing they have a reservation.
There is a cafe onsite and a ‘Barbecue House,’ meaning that even if the rain isn’t on your side, barbecuing is still possible.
2. Tsuchiuchi Camping Ground in Chichibu, Saitama
Chichibu is a small, picturesque city in Saitama, known for its blooming florals year-round, as well as a huge chalk quarry, leading to great scenery and photo opportunities.
Tsuchiuchi Camping Ground’s prime location is easily accessible from Tokyo and the beautiful scenery makes it a great place to relax. It rents out (almost) everything, from bed sheets to fire wood to pans.
The campsite is especially popular in the winter months, due the impressive ‘Icicles of Misotsuchi’ icicle formations which grow over the rocks close to the campsite. The icicles attract visitors from around the world and are illuminated at night, making staying in the campsite a sure-fire way to get your icicle fix.
For those staying during the colder months, it is recommended to get a log cabin or bungalow, some of which come with their own gas-fired stove. The campsite also offers the option to build a giant campfire, big enough for larger groups.
Close by is Roadside Station Otaki Onsen and a ropeway leading to the top of Mitsumine Shrine which offers fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.
3. Camping Ground Kanotoen in Hinohara, Yamanashi
The village of Hinohara is one of the best-kept secrets in Tokyo and Yamanashi. Located on the border between the two, it has a welcoming atmosphere and gorgeous scenery.
Visitors to the Kanotoen Camping Ground will be able to take advantage of the prime fishing spot, with the staff on hand to cook freshly caught fish. Tools to fish with are available for rental, alongside rental implements to cook with, such as barbecues and grills.
Bungalows are also available to rent cheaply. They even come with tatami floors.
4. Koan Camping Ground in Minobu, Yamanashi
Koan Camping Ground is located on the delightful Lake Motosu, overlooked by Japan’s most famous mountain, a view famously replicated on Japanese banknotes. Those staying in the campsite will enjoy waking up to the mountain in the distance, reflected on the water of the lake.
While rental equipment is not available, the campsite has free Wi-Fi and cabins available for those who don’t have their own tent or barbecue goods. There is a great café on site which serves local dishes from hot udon to cold soba.
5. Fumotoppara Campground in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka
Possibly the most famous campsite in Japan, Fumotoppara is often booked far in advance, from punters who are either Instagram fans to those simply seeking beautiful Mount Fuji views.
The campsite is known not only for its scenery but also appreciated by those who enjoy game meat — the camp staff go to shoot deer and serve the meat in the camp shop. The shop sells Fumotoppara brand drip coffee, chopsticks and other branded goods, as well as typical campsite fare such as firewood. In addition to the campsite, the camping grounds also have cottages and a bath, which is open from 10am-8pm daily.
The rental shop La Pat Mofu is a one-stop shop for everything from tents to barbecue grills, meaning that you can even arrive empty-handed.