When people mention Japan, you might think about the robots and conveyor-belt sushi restaurants, or how it’s an anime fanatic’s paradise. But what you don’t often hear is that close to 70% of Japan is forest and mountains. And with over 3,000 camping spots scattered across the country, deciding where to go to get back to nature can be daunting. That’s why we put together a list of awesome Tokyo camping sites to help you out. You don’t even need to leave Tokyo’s borders to get to most of them. You’re welcome.
Very important note: Make sure you reserve a spot online or by phone before heading over to any campsite!
1. Wakasu Kaihin-koen Camp-jo
If you like to barbecue, or were a former Scout, this is the place for you. Popular for holding school events, the camp has 33 fireplaces, 5 cooking buildings, and even multiple fire circles, which explains its popularity with the Girl/Boy Scouts. The location is also a convenient 15-minute bus ride from the station. Because the camp is equipped with shared fireplaces, it gives you the perfect opportunity to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.
- Price: ¥600 per person (until 10 am the next morning); Tent at ¥3,000
- Address: 36 Wakasu, Koto-ku, Tokyo
- Closest station: 15 minutes by bus from Shinkiba Station, Keiyo Line
- Months of operation: All year round, except Tuesdays and at year-end
- Website: http://www.tptc.co.jp/en/c_park/03_09 (in English)
2. Jonanjima Seaside Park
Jonanjima Seaside Park in Ota is the nearest auto-camp site (“auto-camp” meaning you bring your own tent) to central Tokyo. Besides the usual camping area bit, Jonanjima Seaside Park has an artificial beach, BBQ area and skateboard plaza. Moreover, its location, at the far end of Honshu Island across from Haneda Airport, allows campers a close-up view of airplanes taking off and landing. This site is perfect for a cheapo who wants to experience camping in one of the busiest places on earth.
- Price: ¥300 to spend the day and ¥600 for the first night. Plus ¥300 from the second night onwards.
- Address: 4-2-2 Jonanjima, Ota-ku, Tokyo
- Closest station: Omori Station on the Keikyu Line. Take the bus from Omori station to Jonanjima 4-chome.
- Months of operation: All year round
- Phone: (03)3799-6402
- Website: http://seaside-park.jp/park_jonan-en/ (in English)
3. Hikawa Camp-jo
Hikawa Camp-jo is just 5 minutes from Okutama Station, in the Nishitama District. Like Jonanjima, Hikawa provides cheap camping tools for forgetful campers. Situated near a stream, Hikawa also offers chalets and bungalows to rent. In addition, the camp gives you the option of either cooking your meal in one of their BBQ areas or eating in their cafe (not to mention the convenience stores near the campsite for your 4 am tuna and mayo rice ball cravings).
- Price: ¥800 per adult per night. A chalet for 4 people costs ¥5,500 per adult.
- Address: 702 Hikawa, Okutama, Nishitama District, Tokyo
- Closest station: Okutama on the Oume Line
- Months of operation: Open year round, closed from December 28 to January 5
- Phone: (04)2883-2134
- Website: http://www.okutamas.co.jp/hikawa/ (in Japanese).
4. Nagatoro Auto Camp-jo
The Nagatoro Auto Camp is perfect for first-time campers: it has vending machines, bungalows, a small convenience store, utensils to rent, and even a meal set with meat and vegetables for campers to cook in one of the Nagatoro BBQ areas.
Even though all this comfort isn’t very cheapo, the camping also has its “auto” component: open areas where you can set up your own tent and take a break from Tokyo’s hectic atmosphere. The site’s proximity to the Nagatoro River allows campers to try river sports like rafting, canoeing, and kayaking.
- Price: There are a number of different auto campsites from small and basic to large with river views. Prices start from ¥1,000/person for the cheapest campsite on a weekday, up to ¥15,000 for the largest sites on a peak-season weekend, plus ¥500 per adult. Rental prices for a bungalow vary from ¥4,500 (3-person bungalow on a weekday) to ¥125,000 (a huge, 30-person bungalow on a peak weekend).
- Address: 559-1 Oaza Ido, Nagatoro-machi, Chichibu-gun, Saitama.
- Closest station: 15-minute walk from Nogami Station on the Chichibu Tetsudo Line and 20-minute walk from Nagatoro Station on the Chichibu Main Line.
- Months of operation: March 1 to November 30
- Hours of operation: Auto camp check-in is from 11 am and check-out is until 11 am. Bungalow check-in is from 2 pm to 5 pm and check-out is from 8 am to 11 am.
- Phone: (04)9466-0640
- Website: http://www.nagatoro-camp.com/ (in Japanese)
5. Kanotoen Campground
Kanotoen Campground is situated in the Okutama mountains, near the Akikawa Valley. The camp doesn’t have many facilities, just barbecue sites (¥400) and a fishing hole (from ¥170 to ¥380). However, there are many activities to enjoy around the campsite, such as a free of charge rock climbing area (1 minute away from the site), and onsen with spa accommodation and restaurants (20 minutes away by car). If you don’t feel like driving there to eat, the camp also sells traditional Japanese meals from ¥300 to ¥1,250.
- Price: ¥3,500 per pitched tent, there are also bungalows available from ¥10,000 per 6 people. Parking is quite limited with only 10 spots at ¥500 each.
- Address: Nishitama Hinohara Village 8018, Tokyo
- Closest station: JR Musashi Itsukaichi Station
- Months of operation: November 30 to mid-March
- Contact: 042-598-0107
- Website: http://kanotoen.web.fc2.com/index.html (in Japanese)
6. Kouan Campsite
For a quintessential Japanese camping experience, head to Kouan Campsite and feel like you just stepped into a ¥1,000 note. The famous image on depicting Mount Fuji on the bill is the exact view you will be enjoying as you crawl out of your directly on Lake Motosu at the foot of Mt. Fuji.
The camping site is separated into north and south sections. Make sure to stay on the north side to catch a glimpse of the Fuji reflection in Lake Motosu. It is 40 minutes by car from Kawaguchiko Station.
- Price: ¥600 per adult. The bath is ¥500 per visit. There are also rather pricy bungalows (from ¥17,280/6 people).
- Address: 2926 Nakanokura, Minobu-cho, Minamikoma-gun 409-3104, Yamanashi Prefecture
- Closest station: Kawaguchiko Station
- Months of operation: April 1 to November 30
- Contact: email@example.com
- Website: http://kouan-motosuko.com/en/ (in English)
7. Otake Campground
This campsite offers you the best of both worlds: it’s conveniently located in Tokyo (fairly close to the city center), but it’s tranquil with a “million miles away” vibe.
It is located on a creek, which makes it a nice getaway from the sweltering summer heat in the city. There is fishing nearby, the Otake Limestone Caves and the Otake Falls.
It’s a 30-minute bus ride from Musashi-Itsukaichi Station (on the JR Itsukaichi Line). Wait at bus stop 1 and get off at the Odake Shonudo Iriguchi bus stop.
- Price: Tent site ¥1,500, plus ¥600 per adult per night.
- Address: 1587 Yozawa, Akiruno, Tokyo
- Closest stop: Odake Shonudo Iriguchi bus stop
- Months of operation: All year round
- Contact: 42-596-2326
- Website: http://otakecamp.web.fc2.com (in Japanese)
8. Hana Hana no Sato Camping Ground
This is a really interesting campsite located on former rice terraces in Chiba, Tokyo’s neighboring prefecture. Try to get one of the higher sites for a nice view.
There are also pretty good facilities with baths, hot showers and a restaurant and cafe that serves great pizza.
For those who wanna go off adventuring, there are nearby hiking trails.
- Price: Tent site ¥4,000 for up to 5 adults, ¥500 for each additional person.
- Address: 1587 Yozawa, Akiruno, Tokyo.
- Closest station: 5.2 kilometres from Onuki Station on JR Uchibo Line
- Months of operation: All year round
- Contact: 0439-65-5126, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://hanahananosato.com/ (in Japanese)
This post was originally published in August 2014. Updated: June 24, 2019 by Mareike Dornhege.