When people mention Japan, you think about the Penis Festivals and conveyor belt sushi restaurants, or how it is an anime fanatic’s paradise. What you probably don’t know is that camping is actually a very popular pastime, even in one of the world’s busiest metropolises, Tokyo. But with over 3 000 camping spots scattered all over the country, knowing where to go can be confusing. That’s why we put together a list of awesome camping Tokyo spots to help you out. You don’t even need to leave Tokyo’s borders to get to most of them. You’re welcome.
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 yen per person (until 10:00 a.m the next morning); Tent at 3,000 yen.
- 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/tabid/62/Default.aspx (in Japanese).
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 yen to spend the day and 600 yen for the first night. Plus 300 yen 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 Number: 03 3799 6402.
- Website: http://seaside-park.jp/modules/Top_Jounan/ (in Japanese).
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 nearby 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 nearby the campsite for your 4am tuna and mayo rice ball cravings).
- Price: 700 yen per adult per night. Chalets for 4 people 5,500 yen.
- Address: 702 Hikawa, Okutama, Nishitama District, Tokyo.
- Closest Station: Okutama on the Oume Line.
- Months of operation: Closed from December 28 to January 5.
- Phone: (0428)83-2134.
- 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: The auto camp costs 3,000 yen per car (up to 5 people) plus facility usage fee (500 yen per adult and 300 yen per child). If fewer than 5 people, however, the auto camp costs 1,000 per person. You also have the possibility of renting a bungalow – the prices vary from 6,800 yen (a bungalow for 2 people) to 70,000 yen (a huge bungalow for 40 people).
- 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 1st – November 30th.
- Hours of operation: Auto camp check-in is from 11am and check-out is until 11am. Bungalow checking in is from 2pm to 5pm and checking out is from 8am to 11am.
- Phone Number: 0494-66-0640
- 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 yen) and a fishing hole (from 170 yen to 380 yen). 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 yen to 1,250 yen.
- Price: Day Camp- 400 yen per person, Rental housing – 1 set of bedding- 700 yen.
- Address: Nishitama Hinohara Village 8018, Tokyo.
- Closest Station: JR Musashi Itsukaichi Station.
- Months of operation: 30 November to mid-March.
- Contact: 042-598-0107
- Website: http://kanotoen.web.fc2.com/index.html (in Japanese).
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