Although Tokyo, with its sky-reaching towers and futuristic architecture, is the unofficial icon of the country, those who have ventured beyond the city limits will agree that Japan is an excellent place to embrace the great outdoors. With its general safety, stunning seasons, and rugged, untouched mountains (which make up over 70% of the landscape), there’s no excuse not to leave inner Tokyo behind and immerse yourself in the more natural side of the country. But before you go, you will need some gear. Whether you’re a casual camper or a more serious mountaineer, there are plenty of Tokyo camping stores that will cater to your needs.
When it comes to style-conscious camping gear that’s both comfortable and durable, the Japanese brand Snow Peak has to be one of the best. It may not be as well known globally as Patagonia or The North Face, but in recent times the company has been making waves both internationally and domestically with its camping gear and clothing, which traverses the line of downtown Tokyo streetwear style and rugged mountain climbing utility. Founded in 1958, the brand is inspired by 20th-century military uniforms and workwear.
One of Snow Peak’s most notable Tokyo locations is the luxury-brand-populated Omotesando. This outlet is the flagship store for the brand and focuses most heavily on apparel, so if you’re looking for good quality, versatile outerwear, pop by to see the selection.
Snow Peak Omotesando
If you’ve ever bought vintage items here, you’ll be able to vouch that Japan is one of the best places to buy secondhand. Most of the items available for sale are in as good working order as the day they were picked off the shelf, and secondhand/consignment stores in Japan—especially Tokyo—hold themselves to a high expectation regarding quality. Maunga is a camping and outdoor store that’s a perfect example of Japan’s secondhand excellence.
The store sells a cross section of outdoor goods and equipment, from vintage Patagonia t-shirts to cooking utensils and equipment, tents, cooler boxes, lights, and everything in between. If you’re on the hunt for brand-name items but don’t want to fork out the full retail price, Maunga is an excellent choice and a much safer bet than picking pre-loved goods up online.
MORIPARK Outdoor Village
Not far from Tokyo’s Hachioji region, MORIPARK Outdoor Village is part shopping center and part outdoor fun park. The facility houses 17 camping and outdoor stores and yoga studios, climbing walls, specialty restaurants (including Snow Peak’s restaurant Snow Peak Eat), and sprawling natural views.
If you’ve got the time to spend, it’s well worth a half-day or full-day trip out here, just to check out the 21,000 square meter facility and browse the wide selection of stores and goods. The brands you’ll find here include names like Montbell, The North Face, Salomon, Helly Hansen, Columbia, Schoffel, and Coleman. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, it probably doesn’t exist.
MORIPARK Outdoor Village
Sakaiya is an outdoor goods and sports store located in Jimbocho. It deals with a wide range of products, including mountaineering goods, clothing, and shoes. To help navigate your way around the store, it’s divided into six sections, including camping and climbing, clothing, and a specialty Montbell Room. Sakaiya is known for having some of the most knowledgeable staff in the game, so if you’re looking for a broad cross section of goods and some handy advice, this is the place to go.
Sakaiya Sports Echo Plaza
Somewhat similar to Sakaiya in terms of vibe and offerings, Wild-1 is an outdoor specialty store that sells a range of goods and brands. It has shops across Japan, including two main locations in Tokyo (Hachioji and Odaiba). Two of the store’s biggest draw cards are its large display of tenants and tarps and its wide selection of fishing gear.
It’s practically impossible to talk about camping and outdoor brands without mentioning Patagonia, arguably the most well-known and well-respected name in the game. Japan seems to have a very special affinity for the brand, too, with vintage Patagonia clothing items taking up prime real easts (and high asking prices) in vintage and street-style stores throughout inner Tokyo.
The proudly environmentally conscious brand also has a major outlet on the streetwear and fashion hub of Cat Street, Harajuku. A visit here is well worth combining with a visit to the aforementioned Omotesando-situated Snow Peak store, with their complementary combination of rugged outdoor equipment and trendy inner-city style. This outlet sells a cross-section of goods, from clothing to accessories and equipment for your next mountaineering adventure.
Rental option: Yamarent
If you’re just visiting Japan on holiday or an inner-city Tokyo dweller with minimal storage space in your apartment, renting your camping and outdoor gear is a convenient, financially, and economically beneficial option.
Yamarent has a location in Shinjuku which rents out a broad selection of equipment, from tents and utensils to clothes and the like. It also has a store in the Kawaguchiko area (open in summer) that specializes in climbing Mt. Fuji.
Yamarent (Yama Dōgu Rental)
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