Japan Adventure Travel: Camping & Glamping
Japan is an ideal country for camping. Blessed with a diverse range of beautiful landscapes, excellent facilities and a reputation as one of the world’s safest countries, we would encourage any visitor to enjoy camping here. On this page you will find the following information:
For more travel adventures experiences and destinations, see our main ‘Japan Travel Adventure’ page. We hope this information is helpful in planning your next adventure in Japan.
1 / CAMPING & GLAMPING IN CENTRAL JAPAN
There’s no shortage of options when it comes to camping in Japan. Blessed with an agreeable climate and beautiful landscapes, Japan is in many ways an ideal country for camping. Facilities are excellent and the overall country is very safe – in terms of both your personal safety, your belongings and trouble from any pesky animals.
Camping sites range hugely in location and type – from large, popular sites with a full suite of facilities to remote patches that you are likely to have entirely to yourself. Added to this, the option of ‘glamping’ has attracted a new market to the idea of camping. Forget the idea of roughing it! More and more glamping sites are popping-up all over the country, offering often luxurious comfort and added touches including fine-dining services and hot springs.
Our home region of Central Japan is one of the best areas of the country when it comes for looking camping and glamping spots. Boasting the majority of Japan’s tallest mountains, verdant forests and pristine riverways, Central Japan’s camping season typically runs from June to November with the option of camping in the snow at some spots through winter.
In terms of wildlife to be aware of, most animals in Japan are placid and unlikely to give you any trouble. The animal to be most aware of is the Asiatic Black Bear which is common throughout the mountains and forests of Central Japan. Typically herbivorous, bears are wary of humans therefore while they are present, you are unlikely to see one. Areas that they frequent are usually well-signed. In those areas don’t keep in your tent and make noise to avoid any chance of surprising a bear. It’s nothing to worry about and certainly shouldn’t stop you from camping. Just be aware that they are there and give them the necessary respect. For more information about the animals you might encounter, see our ‘Wildlife, Bird-Watching, Horse-Riding & Fishing; page.
2 / RECOMMENDED CAMPING SPOTS
When visiting Nagano and Central Japan it’s all about getting away from the city and into the great outdoors. Spoiled for choice when it comes to beautiful and enticing outdoor destinations, the following camping areas are always popular:
Located approximately 50km to the west of Matsumoto City, the stunning alpine valley of Kamikochi is one of Nagano’s most iconic destinations. Stretching 18km in length from Mt Yari in the north, past the imposing triple peaks of Mt Hotaka down to Mt Yakedake in the south, the valley lies between 1400 and 1600 meters in altitude with the dramatic North Japan Alps rising to over 3000 meters above. Considered the jewel of the Chubu Sangaku National Park, Kamikochi is a popular destination with hotels in the valley demanding extremely high prices. This makes camping hugely attractive and the best way to truly savour the beauty the surrounding landscape.
There are two campgrounds to choose from: 1. Konashidaira Campground located 10 to 15-minutes walk from the Kamikochi Bus Terminal and 2. Tokusawa Campground located around 2-hours walk from the Kamikochi Bus Terminal. When camping with your own tent/gear you don’t require an advanced booking but should you need gear, it’s best to book in advance. The August summer holidays are peak period at Kamikochi with weekends through in September and October continuing to be very busy due to the beauty of the autumn leaves. Try to avoid these times and head there during the week.
Located within the boundaries of Nagano City, the forests of Togakushi are home to some of Japan’s most important Shinto shrines, hiking trails, mountaineering and climbing, and an expansive campground with great facilities. Located next to Togakushi Ranch and with fantastic views of Mount Togakushi, the campground has space for more than 350 auto-campers, cabins, outdoor kitchens and stoves, showers and toilets and a small shop.
Accessible all year round, the campground and its facilities operate from late-April until the end of October. Togakushi enjoys a notably cooler climate than the valley below, even in summer when the temperature is regularly around 10°C cooler than Tokyo. Easy to get to from the capital via nearby Nagano Station and offering welcome relief from the summer heat and crowds of the city, camping in Togakushi is great option when looking for a tree-change.
3 / RECOMMENDED GLAMPING SPOTS
The glamping has unsurprisingly taken-off in Japan, a country known for loving its creature comforts, cleanliness and service. That trend is only going to get bigger over coming years so look for a lot of updates to this page, but now let’s start with a couple of recommendations in the region:
Snow Peak Field Suite Hakuba Kita-One Kogen, Hakuba
Nestled within the pastures and fields of (what is in winter) Hakuba Happo One Snow Resort, Snow Peak Field Suite offers visitors outdoor ‘glamping’ accommodation with beautiful alpine vistas. Opened in July 2019, seven luxury tents sit on wooden decks, offering guests a glamping experience unmatched in Nagano. Tents measure around 50m ² and include two double beds, a table and chairs, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi with a range of amenities. A separate onsen facility is available for use by guests with an additional ‘Jyubako’ Suite (luxury cabin) also available. Guests have the option of including meals in their accommodation package, including fine dining in the evening in a separate tent.
TENAR Outdoor Hotel, Azumino
TENAR is a holistic accommodation experience that promotes escape, relaxation and a return to balance. Located in the grounds of Azumino Hotaka View Hotel, the ‘TENAR’ unit is a small, contemporary accommodation space designed to sit within the surrounding forest with minimal impact on the environment. In doing so, guests feel relaxed and in harmony with nature, while comfortable and cosy in their intimate private space. Accommodation packages include dinner at Azumino Hotaka View Hotel, known for its indulgent French cuisine, and use of the hotel’s ‘onsen’ (hot spring).
4 / POPULAR OUTDOOR STORES IN JAPAN
Visitors heading to Hakuba can take advantage of a range of outdoor stores including the always popular Snow Peak Land Station. Combining a brand store, café and restaurant, Snow Peak is destination to itself and a tempting place to spend some money on high-end outdoor gear from one of Japan’s most popular brands.
5 / BOOK WITH US! NAGANO’S NO.1 TOUR & CHARTER OPERATOR
Based in Nagano and operating all year round, we are Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator. We have the local knowledge of where to go, when to go and what to do when you’re there to make sure you get the most out of your adventure in Central Japan! As a registered travel agent we can arrange experiences and tours, transport, accommodation and inclusive packages at the destinations listed above. So no matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered including getting you to the best outdoor destinations and events in the region.
For guests wanting to access these destinations in the comfort of their own transport, we can arrange a private tour or charter customised to fit your needs, starting and ending at any destination in the region. Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations in combination with any activity that suits your schedule. All vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.
We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide. We’d love to be part of your adventure in Central Japan and help you discover even more!
Why choose us?
Awarded a 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano and Central Japan.
Got a question about visiting Nagano and Central Japan? Contact us and let’s get planning together!