Frugal Travel: Great Oceanfront Campgrounds & Hot Springs in Eastern Japan
Japan has the sixth-longest coastline in the world, and thus, there are many campsites along or near the ocean. If you like camping, we highly recommend it be on your “things-to-do” list for your trip to Japan. Surrounding yourself with the peacefulness of nature in Japan can be a wonderfully grounding experience. Camping is a great activity to help with your inward journey through meditative activities. It can relieve anxiety and stress while promoting better sleep. While camping outdoors can be pleasurable, it can also be physically draining. In the summer, being outdoors could expose you to the sun all day. In autumn, you may have to face harsh winds or weather through rainstorms. For this reason, it would be wonderful to have a campground that’s nearby a Japanese-style hot spring, called an Onsen. If the weather happens to turn for the worse during camping, you head to and stay at an onsen inn. Our Me-time approach to camping is to think of the camping and hot springs experiences as a set.
Campgrounds & Hot Springs in Eastern Japan
Hidden Gem Private Campsite Only Eight Gropes a Day – TARI CANHA Murakushi Beach, Shizuoka Prefecture
This campground is by a scenic lake named Hamana-ko. The atmosphere here is eco therapeutic, or naturally therapeutic which is the promotes being in nature to boost growth and healing, especially one’s mental health. This campsite has its own cafe & bar and an outdoor gear store. This means you do not need to cook. All you have to do is just pitch your tent and enjoy your moment!
For hot springs, you have two choices. The first one is a day-use only facility called Hanano yu onsen. The other onsen is a place where you can stay over called Hotel Wellseason Hamanako. A short walk away from those onsens is a free-of-charge public foot-only bath named Daitarabocchi. Foot baths are used to soften up calloused skin, as well to ease foot muscle tension.
This campsite is located at a seaside park, which is perfect for families as this site is right next to the playground. Within walking distance, there is the Nabura seafood market where you can enjoy fresh seasonal sushi and sashimi, and tempura teishoku (a type of Japanese set meal). Or you can also choose to pick up some fish at the market then BBQ them at the campsite. Twenty minutes away is Daitō onsen inn which offers a sauna that is included with an onsen ticket. The sauna provides welcome relief to wash yourself and to soothe aching muscles. Onsens are a significant part of many Japanese’s persons’ relaxation and meditative lives.
What is AutoCamping?
AutoCamping is not just parking your car in a parking lot of a site, taking your camping equipment out, and then carrying the those items to the designated campsite. When you are AutoCamping, you can bring your actual motor vehicle right into the camping area! It makes camping more convenient.
OPENING HOURS: April to November 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays
ADDRESS: [Map] 6104-9 Minato, Omaezaki City, Shizuoka Prefecture
By phone reservations only: 0548-63-2001
Depending upon your mood at this particular site, you can choose different types of areas to camp such as a forest, lawn, or ocean view. Tents and showers are available for a rental fee, and thus, all you need is a sleeping bag & food. A pizza oven is also available for a fee if you like to try your own-made pizza! In the vicinity, there is a poultry farm called Atsumi Egg farm where visitors can buy fresh eggs and try to make omelets at the campsite. Japanese eggs are delicious and very safe to eat raw. Many people purchase eggs here and eat them as part of Tamagokake Gohan which is raw egg on and soy sauce drizzled over cooked rice. You must try thus local’s comfort food! In addition, the enchanting views of ocean, as seen from the open air hot spring bath of Higaki hotel, is a one-in-a-million experience.
OPENING HOURS: Tue to Sun
ADDRESS: [Map] 1 Minami Nakajima, Minami-Kobe-cho, Tahara City, Aichi Prefecture
By phone reservations only: 0531-24-8901
Orange Village is an open-air fruit farm as well as a camp facility. This site produces a variety of citrus fruits and offers tourist orange picking sessions with a fee. In the spring, you can enjoy harvesting mandarin oranges, lemons, and bamboo shoots. In summer, you can gather blueberries, green peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants. In autumn, you can pick peanuts, sweet potatoes and chestnuts. And in the winter tangerines, lemons and shiitake mushrooms are ready to harvest. For an onsen nearby, Chikurakan is a chic, cosy, riverside inn offering a minimalist onsen experience, blending classic Japanese style with modern Western touches.
OPENING HOURS: Year-round
ADDRESS: [Map] 1494 Kubo, Chikura-cho, Minamiboso-shi, Chiba Prefecture
By phone reservations only: 0470-44-0780
Longtime customers of this campsite enjoy fishing & clamming in the ocean nearby. It is very satisfying to bring back your catch of the day to BBQ while enjoying your drinks! AC power, cooking facilities, shower rooms, and much more things are available for rental fee at the campsite. However, if you would rather go to a restaurant than go fishing, you can dine at Manpuku-shokudō to have some classic Japanese dishes. Their signature meat set meal is called Stamina-yaki teishoku. They also have Miso ramen noodle and Katsu-curry (chicken or pork cutlet with curry) which are very popular. If you prefer fresh seafood, Kimino restaurant would be your choice. The popular menu item is a local fish sashimi set meal. Another activity in the vicinity of the campsite is visiting a Ikisu shrine which is located in the middle of a peaceful forest. It’s always good to go to worship for good luck! Around the site there is also a super market, liquor store, and Seven-Eleven.
There is a hot springs nearby which is a day-use only facility called Kashima Yunohana. There are no overnight onsen inn accommodations here, but the quality of silky onsen hot water is a true godsend, pampering you during your stay.
Taiyo and Umi mean sun & sea in Japanese. At this campsite, you can actually hear the sound of the ocean waves and smell the salt of the sea which lulls you to a deep sleep. In the morning, the sunrise beautifully wakes you up. Cottages, open-air baths, and other lodging facilities are available for a fee. Nearby there is a Japanese grilled skewers (Kushiyaki) restaurant, as well as a seafood diner, and local convenience stores. At Asahi-No Onsen, there are both open-air and indoor baths where the naturally medicinal waters help heal your mind and soul. You will be “getting traditional” at this onsen which means you will be relaxing with naked strangers in the bubbles of the hot spring bath.