Solo Camping: Tips & The Best Campgrounds in Japan

In Japan, the term Solo Camp was officially made a buzzword in 2020. On YouTube, there are many solo campers who make numerous solo camp videos which are becoming more and more popular. There are multiple places to camp out in Japan, like the mountains, forests, lakes, and beaches.

Our team has a solo camper who likes to go to campsites near Tokyo, which takes about up to three hours by car. What’s great about solo camping is the great connection with nature. You can lie safely under the skies with twinkling stars and magnificently clean air. You can meditate, clear your mind, connect to nature, and feel yourself healing. Today we share our team member’s favorite places and tips! If you are not an expert on camping, we recommend spring to early autumn. In Japan, winters weather can be quite tough especially on the mountains and rivers and this, they are not for beginner campers.

We picked these following sites because…

  • These campsites possesses a resident manager. For our security, it’s safe and if something should happen, someone is on the site.
  • Near Tokyo and is easily accessible… up to three hours by car or train.
  • Clean bathrooms and some have a shower room.

Camping Gadgets: There are so many great camp tools, but we don’t need to buy everything. Here are the minimum essentials that we recommend for you to obtain; Tent with peg & peg hammer; lantern; sleeping bag & sleeping bag mat; towel; portable table & chair; garbage bag; wet tissue package; rainwear; and of course, food & beverages!

Here is our favorite solo camp list!

Sanctuary of Otaku & Mountaineer: Mt. Fuji YMCA Global Eco Village – Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture

If you know about the smash hit camp anime, Laid-Back Camp (by Japanese Yuru Camp /ゆるキャン△), here is your place. The campsite appears on the set of the 11th and final episode. Known as YMCA, it only accommodates 40 tents on the vast land each day, as the site actually protects the environment of alone-time & me- time. The view of Mt. Fuji is right in front of you while you are enjoying your quiet & private time!

Stop by Aeon Mall Fujinomiya to get some drinks and food. You may want to get some insect spray as you will be staying in nature for a period of time and you will need to repel the insects around you. If you get lazy, YMCA has a restaurant on the site, so you can enjoy bento boxes or BBQ.

There are kind and polite staff members on the camping site, making it safe for solo-campers. They have hot water supply and a fee-based shower room, which will never make you miss the basic amenities of home! There are bathrooms/outhouses in the facility in the middle of some of the vast lands… we recommend put set up your camp near there.

The campsite is the busiest during the autumn season. The temperature at the end of September averages around 60°F (15°C). There are many campsites nearby Mt. Fuji, such as Fumotoppara and Asagiri Jamboree which are also popular for solo campers. Let the cozy vibes blanket you and warm your heart.

  • Fee ¥2300/per person
  • Online reservations only.
  • Address:1423 hara, Fujinomiya, Shizuoka 418-0105
  • Aeon mall Fujinomiya: 1-8 Asama, Fujinomiya, Shizuoka 418-0032

Hidden Natural Wonders: Shibireko Suimeiso Camping Ground – Yamanashi Prefecture

A beautiful small lake called Shibireko is known as a hidden place among many campers. If you looking for a quiet and calm campsite, this is the place for you.

The beauty of this site is an untouched nature and the scenery of the four seasons is beautiful. They provide you with only a kitchen and a toilet, so you need to bring your own tent and camp tools. It sounds a little bit off for someone who looking for more camping amenities, but simple camping is great, and you can feel a Zen-like aura while you stay at the lake.

The toilet is not a flushing one, as it is more of an outhouse. If you need a flush toilet, you’ll need to to go to an administration building, Suimei-so. It is about 550 yards away from the campsite. Don’t forget that reservations will be required beforehand. Close to the campsite, there are many activities, such as kayaking on the lake, mountain climbing, hiking, and fishing. Take advantage of the full experience of solo nature camping!

  • Fee ¥1500, Parking charge ¥400/day
  • Call +81 55-272-1030 for the reservation and details 9am – 7pm
  • Campsite opening hours 8 am – 5 pm
  • Address: Nishiyatsushirogun Ichikawamisatochou Yamaho 3378 Yamanashi 409-3602

Hassle-free Camp in the City: Wakasu Park Camping Ground – Koto Ward, Tokyo

Another campsite recommended for solo camps is in Koto Ward, Tokyo. This is recommended for those who want to enjoy solo camping more conveniently and want to reduce one’s travel time. The site is a camp made for those who are practically empty-handed. You can just go and rent camping tools and then try to solo camp. If you decide to rent a tent, there will be staff there to install and clean it up, hassle-free! On the other hand, it’s a relatively lively location which may not be suitable if you just want to interact with nature or prefer a very quiet location.

The facilities are clean and there’s a view of a unique structure bridge called Tokyo gate that separates you away from the hustle and bustle of the city. They have a convenience store which sells drinks and BBQ meal sets. There is also on-site water supply and a fee-based shower room.

I went there empty-handed, and they gave me everything. It’s very easy and very unique city-type camping.

  • Fee ¥3000~ Online reservation only.
  • Call +81 50-5835-0493
  • Opening hours 9 am – 6 pm 
  • Address: 3-2-1 Wakasu, Koto-ku, Tokyo 136-0083

Tips for Solo Campers:

  • For your safety when you leave your tent or campsite, it would good to leave on some music, keep a lantern lit, and leave your extra shoes or sandals outside of the tent.
  • When you go to the bathroom or go outside for a awhile, lock your tent flap with a padlock to protect it from a potential robber. Put two shoes outside even if you are inside of the tent. That helps you as you won’t appear to be solo camping.
  • Japanese typically like to be quiet at the campsites. Thus, it is common etiquette not to make loud conversation or noises and play music loudly at night.
  • Although making a bonfire sounds nice and will warm on your camp, beware of windy days at the crowded campsite. There may be certain rules not to make a bonfire. Fire sparks and smoke can potentially fly to other campers’ tents, so be considerate of others.

Incident Prevention

We recommend solo camping and enjoy it, but try to keep safe to prevent an accident such as bear attacks and robbers, etc. Here are the tips for solo campers.

  • Find another solo camper to go together or put your tent near other solos. Many experts say that bears are typically scared of humans, but there is a risk of being attacked by them if you have an encounter. When traveling in camp, it is best that two or more people go together. If one person has been unfortunately attacked, the other person can call for help, the victim’s condition of serious injury is likely to be minor.
  • Keep your food and waste in a contained bag. Putting food outside of the tent is just about the same as inviting bears to feed there with you. The bears obviously come to your place because of the smell of your food. Thus, when you leave your place of camping you should take all of your belongings as well as your waste, so that it helps future campers and potentially bad situations. It is also important to make some sounds/noises, like listen to some music or podcast on your phone, to let the bear know you are around.
  • Make sure you take your important belongings such as your phone and wallet with you when you leave your tent. Japan is generally safe, but there are so many people you do not know who are in the area.
  • If you rent a car and get a campsite by yourself, never sleep at highway service areas or at parking areas at night. These places are great to take a rest or nap during the daytime, but after sundown, most of the stores are closed and it becomes dangerous to solo campers, especially for women, to stay. There have been reports of some women solo campers who were almost raped and sexually molested by men. Please sleep at the campsite!

We will update you when we visit more campground, and let us know if you know of a good site for solo travelers!

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