Glamping in Japan is the best of both worlds. You get to be close to nature and the starry skies but with all the comforts of a hotel. You don’t need to hunt for suitable camping grounds and rules or even break your back on the hard ground since you’ll probably have a nice comfy bed. Is it still camping? Yes, but with style!
Of course, glamping makes it easy to travel no matter the weather, but one of the best times to glamp in Japan is in autumn, as the temperatures have cooled down and the trees have their vibrant red and yellow coats on.
Don’t know where to start? Here we’ll look at five excellent glamping spots around Japan.
1. Glamping Resort Varie (Yamanashi)
At the foot of Mt. Fuji, Glamping Resort Varie is a great place to stay to explore Kawaguchiko and the Fuji Five Lakes. The glamping resort features signature dome-shaped tents complete with beds, tables and chairs. Each dome is fitted with air conditioning and heating, so there’s no worry about freezing your toes off at night.
There are three different types of accommodation, depending on your preferences and the size of your group and each one has its own barbecue space and outdoor seating area. You can rent a barbecue, set up a bonfire, and huddle around the warm fire in the evenings. There is no food available on site, but plenty of supermarkets are nearby to grab some local meat and veggies.
As for interesting things to do in the area, you’ll never be far from a beautiful view of Mount Fuji, and Lake Kawaguchi is about an hour’s walk away or just ten minutes by car. There are also a few restaurants within walking distance from the glamping site.
2. La-gom (Shizuoka)
La-gom is another glamping site with relatively easy access from Tokyo, sitting on the shores of the Izu Coast in Shizuoka. Here, you can lull yourself gently to sleep with the natural sound of the waves right outside. The domed tents look right out onto the Pacific Ocean, just by Inatori Port. The area is known for its fishing and the Inatori Onsen, so it would almost be a crime not to try out some delicious seafood while you’re there.
La-gom has a very private atmosphere, as only two tents are on the site, with a cute adjoining café. Each tent has its own BBQ space, where you can bring your own food or choose a BBQ plan, where they will provide you with everything you need, like pork, steak, and seafood.
You can choose to do everything camp-style for yourself, or go for a breakfast-included plan and eat dinner at the café.
3. Tokachi Wakka no Mori (Hokkaido)
If you really want to get away from city life, you might be better off heading out into the northern wilderness of Hokkaido at Tokachi Wakka no Mori. This is the first glamping resort in Hokkaido and is set within the vast greenery of the Wakka Forest.
Getting to this Hokkaido glamping site by car takes around two hours from Sapporo, or 50 minutes from Tokachi Obihiro Airport, so you know you’re well and truly in the depths of nature once you arrive. The dome tent here is a little different from others, as it has a thicker frame and more layers of insulation designed in Poland, especially for the cold. A sauna tent is also by the river, so you can work up a sweat and cool off in the water.
A breakfast of hot sandwiches and a BBQ dinner can be provided, but you are also welcome to bring your own food to cook camp-style.
If domes aren’t your style, perhaps this Kyoto glamping villa is a better fit. While this is markedly closer to a villa than camping, you’ll feel close to nature by simply setting foot out the back door, as the rooms are set right on the Oi River.
Retour Kyoto has that special and intimate atmosphere that makes for a great couple’s anniversary getaway or a memorable family holiday. The area has several small shrines, cherry blossom trees and a nature reserve that are great for exploring.
When you get back to rest your feet, you can have A5 Kyoto Wagyu beef waiting for you to barbecue and finish the day off with a relaxing bath in the in-room onsen (hot spring bath).
5. Alps Base (Nagano)
Set in an area of Nagano surrounded by the Central and Southern Alps of Japan, the Alps Base is the last on our list of dome-shaped glamping sites. The site is set in Iijima, an area known for its flowers and fireworks, and the tents are right by the picturesque Joga Pond.
The site was created to blend into local life rather than simply visiting as a tourist. Part of that involves eating local food and catching your rainbow trout for dinner. On the glamping site, you can use the tent saunas or bonfires, go for a scenic walk, play golf, or even try SUPing (stand-up paddle boarding).
Have you gone glamping or camping in Japan? Share your experiences in the comments below.