Before we went to Japan, people asked us whether there were camp-sites there. Well, there certainly are. A great many are given in the Touring Mapple guides we used and before leaving, Remy had also found many in and put them on the GPS. There were hundreds of them ...

Well, there were, but we hardly used them because:

  • they couldn’t be found
  • they were so high up that you didn’t want to undertake such a climb at the end of the day
  • they were closed (and only opened in the middle of the summer)
  • we should have reserved a place (once we weren’t allowed to stay on a nearly empty site because we hadn’t reserved a place three days before ...)
  • they had no showers or toilets
  • the reception closed at 16.00. Arriving at 18.00 is no good, even if the personnel is still around and you tell them you have cycled 100 kilometres and are tired and don’t know where else to go and feel sorry for yourself and ...

There are also places you think are campsites but are not sure ...
Sites with owners and a Reception were rare, at least we only had a few. However, the sites are very cheap, as you can see from examples of the ‘real’ ones (further on this page).

As one is allowed to camp anywhere and there are many (really many) public lavatories and taps for drinking water everywhere, we often just put our tent up where we liked.
Literally ...

Here is a selection of our camping spots:
(Click on the photos to enlarge)


On the beach:


Our first camp-site on OkinawaOn the coast of Chiba


In a park:


HiroshimaKyotoOsaka. In nearly every park there was gym in the morning, especially for the elderlyFujiedaTokyo



In a (school) playground:


At a school in OkinawaKyushu. Wait a bit till it’s dark and the children have stopped playing, and then put your tent up.Honshu. And while you’re waiting...



On the side of the road or under a viaduct:


401 20130426 062631402 20130429 192232403 20130515 060459404 20130527 054845Between the river and the roadAnd on the other side of the river we hear someone playing the trumpet ...



Proper campsites:


Kyushu. One we had to climb to ...... and that’s no fun at the end of the dayBut at least you have something. Well, no toilet, no shower, no water...... but a what a view!No reception, but there is another caravan, a toilet and an icy-cold showerAnd since we are expecting rain, we move to be under the roofAnd are invited by the only other guests to share their mealCampsite at Kana Beach on OkinawaCampsite at the Youth Hostel on KyushuAt the foot of Mount FujiA good site south-west of TokyoCampsite in TokyoCampsite in Tokyo


Places we thought were campsites:


Campsite at OkinawaCampsite at OkinawaCampsite at OkinawaCampsite at KyushuCampsite at KyushuCampsite at Kyushu



Other special spots:


Right in the middle of a housing estate...The only time we couldn’t find anywhere suitable. So in the middle of nowhere, which, luckily, was there. Not so easy in such a densely populated country as Japan!Yawatahama (Shikoku). Found in the dark: a stage with a toilet building behind itOkinawa. An idyllic spot