Camping season is here! Now that we’ve got through the colder months, it’s time to get out of your apartment and enjoy some fresh air and beautiful scenery. Camping can be so beneficial for our well-being since it allows us to connect with the natural world, disconnect from our commitments (and phones!), and enjoy a bit of quiet time. Plus, camping by a lake means that you get to see some of the most beautiful views the country has to offer.
Here are some of our favorite spots for lakeside camping, but there are so many more other wonderful spots too! So, get some camping trips booked into your calendar now!
Lake Suwa (Nagano)
A 10-minute walk from JR Kami-Suwa Station, Lake Suwa is a beautiful onsen town and one of the best spots for lakeside camping in Nagano.
It is a beautiful 16km walk around the shorelines of Lake Suwa. You can also go on a tourist lake boat tour. It’s a great holiday destination with restaurants and ryokans dotted along the waterside. There is also a miso factory you can visit; their miso ice cream is particularly popular, and the miso makes for a good omiyage.
Kirigamine campsite, located up the mountain, is a basic campsite that’s great for anyone looking for some more wild camping. It is a bit of a trek away from the lake, but it offers beautiful views of Lake Suwa.
Lake Ashi (Kanagawa)
Lake Ashi, also known as Lake Ashinoko, is one of the beautiful lakes offering views of Mount Fuji. At the base of Mount Hakone, this scenic lake is in the hot spring resort Hakone, and it is the largest lake offering views of Mount Fuji in the prefecture.
Ashinoko Camp Mura is a campsite located right on the shore of Lake Ashi. It is a beginner-friendly camping destination, with log cabins available, an auto site, barbecues, rental bicycles, and a tent camping area.
Like many other lakeside destinations, Lake Ashi is also a beautiful spot to enjoy a day trip cycling around the shorelines and forest. The famous Hakone pirate ships make a great daytime activity as well. When you’re ready to relax, you can visit one of Hakone’s scenic onsen.
Lake Okutama (Tokyo)
Lake Okutama is a man-made lake, and it is one of Tokyo’s closest lakeside camping destinations. It is located in Chichibu Tama Kai National Park, and it makes a great camping spot as well as a lovely place for a day trip. It’s a beautiful spot throughout the seasons; in spring, the area turns pink with surrounding cherry blossoms, and in summer, the lands are bright and green, turning orange and red in autumn.
If you are looking for some relaxation on your camping trip, make sure to visit the onsens around the lake. For a more adventurous challenge at Lake Okutama, you can hike up Mt. Kumotori, Tokyo’s tallest peak. In the “Yamano Furusato Village”, you can enjoy other activities, such as pottery workshops, woodcraft workshops, and stone workshops.
Various campsites offer facilities for cooking and barbecues. There are also options to book log cabins if staying in a tent isn’t your thing!
Lake Chuzenji (Tochigi)
Tochigi Prefecture’s best place for lakeside camping is at the base of Mount Nantai, in Nikko, where you can camp by Lake Chuzenji. If you’re looking to be somewhere more remote and immersed in nature, this is it. The areas surrounding Lake Chuzenji are mostly forests, apart from the small hot spring town of Chuzenji Onsen.
Lake Chuzenji is particularly gorgeous in the autumn months when the blue lake water beautifully contrasts all the orange and red autumn leaves of the forests. Close to Chuzenji Onsen, you can find the breathtaking Kegon Waterfall, which makes a great trip away from the campsite. Stop by an onsen afterward to rest and relax before getting your barbecue started back at the campsite.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you may want to hike the 25-kilometer route around the lake. Alternatively, you can make use of sightseeing boats that take you around the lake.
Lake Yamanakako (Yamanashi)
Lake Yamanakako is one of Japan’s most iconic lakes. It is one of the Fuji Five Lakes, and it is often seen in adverts for Japan due to the picturesque scenery of its picturesque waters and the backdrop of Mount Fuji. As well as having beautiful surroundings, Lake Yamanakako is also a popular spot for cycling, and there are nearby bicycle rental spots making it a perfect daytime activity for campers.
Odakyu Yamanakako Forest Cottage is one of Lake Yamanakako’s largest campgrounds with some of the best facilities. Here you have the option of renting ground space to set up your tent, or you can book their cabins and cottages for a more luxurious glamping experience. They offer rental services for barbecues, camp chairs, cooking facilities, and more so that you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Lake Yamanako.
We hope this guide has helped you find a lakeside camping destination that will be perfect for your next trip. Remember to listen out for the birds in the morning and to explore the nature nearby, and don’t forget your bug spray!
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