Japan is normally not associated with the concept of camping. Many immediately think to Tokyo or Kyoto with their extravagant neon signage and Times Square-esque hectic inner city life. However, Japan is one of the most beautiful nations for the outdoor lover to explore, featuring a variety of different natural sights and places to visit that are absolutely stunning and in some cases even life-changing.
On that note, Japan is also not normally associated with cheap travel – quite on the contrary, Japan is normally associated with expensive airfares and accommodation prices. When traveling on a budget however, one can really save some money – especially if one has a love for nature and decides to make use of the various camping sites around the country.
One of the most beautiful places to camp on is Yakushima Island. The island itself is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is home to some of the most amazing forests, beaches and other scenery the Land of the Rising Sun has to offer its visitors. One of the things that makes the island special is that it is home to some amazingly old cedar trees. Among them is the oldest tree in the country, around 7000 years old – the Jomon-sugi, which is a sight to see for itself.
Camping wise, there are various different campsites available around the island. The island itself is accessible through a four hour ferry ride. On the island itself, given its somewhat small size, there is one large main road which circles most of the island, making it an easy tool to use in order to not get lost. The Inakahama Beach campsite is one of the best ones to spend a few nights at. Located right at one of the beautiful beaches the island has to offer, and occasionally treats its visitors to one of the stunning sights in Japan – Loggerhead Sea Turtles can be observed from here, normally laying their eggs in their chosen nests. It is to note that these turtles are a protected species and considered part of the island’s status as a World Heritage Site, thus tourists should stick to viewing them from afar – common sense really, since these are turtles in the process of laying eggs and would not take kindly to being disturbed.
Image by marinebio.org