Urban Camping in Tokyo

When one thinks of camping, one normally has the image of being in the wilderness, sleeping in a sleeping bag and tent in between hiking from place to place. If not, then it’s ordinary staying at a campsite along with friends for the sake of not being in the city and to experience nature a little more intimately.

However, such an activity might not be suited for everyone. For those that wish to experience something new, something different, urban camping might be answer they’re looking for. Urban camping is, in its most basic sense, camping like one would in the wilderness, but doing it within urban areas. This can be done in many places, with the most common being open air public parks, playgrounds or other such areas. Urban camping was invented, and is done, for a variety of reasons. Some use it as a means of cutting costs while backpacking as some locations, especially the larger cities, come with higher prices in terms of accommodation, prices that might not be covered by one’s budget. Others simply do it for the thrill of doing something new and to experience their city in a way they haven’t before.

Before one decides to try this form of camping in Tokyo, one should familiarize oneself with the customs of Japan and potential problems one might face. It is important, especially for foreigners, to distinguish oneselves from being homeless and merely being a camper as some do frown upon the activity.

There are many places in Tokyo for one to engage in urban camping – and for those trying it out for the first time, Japan is the land of creative and odd, so one might as well step outside of one’s comfort zone and learn something new.

There are many smaller and quiet parks in Tokyo’s outskirts, around the residential areas, that are ideal locations to set up camp in for a night or two. The ideal ones are the quiet parks that aren’t frequented by the homeless, who may not be a danger on any scale, but might make the experience less comfortable. If one is overwhelmed by the amount of noise and people downtown Tokyo seems to be simply home to, a common strategy among urban campers is to simply get onto a train and get away from the city by a few stations and then set out to find a quiet park nearby to camp in.

First image by flickr.com

Second image by usatoday.com

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