Looking for a fun, affordable way to experience Japan’s stunning natural beauty up close? Camping holidays in Japan are very popular with visitors and locals alike. During the summer holidays the Japanese often go camping with their families, and many university students go camping in large groups as a way to mingle and make new friends.

With over 3,000 campsites across Japan, you can journey across the length and breadth of all four main islands and the many smaller ones that surround them. There are a plethora of outdoor activities that accompany a camping holiday, such as boating, hiking, mountain biking, fishing and surfing. Popular camping destinations include the Higashi-Onuma camping site in Hokkaido, near the stunning Lake Onuma. In the Kanto region, campers flock to the Wakasu Seaside Park site with its wonderful golfing.

Of course, no camping holiday across Japan would be complete without a visit to Mt Fuji, which sits as the centrepiece of a spectacular nature reserve known as Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. The region includes many stunning lakes, outdoor activities, temples, and walks in which you can take in the mountain’s majestic beauty. Dotted around Fuji-san are the famous Five Lakes, along with plateaus, waterfalls, and caves, resorts, and hot springs. Camping near Lake Tanuki means you can take the pre-dawn pilgrimage to experience the wonder of “Diamond Fuji,” the precious moment when the sun rises on the top of the mountain.

History lovers may also enjoy camping on the stunning Shikoku island, home to the famous 88 Buddhist temples. Shikoku attracts thousands of pilgrims each year who take the 40-day walking tour of the island, visiting the many temples and camping along the way.

While camping is a great way to get in touch with nature, you can also treat yourself to some well-deserved relaxation and luxury with a visit to an onsen, found all over Japan. These natural hot springs are the perfect way to revive and relax your muscles during your outdoor adventure. Some of the best onsens are found in the nature reserves and rural areas of Japan, precisely where you’ll find the best campsites.

From onsens to oceans, beach camping is another popular activity in Japan’s warmer months. The southern end of Japan is ideal for surf and sand lovers, notably Inakahama Beach campsite on Yakushima Island, Kyushu.

During the summer school holidays, especially between July 20 and August 15, expect campsites to be quite busy with families and students on holidays. To preserve the stunning beauty of Japan’s nature reserves, camping outside the designated areas is strictly prohibited, so it helps to check the notice board when you arrive at a new area, and ask if there are any local rules and regulations you should observe when you arrive at your campsite.