Japan has a unique history and culture. It is something that the Japanese are proud of, and they welcome visitors from around the world who are interested in it with a spirit of hospitality “OMOTENASHI”.
In recent years, the number of tourists from around the world to Japan has been around 30 million per year, which is more than the entire population of Australia. (As a side note Japan has only 4.8% of Australia's land area.) For this reason, famous tourist destinations such as Tokyo, Kyoto, and Mt. Fuji are extremely crowded. And local tourist destinations are also attracting attention. The number of tourists is increasing because it is easy to access areas a little outside of the city, such as Nikko, Kiso, and Kurashiki by train using the JR Pass. These have become so famous that everyone knows about them or may have already done them.
If you want a different and deeper experience, we at SATO-IRO recommend going to Japan Countryside, which is difficult to access with the JR Pass. There you will find real Japanese culture, not just fakes or shows developed for tourism. There is real Japanese nature that is not maintained with concrete or chains for safety. The best way to experience them in a relaxed manner is not to travel according to the world's most strict Japanese train timetable, but to travel freely in a rental car according to your feelings. (In some cases, there are no trains or buses or very few services in such countryside.)
If you are tired of traveling only to check the contents of guidebooks on site, or to get countless suggestions of “similar posts" when you post on SNS, why don’t you drive to Japanese countryside?
Japanese campers are particular about the design of their tools and will spend money on items they like. They will enjoy coordinating their camp site with their gear, and preparing camp meals that are both visually appealing and creative. When camping in Japan, enjoy looking around at other camper's sites. You are sure to find a stylish and cool site.(Some Japanese solo campers are shy or enjoy spending time alone, so you may need to be careful in how you communicate with them.)
The Japanese sense of beauty is expressed not only in the city, but also in the forest. Garbage separation is well managed and there is no trash left inside the campsite. If there are campers who don't follow the rules, they will soon be warned or removed.
This is because I feel grateful to be able to escape from the usual city and camp in a rented place in nature and enjoy the nature that is there. Therefore, this mind is important not only at well-maintained suburban campgrounds where there are people around, but also at campgrounds in countryside nature where there are no people around.
SATO-IRO recommends ist-Aokinodaira Field in Nagano Prefecture. Here you can enjoy the nature of Nagano, Yamanashi and Yatsugatake. The natural valley and river terrain is utilized, with appropriate distances between sites to ensure privacy. (In Japan's suburban campgrounds, it's often so close that you can wake up to the sound of your neighbor's tent opening its zipper.) The facilities and water buildings are wooden in harmony with nature, yet kept clean, so women can use them without any worries. It is a valuable campsite that is clean and safe, and where you can spend a relaxing time surrounded by nature.
Mt. Fuji is Japan‘s most famous mountains, but since 75% of Japan’s land is mountainous and hilly, you can enjoy activities of various levels in various locations, from serious climbing to casual hiking. Since Japanese cities are concentrated in the plains, Japanese countryside is often in the mountains. Yamanashi, where Mt. Fuji is located, and Nagano, where Mt. Hakuba and Mt. Tateyama is located, are particularly mountainous countryside areas.
Mt. Yatsugatake is one of Japan's leading climbing and ice climbing spots, and SATO-IRO recommends Mt. Hinata, Mt. Meshimori, and Mt. Utsukushimori, which are located in the surrounding area, and you can visit at a hiking level.
These three mountains that are close to each other also have different characteristics. Mt. Hyuga is a mountain in the Kaikomagatake mountain range, which is the object of local mountain worship.The summit is covered with granite rocks and sand, and the blue of the sky is likened to the sea, and the white of the granite is likened to the sandy beach. It‘s called “The Beach in the Sky”. Mt. Meshimori is written in KANJI characters as “飯盛,” where “飯” means rice and “盛” means heaping. You will see the unique shape of the peak that looks like a heap of rice. Mt. Utsukushi means beautiful forest in Japanese and is a colony of flowers of various alpine plants.
Japan is also one of the most volcanic countries in the world. Although Japan accounts for only 0.25% of the world's land area, but 7% of the world's active volcanoes are located in Japan. Abundant hot springs are found around volcanic mountains, and the abundance of water and volcanoes are the source of Japan's ONSEN Spa culture.
Nagano and Yamanashi, which SATO-IRO is promoting, also have many famous hot spring resorts. Since Yatsugatake is a volcano, there are many hot springs at SATO-IRO's travel destinations and along the way. It will surely be a special experience for you to relieve your fatigue by taking the hot springs that gushing out from the mountains where you hiked up.