SUMMER CAMP EXPERIENCE IN NIKKO, JAPAN
Hey guys, welcome back to my blog! Apologies for not writing for a long time. Been absent for a month due to a very hectic personal schedule but I’m back again! I am looking forward to sharing with you some exciting summer activities during my online absence.
The summer season was a blast in spite of the sweltering heat. I can tell you that this year’s summer was really hot that most of the time we stay indoors during the daytime. Nevertheless, we find ways to beat the summer heat.
Soaring temperatures began at the start of school summer vacation until the last week of August. I couldn’t imagine people going outdoors unless you visit the mountains. Ideally, going to the beach is what people want to do during summer but it’s almost impossible to do that. Most beaches in Japan are vast, with black sand shorelines without any trees or shrubs for shelter. So people usually bring tents to the beach and camp all through the night.
During the start of the pandemic, our family wasn’t able to travel internationally, just as we did in the past. Instead, we tried to visit nearby places in Japan. The country has a lot of summer destinations to explore, off to the cool mountains where you escape the humidity and scorching heat in the cities. And one of the places we visit this year is Nikko.
Exploring and Camping in Nikko
Nikko is a world-renowned tourist destination famous for its temples and shrines. Not only for religious architecture but it is full of natural beauty and things to do. Lakes, waterfalls, and mountains add beauty and charm to this place mostly visited by people all over the world.
As a family, we decided to try camping and the kids absolutely love the idea. However, we don’t have a complete professional camping equipments such as tent and sleeping bags so we decided to book a bungalow for 3 days and 2 nights. It is for sleeping and eating only and I find it convenient and comfortable than making our own tent. It is also much safer when it rains at night.
Shobugahama Camping Site experience 菖蒲ヶ浜キャンプ村
Nikko has lots of camping sites to choose from depending on the place and level of comfort. Shobugahama Camping Site is ideally located at Lake Chuzenji where campers can experience total relaxation and fun at the lakeside. At first, I thought the place would give us a calm retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city but to my surprise, it was the opposite.
I think this campsite is well knowned by many people from far places as what I had observed from the camper’s car plate numbers. It might be because it is near the lake and people prefer to relax by the waters. It was crowded and has that festive but somewhat-noisy atmosphere. It was filled with foreign campers as well and I learned from online reviews that the management is not polite to the foreigners. I might agree to that due to the absence of foreign language instructions at the camp site. Overall, my first impressions of the place is just too crowded and noisy at night.
The bungalow we stayed in is fine but toilets, baths and kitchen are communal. Campers have the option to go to an onsen (hotspring) for bathing. There’s a lot of things to do at the camp such as cooking, relaxing at the lake, explore nearby places and riding a cruise across the lake.
I will give the camp’s location a five star considering the majestic surrounding views of Mt. Nantai, Lake Chuzenji and Yu river that flows towards the lake. The popular Ryuzu falls is just nearby as well but unfortunately we don’t have a chance to visit this beautiful waterfalls because of our hectic schedule. Early mornings at the camp are absolutely breathtaking and calm when everybody else are sleeping.
Overall experience and conclusion
During the days we stayed at Shobugahama Camp, my kids learned about simple, gadget-free living and just be with nature. As a mom, I want them to play outdoors without toys and I can see how happy they are being out in the open and living with different people from all ages, races and backgrounds.
Day 2 was spent hiking around Lake Yunoko and taking a bath at one of Kawaji Onsen’s bath houses. Day 3 was a visit to Italian Embassy Memorial Villa near Lake Chuzenji and a quick drive around the city of Nikko. Stay tuned for more blogs about our summer activities.
If I have a chance to go back next year for another camping, I will not choose Shobugahama Campsite for its crowded atmosphere. I’m sure there are lots of camping grounds to explore out there.
Watch on the video below to see more of our camping.