Located on the stunning lake offering quality accommodation, these top 10 campgrounds by the lake are a perfect home away from home for you and your family to relax and unwind. Waking up to the chirping of birds, starting a day with a walk through the native forests, dipping your toes in the clear crystal waters, camping in the outdoors can be truly invigorating, especially when your tent is pitched in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Based on the log of navigation 2020 from NAVITIME services, here are the top 10 best campgrounds by the lake in Japan in order from Top 1 to Top 10.
Lake Yamanakako (Yamanashi)
Lake Yamanakako is the largest of the Fuji Five Lakes and has the best cycling trail in the area. The 14km trail along the lake offers a beautiful scenery with places to stop by to enjoy the wildlife such as at Nagaike Water Park. There are several campgrounds around the lakeside but of all, Odakyu Yamanakako Forest Cottage hold one of the best reputations. They are set on forested grounds along lake Yamanaka and have several different types of accommodation, including both cabins and empty camping spaces. BBQ’s and chairs are available to be rented as well as selling snacks and some cooking necessities. The elevated cottages has both the view of Mt. Fuji and Lake Yamanakako and at the 2 camping areas, guests can set up their own tents.READ MORE
- Cycling Around the Fuji Five Lakes
- Outdoor Activities
- Camping Around Mount Fuji
- Outdoor Activities
Lake Okutama (Tokyo)
Easily accessible from Tokyo and a popular place for a day trip destination, this man-made lake is located deep in the Chichibu Tama National Park, the closest national park to Tokyo. In this lakeside area, "Yama-no-Furusato Mura", literally translated as hometown village in the mountains, serves as an information center as well as campgrounds offering log cabins, campgrounds, BBQ’s, guided hiking, workshops for making wood crafts, stone crafts, potteries, and other activities in the surrounding wilderness to the visitors. Situated deep in the forest, every season, the lake changes its scenery from flowering cherry trees in spring to green in summer to a riot of autumn colors in the fall which make for new and harmonious sights to behold.
Restaurant at Yama-no-Furusato Mura
- Tokyo Metropolitan Okutama Lakeside Park Mountain Furusato Village
- Tokyo Nishitamagunokutamamachi Kawano 1740
- 9:00-17:00 * Closed at each…
Lake Suwa (Nagano)
A more for those experienced campers, Kirigamine Camp Site located further up the mountains from Lake Suwa at an altitude of 1600m, offers a field to pitch up to 100 tents in its vast grounds. Not necessarily a campground by the lake, however, along with this campground, Lake Suwa became more well known since the release of an anime, Your Name (Kimi no Nawa) back in 2016. While below the mountain, the largest lake in Nagano prefecture, Lake Suwa, offers beautiful reflective views of the surrounding mountains and sky on clear sunny days. And in winter, a natural wonder known as “The Gods’ Crossing” that only appears during the cold harsh winter when the ice forms ridges across the lake’s surface are a seasonal beauty to behold. This phenomenon occurs due to the forces of natural clash caused by the presence of a natural hot spring underneath its waters. It may sound like the last thing people may want to see a frozen lake crack, but the locals believe that this is a sign of good omen for the coming year, as it is said to be formed when the gods cross the lake to travel to the Suwa Grand Shrines. Unfortunately, these phenomenons are getting harder to see due to global warming. Winter may be too cold for camping plus the campground is closed but coming over to the lake to witness this natural beauty is recommended.
Whole view of Lake Suwa at night from Takabocchi Highlands
The Gods’ Crossing
Oshino Hakkai (Yamanashi)
Oshino Hakkai literally translated as 8 seas in the Hakkai is an open-air museum that has been put up around the largest of the ponds, with thatched-roof huts done up in a traditional style. As its name implies, there are 8 ponds fed by underground springs full of natural snow melted water that has been dripped down from Mt. Fuji. The view of Mt. Fuji from Oshino Hakkai is beautiful especially in the spring with the cherry blossoms blooming by the ponds. Because these waters are filtered, most of the ponds have pristine clear water considered to be sacred by many. While there are no campgrounds here, there are several minshuku (small accommodations with mainly Japanese-style guest rooms) nearby to stay.
Lake Chuzenji (Tochigi)
A scenic lake sits at the foot of Mt. Nantai in Nikko, Tochigi prefecture. This lake was originally formed from an eruption by Mt. Nantai, almost 20,000years ago. To this day, the surrounding areas of the lake feel relatively untouched except for the eastern end of the lake where Chuzenji Onsen, a small hot spring town was built. Over by Lake Chuzenji, there is one campground, Shobugahama Camping Site (only available in Japanese) with both cabins and empty camping space, a bathing and cooking facility and a shop selling snacks and kitchen items. WiFi is also available at the shop too. From hiking to camping, exploring the area of Chuzenji and its neighboring area boasts a lot of options for those wanting to spend a day in this naturally stunning area.
Lake Chuzenji and Mt. NantaiREAD MORE
- Lake Chuzenji
- National Parks
Lake Ashinoko (Kanagawa)
Largest Lake in Kanagawa prefecture with a view of Mt. Fuji, Lake Ashinoko is a scenic lake in the famous hot spring resort, Hakone. On such a beautiful lake shore sits the Ashinoko Camp Mura Lake-Side Villa, the only campground on the shore of this lake. Bordering on the lake and forest over a vast field, this campground offers cabins, car and tent sites, as well as a day-trip barbecue spot, restaurant, and a multi-purpose hall. Bicycles are available to rent and would be a great idea to rent one to cycle around the lake on a clear sunny day.READ MORE
- 18 of the Best things to do in Hakone
- Best Things to Do
Shirogane Blue Pond (Hokkaido)
On the outskirts of the hot spring town of Shirogane Onsen lies the Instagram famous Blue Pond of Biei, which takes its name from its deep blue colour which occurs naturally thanks to the minerals from nearby hot springs dissolved in the pond’s water. The pond has only recently become a tourist hotspot thanks to the magical atmosphere and equally magical photos which can be taken on location. Not necessary on the same premises, but by the neighboring area of the hot spring town of Shirogane Onsen offers Shirogane Yaei Camp Site with cabins, a field to pitch up to 300 tents, and toilets (closed during the winter, from early October through early June).
Lake Biwa (Shiga)
Believed to be one of the world’s oldest lakes, Lake Biwa, named its resemblance—in shape—to the biwa lute carried by the goddess Benzaiten, and the Omi region (the former name of Shiga Prefecture where the lake lies) were home to the earliest civilizations in the country and have long been celebrated in song and poetry. There are a couple of campgrounds around the lakeshore, but of all, the popular one is the Okubiwako Campground with a villa, cottage and a field to pitch tents. From fishing to renting boats to bathing in the lake to other outdoor activities, there are plenty to do while staying at this campground.
Lake Kawaguchiko (Yamanashi)
As one of the Fuji Five Lakes, Lake Kawaguchiko is a resort area at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Only about 90minutes via bus or express train from Tokyo, this lake is the most easily accessible of the Fuji Five Lakes. In the central area of Fuji Kawaguchiko area, the lake, and other various entertainment, including hot springs and local cuisines like hoto noodles can be enjoyed. At Fuji Mangan Village campground located close to the lake, the facility offers mobile homes, a field to pitch a tent, as well as a day-trip barbecue spot.READ MORE
- Kawaguchiko’s Natural Living Centre and its Fruit-Related Activities
Lake Towada (Aomori)
On the border between Aomori and Akita prefectures, lies Lake Towada, one of the biggest lakes on Honshu. The surrounding area is famous for its beautiful nature as well as being one of the top destinations in the entire country for watching colorful autumn foliage. On such a lake shore, Utarube Campground in Towada-Hachimantai National Park offers a cottage and a camping ground to pitch tents overlooking Mt. Hakkoda on a sunny day. Since the campground is in a more less untouched natural environment, from the shining azure waters of the lake to the soft light streaming through mountain groves, campers can enjoy its nature to the fullest.READ MORE
- Lake Towada
- World Heritages