I was concerned when I first heard about Urban Camping Japan. My mother and I had bought tickets for 7 weeks to Japan. At that point, the worst that could of happened would be for us to be stuck in Tokyo, then as time passed we raised more money and we could travel further afield. By the time we boarded the plan we had saved/spent $10k USD to travel Japan.

Our first trial was just outside the Tokyo Imperial Palace (hidden) because we still had our American ways. We had gone into the experience assured that many people biked, hiked, traveled Japan and did the exact same thing we were going to do: Urban Camp. This meant that we would be finding public locations and set up home. Obviously we would be considerate, set-up late, pack-up early, and leave no trace; unlike some basic assumptions people come to when I first mention it to them. They believe that we would be like American homeless: dis-respectful, rude, and disgusting (of course not all homeless do this, but that is the general image, I’ve seen many around my current apartment).

Throughout our travels we had locals come up and make sure we would be warm, dry, and free of mosquitoes. None asked why we were doing it, none asked why we didn’t have a hotel. Many cared for our comfort and asked about our travels. We were able to show them our SMR hammock system, assure them we would be warm, dry, and mosquito free; we were also able to chat about some of the amazing places we had seen in Japan and the United States.

We found around 20+ amazing locations all around the country and would love to share what we had discovered. Of course you don’t have to use these, but in many of the posts we found the locations were far outside major cities and a little closer to stealth camping.

Urban Camping Japan

Days UsedLocale PhotoCityCoordinatesDescription
2 & 47Imperial Palace Urban Camping JapanImperial Palace, Tokyo35°40'39.6"N 139°45'29.8"ERight across the road from the Imperial Palace
3Yokohama Urban CampingPortside Park, Yokohama35°28'00.8"N 139°37'48.1"EOne of our favorite spots, a little cold, due to the breeze, but amazing
6Kyoto Urban CampingMaruyama Park, Kyoto35°00'13.1"N 135°46'45.6"EFell asleep to the sounds of gongs and Shrine hymns
7Kyoto Urban CampingSagakamenoocho, Kyoto35°00'54.2"N 135°40'15.8"EA field of bamboo and pretty easy to access, a little out of the way
8Himeji Urban CampingHimeji Castle, Himeji34°50'14.2"N 134°41'28.4"EThe only place we were asked to leave, but they waited until 5 am, so we had a good nights rest
12Miyajima Urban CampingOhmoto Park, Miyajima Island, Near Hiroshima34°17'38.1"N 132°18'50.0"EWe didn't feel comfortable Urban Camping in Hiroshima, and wanted to see the famous Floating Torii. Easy walk and beautiful monkey sounds to fall asleep to
13Beppu Urban CampingBeppu Park, Beppu33°16'52.1"N 131°29'33.3"ESurrounded by the Seven Hells and lots of bath houses. One of our favorite shots of the hammocks
14Dinosaur Park Urban CampingDinosaur Park, Sakurajima31°35'31.6"N 130°36'06.1"EDidn't get to sleep under the dinosaurs, but did have a great set-up with kitchen, great sink, upstairs, and friendly hawk
15 & 20Kagoshima Urban CampingKagoshima31°35'40.9"N 130°33'50.1"ENear the boardwalk and easy access to ferry's and train
19Inakahama Beach CampingInakahama Beach, Yakushima30°24'21.7"N 130°26'00.6"EAcross the street from the Turtle Egg Laying. In the brush, but close to really nice bathroom and a little more hidden for great sleep.
22Osaka Urban CampingTempozan Ferris Wheel, Osaka34°39'26.0"N 135°25'57.1"EUp the mound in the park right next to the Ferris Wheel. Can take a Ferry across the river to train station and convenience store. Train stop for Osaka Universal Studios
24-26Shirahama Urban CampingShirarahama Beach, Shirahama33°40'54.7"N 135°20'43.4"EMost beautiful beach and surrounded by palm trees. Close convenience store, grocery store, and local bathhouse.
27Kii-Tanabe Urban CampingKii-Tanabe33°46'30.1"N 135°30'14.5"EOn the walkway from a parking lot to the visitor center. Watch out for dead trees, they don't hold weight. Across the road from the shrine and beginning of Kumano Kodo trail. Only has drink vending machines.
30Nagoya Urban CampingNagoya35°10'56.9"N 136°53'44.4"EA major intersection between Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto; also a major city to Toyota (and their factory tour).
31Yamaguchi Urban CampingYamaguchi34°10'49.5"N 131°28'33.0"EOn a ledge in the park by the library. Easy walk from the Train Station
33Matsue Urban CampingMasuda34°40'47.0"N 131°50'36.7"EReally close to the train station, good bathroom for cleaning up/washing clothes. Close to a grocery store.
35Wajima Urban Camping JapanWajima37°23'29.2"N 136°54'33.9"EA little more secluded, but easy walk to the bus stop to a hundred rice fields and Kanazawa
36Niigata Urban Camping JapanNiigata Park37°54'53.6"N 139°02'21.8"ECentrally located and near the river
37 & 38Matsumoto Urban Camping JapanMatsumoto36°13'41.8"N 137°58'04.0"EReally close to the train/bus stations, above the bathroom and car garage. Also near a grocery store.
39Niigata Urban CampingNiigata Seaside37°55'52.2"N 139°02'22.8"EA bus ride and walk away from the train station, but right on the Sea of Japan
41Akita Urban Camping JapanAkita39°43'12.9"N 140°07'31.0"EA major train station with Shinkansen terminal. Has turtles in a lake near the park.
42 & 43Sapporo Urban CampingNakajima Park, Sapporo43°02'50.8"N 141°21'14.9"EA train ride away from the main terminal, exit right onto the park, secluded and right next to the bathroom.
44Okayama Urban Camping JapanOkayama34°40'18.4"N 133°55'23.6"EA little park next to a school, a walk away from the train station. A great way-point to Shikoku Island.
46Mitaka Urban Camping JapanInokashira Park, Mitaka, Tokyo35°41'51.3"N 139°34'19.5"EA suburb of Tokyo, next to a zoo and famous anime creator Studio Ghibli Museum

2 thoughts on “47 Days of Urban Camping Japan

  1. I’m planning to do the same thing when I visit Japan in March, 2018. How were you able to charge your electric appliances? Thank you for your excellent tips!

    1. Hello xd, Sorry this is a bit late. I charged electronics in the few hotels we stayed in and on trains. We went with very few electronics and never really used the internet, so we took extra batteries for our camera and only needed to charge the phones every once in a while.

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