Tokyo Escapes: Summer Camping Tokyo summers can be stifling—luckily it’s easy to escape the city for a cool break from the heat.

Check out these great options in Shizuoka and Yamanashi that feature fun outdoor activities, stylish camping options, craft beer and some tasty outdoor cooking.

Camp or Glamp?

Combining traditional camping and the recent trend of “glamping,” PICA Fujiyama has opened a brand new campsite for both outdoor enthusiasts looking to get closer to nature and those whose needs are more on the luxury end of the scale. Built right at the base of Mt Fuji, the campsite spans 50,000 square meters with several accommodation options: a tent site, trailer cottages, luxury cottages and stylish glamping dome tents.

With stunning views of Mt Fuji, this campsite is also a short drive from the Fuji Five Lakes making it ideal for canoeing, kayaking, SUP and other refreshing water activities. Tours are also available, from easy walking trails around Mt Fuji to self-guided hiking and lava cave adventures you can sign up for on Asoview (www.asoview.com).

Being nestled deep in the forest, PICA Fujiyama is also a perfect place for stargazing If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch the Perseid meteor shower on August 12.

While campers can enjoy cooking at one of the barbecue stations outside, the on-site restaurant is also an option if you don’t have the energy. Inspired by “fire,” this Italian and French fine dining restaurant serves full-course meals.

Aside from Fujiyama, PICA Resorts also operates campsites across Yamanashi, Shizuoka, Kanagawa and Chichibu (Saitama) and owns a campsite on Hatsushima, an island off the coast of eastern Izu.

PICA Fujiyama
6662-10 Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko-cho, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi-ken
www.pica-resort.jp/fujiyama

Craft Camping

Craft beer and the outdoors go hand in hand. When Baird Beer moved its brewery from sleepy Numazu to the more spacious grounds of the old KOA campground in Shuzenji four years ago, they always had it in their plans to revive the campground and cabins.

A short drive away from the famous hot spring town of Shuzenji, Baird Beer stands on the banks of the Kano River, surrounded by hills and rice fields. Originally a small brew pub in coastal Numazu, Baird Beer outgrew itself in 2003 after turning on the Tokyo market to craft beer. Today Baird has several taprooms in Tokyo, Yokohama and Hakuba (Nagano), and has expanded to resort destinations such as Niseko and Nozawa Onsen, as well as recently opened its first overseas taproom in Los Angeles.

This year, the brewery started operating Camp Baird outside their main building. Following their motto, “Celebrating nature,” Camp Baird encourages campers to embrace the region by going hiking, cycling, fishing and bird watching during the day then barbecuing and enjoying Baird beer at night. Even better, it’s just a few steps to sleep beneath the stars rather than having to trek all the way home.

An easy trail hike connecting Izu’s Shizuura peaks, Mt Hottanjoyama, Mt Katsuragiyama and Mt Joyama, is a half-hour drive away or a few stations from central Shuzenji. Mt Hottanjoyama and Mt Katsuragiyama offer spectacular views of Mt Fuji and Suruga Bay, while Mt Joyama’s cliff is popular for rock climbing.

Single tent and camping van sites are available for ¥3,500 per night and ¥1,000 is charged per adult (20 years or older). This includes one Baird Beer drink from the taproom on the brewery’s third floor and access to shower facilities. All sites are close to grilling spaces, utensil cleaning areas, a central camp fire, restrooms and Baird Beer dispense and enjoyment stations. The camp also hosts craft beer and autumn harvest festivals as well as events promoting local artisans and craftspeople. Camp Baird is open everyday except Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

As Camp Baird is in its first year, the Baird Beer team is raising funds to improve the campground. This includes building The Outpost, a food and beer dispense cabin which will have a beer deck and men’s and women’s showers. They’ve started online crowdfunding, and depending on the amount donated, supporters will receive benefits including Camp Baird and beer vouchers and discounts and even a limited edition beer specially formulated for donators. To get involved, go to http://a-port asahi com/ projects/camp-baird.

Camp Baird
1052−1 Odaira, Izu-shi, Shizuoka-ken
camp.bairdbeer.com

Picnic in Style

Usami, a sleepy onsen and seafood town located on Izu’s northeastern coast, is home to Grand Cereus Village, Japan’s first “outdoor theme park” focused on picnicking. Launched by Gunma-based outdoor select shop Purveyors, this park serves up bento (Japanese lunch boxes) for visitors (although you are welcome to bring your own food). While their primary focus is eating al fresco, this pet-friendly park also has a campsite with bathrooms located nearby. Rentals for tents, tarp and picnic supplies are also available. Their other fields overlook the ocean and Usami town.

Also on site is Usami Craft Brewery and BBQ garden. During the harvest season, you can sign up for tangerine, blueberry and bamboo shoot picking.

Grand Cereus Village
3506-2 Usami, Ito-shi, Shizuoka-ken
grandcereusvillage.com