Luxurious camping facilities booming across Japan
An increasing number of localities across Japan are developing facilities for luxurious camping – recently dubbed “glamping” – in an effort to reinvigorate their economy.
Glamping is a word combining “glamorous” and “camping”. Thought to have been created in Britain around 2005, its main features are cottages and permanently established tents so users can save time and not have to bring and set up their own tents. Beds and sofas are also provided for a comfortable stay. Some sites are staffed for the preparation of barbecues or camping fires.
These high-end outdoor accommodations have been booming in the nation as their convenience and hotel-like services are a draw for users. The central government has also begun to study taking advantage of glamping to secure more foreign visitors.
In July, an outdoor facility named Stagex Takashima opened at Lake Biwa on a shore in Takashima, Shiga Prefecture.
On the about seven-hectare site that commands a view of mountains to the west of the lake, 10 cabins and six permanent tents are scattered as overnight accommodation units. Families and other users were seen playing badminton and tossing a frisbee on a large lawn.
Every accommodation unit has beds and sofas. Each cabin is equipped with a bath and air conditioning. Barbecues showcase locally sourced vegetables and meat.
The facility stands on the grounds of a former Michi no Eki roadside rest area. The city government closed down the Michi no Eki in April 2016 as the number of visitors stagnated. A real estate developer in Osaka Prefecture then refurbished the rest area into a glamping facility.
Use of the facility is not cheap as the room rate for one night starts at ¥48,000 (about USD430). Dinner is not included, but the facility has had almost no vacancies on weekends