Adventure in Hokkaido Start here
We can outfit our eight-seat vans with suitable camping equipment so you can take advantage of the many, many camping areas around Hokkaido. (More information on camping spots can be found below.) While our vans are not custom-built campers, they are roomy for the more independent traveller. The expansive double mattress (140 by 192 cm) we install over the existing folded-down seating is very comfortable! Also available are rental tents to take along with you in the Van for those stunning Hokkaido summer evenings. Sorry, our camping kits not available during winter, its just too cold to go camping in winter here!
Equipment available for hire with the Vans include the following -
• Van Curtains
• Large cutting Board
• Plates X 2
• Bowls X 2
• Salad Bowl
|• Egg Spatula||• Ladle||• Teal Towels|
|• Spoons X 2||• 2 X Knives||• 2 X Forks||• 2 X Cups||• Paper Towels|
|• Sauce Pan||• Tongs||• Hot water kettle||• Can Opener||• Vegetable Peeler|
|• Bottle Opener||• Dish Cleaning Bucket||• Dish cleaner||• Brush for cleaning|| |
• Camping Table
|• Pillows X 2||• Gas Cooker|| |
• Cooler Box
|• Water Tank||• Picnic Seats X 2|
• All weather picnic mat
• Camping Lamp
• Rubbish Bags
• Bug Nets for windows
|• Fitted Sheet|
We have an English-language Garmin GPS System for Hokkaido, including over 250 waypoints of public camp sites around Hokkaido.
To use your own smart device we have phone holders and USB Chargers in all the vans. We recommend maps.me as a off line maps app solution - this will work even when your smart device is Airplane mode as it uses the GPS chip and no data!. Just download the app then download the Hokkaido maps to your device and you are good to go. After booking confirmation we will also send you our waypoints map from our maps page here - Hokkaido Campsites Map - you can upload these waypoints to your own device for easy navigation to all the camping spots - great way to plan the trip and your destinations.
Where can you camp?
Hokkaido in the summer is the Holy Grail for road touring in Japan. Japanese sometimes refer to Hokkaido as Dekaido, or The Big Road. Lush green countryside, immaculate waterways and empty country roads await you if you decide to rent our camper van or rental car and travel the island.
Camping based out of your rental car or van entirely possible here. There are a myriad of options available for staying based out of your vehicle from immaculately kept AUTOCAMPING GROUNDS, MICHI NO EKI (well-appointed roadside rest stops) and even FREEDOM CAMPING - the option to pull up at a deserted riverside and set up camp. Here we will take you through your three main options should you wish to rent a Van with us for you next tour of Hokkaido.
Hokkaido Auto Camp Grounds
By our last count there were over 350 campgrounds including 100 Auto Camp Grounds around Hokkaido. At the Auto Camp Grounds you pay for a Campsite and generally you can park next to your space should you wish to pitch a tent. (We offer a camping set with our vehicles including a tent as option!) You pay for the tent site regardless if pitching a tent or not and can just stay in the Van should you wish. Prices start from FREE to around 1000 JPY per person per night (check out our map). Services included on-site are showers, restrooms, sewer, electricity, water, and so on.
Public Camp Grounds are very similar, the main difference being you may have to park at a parking lot and make your way to the campsite. Most locations supply a cart to carry your gear to your final destination.
Some camps even have hot springs, tennis courts, dog runs, and very kid-friendly playgrounds. The campgrounds by rivers, coastline and lakes can be in stunningly beautiful spots. For example, Lake Toya has the beautiful Nakatoya Camping Ground (only 300 yen per adult) where you can camp right on the lake ñ even open fire is allowed there.
Michi No Eki
There are over 114 Michi No Eki (Roadside Stations) Hokkaido and they can be found all over the place, though mainly on the main roads and highways. Michi No Eki are fantastic places to stop and refuel.
At a Michi No Eki you will find plenty of parking, clean toilets 24 hours and sometimes even showers. Most of the time there will be a shop or shops that offer hot Japanese-style cafe food, souvenirs and a small convenience store. Sleeping in your rental car at one of these rest stops is not counted as camping here in Japan, and as such you allowed to rest for the evening.
Japan does not have general "right to access" laws like Europe, so freedom camping on public land is theoretically illegal and camping on private property obviously requires the landowner's permission.
That said, both rules are only loosely enforced here and there's a bit of a tradition of "urban camping" in Japan. Simply put, if you pitch up a tent or even sleep in your rental van in an out-of-the-way place so that you don't disturb anybody and don't make a mess, you're unlikely to be disturbed either. This is doable even on some of the beaches. Hokkaido being one of the places in Japan where wide open spaces are abundant, along with out of the way rest stops, there are places you can easily stay if you are careful and polite. Generally, if asked to move on, police will simply check your ID. (Always have your passport on you!) and move you along. Personally, we love some of the beaches here and parking the rental Van up at sunset and lighting a small fire with driftwood can be fantastic.