Hi everyone! My name is Nayu and I got into camping because of the anime "Laid-Back Camp." I didn't get a chance to go right away, but I finally did last month after preparing on and off for about six months.
I decided to go to Fumotoppara Camping Ground for my first time, where you can see Mt. Fuji, because it's the real-life location of "Laid-Back Camp." Let me share with you my amazing experience and the top 3 reasons why Fumotoppara is the perfect place for your first camping trip!
What is Fumotoppara like?
Fumotoppara Camping Ground is right at the foot of Mt. Fuji. The actual camping site is way, way bigger than other camping sites, making it a favorite location for many magazine photo shoots and TV shows, not to mention the famous Asagiri JAM Festival. It takes less than two hours from Tokyo if you get on the highway. The place is so huge that you normally wouldn't need to make reservations even on weekdays, but it's been crazy packed on the weekends this winter (maybe because of "Laid-Back Camp?") that it's not unlikely to not find any parking space if you went without a reservation. I suggest making sure you have one before going.
Here are the top 3 reasons you should definitely choose Fumotoppara based on my first-hand experience.
① Fabulous local food at Asagiri-Kogen Roadside Station
Cup ramen and other simple food usually taste good when you're camping, but I loved the food sold at Asagiri-Kogen Station on the way to the site. They sell rice, veggies, meat, eggs, and other locally produced food. I bought some eggs, hotdogs, rice, and cheese, and ate them for breakfast—they were so good! Groceries were a little more expensive that what you normally get from other stores, but I absolutely suggest doing your shopping there! They even have very rich soft cream that's just perfect for a stopover.
② Complete facilities
● Hot springs
If you want to relax after a long drive, take a dip at Yurari Hot Springs. It's only 20 minutes away by car (along the way to the camping grounds). The view here is fantastic and they have different kinds of hot springs to choose from, although "Cave Hot Spring" takes the crown for the most unique one.(Rental bath and face towels included)
■ 10 AM – 7 PM
Weekdays: \1,300 Weekends & Holidays: \1,500
■ 7 PM – 10 PM
Weekdays: \1,100 Weekends & Holidays: \1,300
I think it's a good deal that all towels, including face towels, are already provided.
● Camping gear rental
There's a camping gear rental shop inside Fumotoppara that's called "La Pat Mofu." I didn't have my own portable table (camping gears are expensive!) when I went camping for the first time so I rented one here. (Make your reservation in advance.)
③ Campfire + Mt. Fuji + meteor shower = 100% happy
Night view of Mt. Fuji in front of you, campfire at your feet, and starry sky over you—there’s only one place where you can experience this trinity of breathtaking views, and that is in Fumotoppara. Once you experience it, you'll never look back. It's definitely going to be that experience that'll make you say, "I'm so totally going back there!" It's that good! You should really, really go! And don't forget to brew oolong tea on the campfire and drink it as you soak up the view of Mt. Fuji.
● Additional Tips
① Buy groceries in advance
The closest stores that sell food are convenience stores and MaxValu, and they're 20 minutes away by car. They do sell booze and junk food at the reception office, but it closes at 5 PM so I think it's better to load up on food beforehand.
② Bring a water tank
We set up our tent far from the restroom to get away from the smell, but that also meant being quite a long way from the water supply. That situation wasn't unique to us because the place was so big that some tents were bound to be far away. By any means, get a cheap tank from Daiso.
Did that set your wheels in motion yet? There's nothing more important than your first time so better make it grand! Writing this article felt like reliving my amazing experience in Fumotoppara, and I hope that my story and tips will inspire you to do your first camping trip soon. The world of camping awaits you!