Hello! I'm Kaori Sakai, the "van girl" obsessed with car camping. Recently, a friend and I went for a 1.5-hour drive down to Kanagawa Prefecture's Miura Peninsula and stayed at the RV park called "RV Park Miura." Experience with me as I revisit my wonderful stay at RV Park Miura and re-explore the driving spots on Miura Peninsula!
But wait, what's an RV park?
An RV park is a camping ground for recreational vehicles that are currently very popular in the US, Europe, and Australia. RV parks began to spread all over Japan in 2010 through the efforts of Japan Recreational Vehicle Association (JRVA). Currently, there are about 120 RV parks in Japan that are fully equipped with toilet and electric facilities.
Going to RV Park Miura!
I made our parking reservation at the online booking site Carstay. It's very convenient to be able to see the parking availability and complete the reservation online.(Click here and see details of RV Park Miura)
We left Tokyo on a Saturday evening and arrived at the park on the same night! You don't have to get up early in the morning to drive there. It's so much easier to just go there at night, as the roads are very quiet. And when you arrive, simply upload a picture of the white Carstay cone and your plate number, and you're checked in!
Reason #1: Immaculate Facility
The facility was fully equipped with hot shower, toilet with electronic bidet, washer and dryer, washstand, water supply, dump station, and everything else that you'd ever need in your short stay. To top it off, the whole place was cleaned thoroughly by the owner Mr. Matsuo everyday that even the wet areas like bathroom and kitchen were sparkling clean! All the ladies would love it!
First, the toilet seat was always warm so it's very pleasant to sit on even in the winter. Next, there's electricity in the washroom so it's convenient for women who need to dry their hair or put on make-up. (But you shouldn’t stay there too long for consideration of others.) Mr. Matuso said that a lot of girls travel together and stay in his RV park. That's a good thing to know for me ♪
Reason #2: Easy nearby shopping
When you arrive at your destination, there is always something that you've forgotten or need to buy. In my case, I sometimes get the sudden urge to drink carbonated water at night, or go for a quick run at the grocery store and eat some snack in the late afternoon. Thankfully, there was a 7-11 just 200 meters away from the park and a grocery store (Harada Supermarket) just 2 kilometers away that you could walk to easily. And should you want to eat fresh Miura fish, the park also had 2 large kitchen sinks to clean fish at ♪
Reason #3: Good night sleep (Zzz...)
RV Park Miura is located in a quiet residential area that's surrounded by farmland so it's peaceful at night. Even for people who worry about possibly loud campground neighbors who use up electricity throughout the night—no worries. You will fall into a deep slumber ♪
By the way, Mr. Matsuo used to do backpacking himself and decided to move to Miura because of his particular desire to accommodate car campers in this area. I really felt his warmth and graciousness to make me feel at home and comfortable.
Our little camping adventure didn't stop at the campground as the peninsula was blessed with stunning places to see. Prepare for a ride to the top 5 driving spots near RV Park Miura that we all visited on Sunday!
① Soleil Hill
A perfect place to go with your family, friends, and significant other to visit seasonal botanical gardens, harvest fruits and vegetables, and pet animals. There are also a wide variety of sports facilities, barbecue areas, and campgrounds that even children as young as elementary school age can enjoy. Since I live in Tokyo, I didn't have a lot of opportunities to bond with nature but Soleil Hill provided that for me. Hot baths in the area also rejuvenated me after playing hard!
② Kawazu Chery Blossoms
About 1,000 Kawazu cherry blossom trees bloom within a 1-kilometer stretch along the Keihin Kyuko railroad tracks beginning February to March. The flowers are remarkable with their dark pink petals. I actually just happened to see it while driving but I learned that people from all over the country, in fact, travel just to see the spectacular display. The whole area comes to life even more when night falls as the trees are lit up with radiant lights, adding to the cozy atmosphere!
A Japanese island located at the southernmost tip of the Miura Peninsula where you can enjoy plenty of marine sports like fishing and diving. In addition, there are the popular dating spot "Jogashima Lighthouse," picnic area "Jogashima Park," and the famous sightseeing spot "Beachside Hakushuhien" that's perfect for barbecues and viewing hydrangea flowers. When I visited, I was so lucky to see Mt. Fuji at sunset, which was truly a magnificent view to behold! I totally recommend this place to photographers!
④ Maholova Minds Miura
Just a 10-minute drive hotel from RV Park Miura. Inside the hotel sits a natural hot spring that wells out from 1,500-meter underground. I spent ¥900 ($9) when I went there and the women's area included one indoor bath and an outdoor bath. The whole place was very spacious and allowed for full relaxation. It was the place to go after our drive ♪
⑤ Tatsumi Maru Fishermen's Market
Without a doubt the place to buy gifts! Tatsumi Maru is a fishermen's market direct from the boat with fresh seasonal fish. I bought wakame (edible seaweed) here for making Miso soup and it's much more flavorful than the one's you can usually get at grocery stores. They also give out special recipes so your culinary skills will surely get better!
What did you think? There's so much more that I wanted to talk about here, like all the marine sports, fabulous seafood, and gourmet restaurants with special menus like tuna ramen, but unfortunately I can't write them all here. What I can assure you, however, is that RV Park Miura in Miura Peninsula offers one of the best places to let you experience the sea life in Japan. Come and enjoy the drive!
Van Girl adventures continue. See you next time!