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    • Spring
      • Eating Wild in Japan

        Eating Wild in Japan

        Winifred Bird's latest book is an introduction to the world of sansai (mountain vegetables) and foraging in Japan.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkaido

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Northern Tohoku’s Top 5 Spring Hikes

        Chase the cherry blossoms north and enjoy five of Tohoku’s best hikes this spring.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.

        Haga Farm Spring Glamping in Tochigi

        Haga Farm and Glamping in Tochigi opened in August 2020, and it has quickly become a popular escape for Tokyoites.
    • Summer
      • Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Climbing Mt. Fuji Outdoor Japan

        Peaking in 2021: Climbing Mt. Fuji

        Thinking of climbing Mt. Fuji this summer? We talk to Mt. Fuji guides on best practices for scaling Japan's highest mountain.

        Japan Camping Guide

        Check out our picks all the way from Hokkaido to the Okinawa Islands and then plot your perfect Japan camping adventure.
        Japan's Digital Nomads Van Life in Japan

        Japan’s Digital Nomads

        Adventure couple Ruth Aisling and Bappa Shota explores Japan by van.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endangered Wildcats

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
    • Autumn
      • Pow Bar Founder Megumi Scott

        Beyond the Brand: Pow Bar

        An interview with Megumi Scott, the founder of Niseko brand Pow Bar.
        Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Mountain Biking in Japan

        Guide Lines: Autumn Mountain Biking in Japan

        Check out these mountain biking parks throughout Japan.
    • Winter
      • Early Bird 2021-22 Japan Ski

        Early Bird Ski Deals for 2021-2022

        Don't miss out on these early bird season pass and lift package deals for Japan's ski resorts.

        Pacific Solo

        Preacher-tu...
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
    • All Regions
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    • Ocean and Beach
      • Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
        Outdoor Japan Shimoda

        Blue Waves and Black Ships in Shimoda

        Shimoda may be famous for its white sandy beaches and surfing, but it also played a major role in shaping the Japan we know today.
    • River and Lake
      • Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endanger...

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Iriomote Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote Activity Guide

        A guide to Iriomote's outdoors, hiking, diving, cultural experiences and accommodation.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkai...

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor A...

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
        video

        Shikoku Road Trip: Kochi ...

        Mountainous forests and coastal towns dominate most of the prefecture, where visitors will find enterprising locals and nature guides working to revitalize their communities. Shikoku’s winding roads are best explored by car.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • Matagi Akita Tohoku Sustainable Living

        Tracking Akita’s Matagi Hunters

        Akita in the northern Tohoku region is home to the Matagi, hunters who follow an ancient and sustainable way of hunting, foraging and life.
        Early Bird 2021-22 Japan Ski

        Early Bird Ski Deals for 2021-2022

        Don't miss out on these early bird season pass and lift package deals for Japan's ski resorts.
    • Travel
      • Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Matagi Akita Tohoku Sustainable Living

        Tracking Akita’s Matagi Hunters

        Akita in the northern Tohoku region is home to the Matagi, hunters who follow an ancient and sustainable way of hunting, foraging and life.
        Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
    • Food and Drinks
      • Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Matagi Akita Tohoku Sustainable Living

        Tracking Akita’s Matagi Hunters

        Akita in the northern Tohoku region is home to the Matagi, hunters who follow an ancient and sustainable way of hunting, foraging and life.
        Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
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      • Yuji Hirayama Urban Base Camp

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        One of Japan's top rock climbers Yuji Hirayama has opened Urban Base Camp, a new bouldering gym in the heart of Tokyo.
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        2021 Summer Music Festivals in Japan

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        Summer Events Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        2021 Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these fireworks festivals held throughout Japan this summer and autumn.
        Summer Festivals in Japan

        2021 Summer Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these traditional matsuri festivals throughout Japan this summer.

No Frills, Simple Outdoor Fun – Muji Campgrounds in Japan

Think MUJI and you probably think in earth tones. The popular brand was built on simple, organic designs and well-made, fashionable goods. Would it surprise you that MUJI also owns and operates three campgrounds in Japan? Probably not; it only seems natural.

Getting back to nature. Leaving behind the excesses of modern life.  Ah, camping. It is the kind of contemplative, sit-down and recharge-your-batteries thing that every urbanite needs.

MUJI, whose award-winning minimalist designs have led to wild success in Japan and overseas, have applied the same concepts to creating camping areas that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Camping and MUJI are both frill-less, so it is only natural they found each other, right? I went to MUJI HQ to find out more. 

One of the first things I wanted to know, as I sat down with MUJI Outdoor manager Masato Ishikawa, was why MUJI decided to open campgrounds in the first place.

“We wanted something to bring an extra dimension to our customers’ lives,” he explains. “We have clothing, household goods and food, but we also wanted recreation for our customers. This was where MUJI Outdoor came from.” 

The locations of the three campgrounds MUJI operates are Niigata, Gifu and Gunma, three areas well known for outdoor recreation. All are beautiful, blue and green bastions of classic Japanese scenery.

Each is situated in the highlands, at high altitudes where summers are cool and the air crisp. Hiking, kayaking and fishing await. It makes me want to pack up a tent and head out right now. What else do I need?

“That’s right,” he adds. Apparently, MUJI provides everything from boats, tents, fishing rods—you name it. 

This is something that particularly interested me. Taking your kids back to nature can be a rewarding, special experience but can lead to headaches; temper tantrums, kids getting sick, falling out of trees, getting lost, insect bites and other critters and no, Jimmy, don’t pick up that snake.
 

For parents eager to let their kids experience the outdoors but worried about the potential pitfalls, MUJI Outdoor seems to provide a good balance. I asked what makes MUJI great for families.

“We have many activities for adults and children alike,” Ichikawa explains, “and also many classes for children to take part. Popular ones include kayaking and making stone-fired pizza.” 

However, there seems to be much more to do than he modestly admits. Classes for seemingly everything outdoor-related, from making birdcalls to learning how to fly-fish, are available to those willing to line up for them.

Adults are not left out of the fun either. At the Gunma campsite between Aug. 24-26, there will be a Summer Jamboree with live concerts featuring reggae and R&B artists. Other activities for kids and adults include an outdoor triathlon, mochitsuki (traditional way of making rice cakes) and various arts and crafts classes. 

This summer, when you are sweating it out downtown shopping for new organic pillow cases with the kids, you might want to consider escaping the heat and crowds and getting back to nature—MUJI-style.

“Just don’t forget to bring your raincoat,” Ishikawa warns me, “and make sure to book the kayaking well in advance.” 

MUJI Campgrounds
For reservations, call (03) 5950-3660 or visit the MUJI Outdoor Website at
www.mujioutdoor.net.

MUJI Tsunan Campground
津南キャンプ場
Location: Tsunan, Niigata
Address: Kamigouteraishi, Tsunan-machi, Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata-ken / 新潟県中魚沼郡津南町上郷寺石

MUJI Kampanya Tsumagoi Campground
カンパーニャ嬬恋キャンプ場
Location: Tsumagoi, Gunma
Address: Baragi Kogen, Hoshimata, Tsumagoi-mura, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma-ken / 群馬県吾妻郡嬬恋村干俣バラギ高原

MUJI Minami Norikura Campground
南乗鞍キャンプ場
Location: Takayama, Gifu
Address: Nenohara Kogen, Takane-machi, Takayama-shi, Gifu-Ken / 岐阜県高山市高根町子ノ原高原

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