Traveling in Japan by motorhome キャンピングカー
Mount Fuji from Ashinoko Skyline Road
Credit: Wikimedia Commons / shidax
The coastal road of Shimanami kaido trip near Hiroshima
On the road
Are you looking for an out-of-the-ordinary experience? Why not roam the roads of Japan and discover the hidden beauty of the country by yourself? With friends or family, a motorhome can be an economical solution for a trip full of magic, off the beaten track.
Enjoy the landscape
Often, the Japan Rail Pass is used to travel through several regions in Japan at the best price. Alas, the Shinkansen does not stop for passengers to take a picture of green rice fields at the foot of a mountain, or a beautiful forest in fall colors, or to take the time to walk the streets from a small country village. For a new way of exploring Japan, head out for an adventure by motorhome!
You can discover coastal roads, climb the slopes of the mountains, or reach isolated shrines or villages not served by public transport. For example, visiting the islands of Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu (three of the four main islands of the Japanese archipelago) in a motorhome offers a complete immersive experience in the heart of rural Japan.
Autumn being dry and with generally pleasant weather, it's the perfect time to go on a four-wheel adventure. Explore the many beautiful national parks where you can experience Japanese wildlife and nature. The fauna and flora of the northernmost island of Japan or the heavenly beaches of Kyushu, or perhaps the Japanese Alps or the surrounding areas of Mount Fuji, all these wonderful regions call for exploration.
Also see: Camping in Japan
Freedom and independence
From big towns to villages, expressways to small country lanes, you can create the itinerary that suits your needs. You can make an unplanned stop at a hot spring that crosses your path, and travel at your own pace. Nothing prevents you from leaving your house on wheels just outside a city, visiting it by public transport before setting out on the open road again!
With friends, family, and with younger or older children, a motorhome is suitable for all adventurers! Prepare food in the integrated kitchen, save money by combining the cost of accommodation and transport, and enjoy the safety of the open roads of Japan. Of course, you won't get the traditional experience of a ryokan, but you'll be completely independent and will discover places never mentioned in the guide books. You can also compromise and make only part of your trip in motorhome, to better enjoy the other facets of the country.
Japan is a surprisingly ideal destination for a trip of this kind. For example, in most cases public spaces are convenient and inexpensive, in addition to being spotlessly clean. Also, public baths allow you to relax and connect with locals. In addition to being one of the safest countries in the world, there are lots of things to make your life easier.
Learn about the specificities of driving in Japan, and where you can park your campervan. You will have a choice between various models of motorhome and will have to select the one most suited to your needs and desired comfort level. Be sure to have a good navigation system available in English, and stay connected using a SIM card or pocket wifi.
Japan will show you its most beautiful landscapes, and locals will offer their hospitality. In return, remember to respect the environment and of course, to make the most of your journey!
Read more: Omotenashi, Japanese hospitality