Why you should use a camper van when visiting Japan#アウトドア #キャンピングカー
Tourists visiting Japan for the first time often use public transportations like buses and trains. The bullet train (Shinkansen) will be the most reliable and fastest way to cover vast distances in Japan and be able to visit the major sites as well.
Using a camper van will be a very different experience. Although you will not be able to get to point A to point B as fast a bullet train or an airplane but you will have the flexibility to just do what ever you want to do whenever you want to. You want to cover a certain distance for your trip but you are feeling a little sleepy, pull over to the next free stop and take nap on your super comfortable camper van equipped with the basic amenities that you anyone will ever need.
Finding a camper van
Japan Road Trip is just one of the few companies that offer camper van rentals in Japan. Our main office is located in the heart of Tokyo itself. Accessing us for your rental will be just a train ride away from every point of Tokyo. We do have customers who wants to rent the vans directly from the airport as well.
Depending on the number of people using the van you can choose from our fleet of vehicles. For foreign visitors that would want to rent a van, I would definitely recommend our vans for your next trip. Before we rent out the camper van, we conduct a short course about all the “how to’s” on a camper van which usually takes 20 to 40 minutes.
Novice camper van users and camp goers who have never had any experience going to campsites before, Japan will be the perfect destination for everyone. Campsites in Japan offer all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.
Driving in Japan
Driving in Japan is relatively easy. Most of the road signs are in English, but a navigation system is still essential. Multi-layered junctions particularly in big cities like Tokyo or Osaka will cause the navigation system to get confused and mislead you to a different road, so when visiting cities please be prepared to misguided every now and then.
Driver’s license regulation vary by country, prior you trip please double check the requirements before hopping into a camper van.
Fuel and Toll
There are a lot of gasoline stations all over Japan although majority are self service stands. The type of fuel are also color coded so there is a slight to minimal chance of you refilling the vehicle the wrong type of fuel. I would still recommend first time users to look for a manned gasoline station where there are staff waiting and ready to accommodate you anytime.
Toll can get really expensive if you are not careful choosing your routes. A regular navigation system will probably set you a route that uses tolls even though it is only 5 to 7 kilometers away. This 5 yo 7 kilometer distance would normally take you 20 to 30 minutes on a normal road and about 15 to 20 for toll roads. Check your routes and plan it thoroughly so you will not be paying extra cash for a such a small difference.
Sleeping in your camper van
I have slept inside my vehicle for quite a number of times during my stay here in Japan. Sleeping in your vehicle is very common practice here in Japan not just for the people who’s job is to be behind the wheel 24/7 but also for any common person who just wants to rest for a while to be able to get back to the road again. You can spend the night wherever you like as long as you are parked legally.
Parking areas or rest areas located mainly in the most scenic spots of Japan. These areas are called “Michi no Eki”. Road side service stations all over Japan are well equipped with all the things you need while on the road. Restaurants, spas, grocery stores etc. You name it they have it, although they vary in size and facilities.
Food and Shower
Looking for something to eat while on the road is easy even if you cannot speak Japanese. Pick a restaurant and there will be definitely pictures of food that they offer. Point and eat so to say. Got thirsty? All over Japan there is an abundance of vending machines. It offers a very wide variety of drinks that you choose from. Coffee, Soda, Energy drinks whatever you want to have I am sure they are offering it somewhere.
Taking a shower while on your road trip is easy. The Japanese bathing culture is one of a kind and campers will definitely like it because you know you are never far away from an ‘onsen’. Public baths are everywhere in Japan, but before entering please do mind the etiquette you have to maintain while using the facility.
Experience worth trying
Trying something new in your life is really important to any human being. Being in a camper van offers you flexibility of being indoors and outdoors as well. If you want to escape to your every day life but still have to work, you can accomplish this with a camper van. Or for a person who truly loves nature and just want to have a quiet and serene experience, this trip is for you.