Fukushima takes camping to a whole new level of luxury with ‘glamping’

15 October 2017

[Translated by the Japan Times]“Glamping” - i.e., camping but with the comforts of modern amenities - has been growing in popularity in Fukushima Prefecture as more people look to bring a new level of luxury to the great outdoors.

Koriyama-based Magonote Travel hosted a one-day tour in mid-September to introduce cushy ways to take in the splendors of Shidahama Beach on Lake Inawashiro.

Around 40 people from and around the city of Koriyama took part in the tour, co-organized by Fukushima University associate professor Akiko Endo’s laboratory.

The participants gathered in Koriyama before heading to the beach by bus. Those who live in the city were also provided with taxi services between their homes and the gathering spot.

The glamping excursion itself took place at a private beach located next to a local hotel, Lakeside Banko, in Shidahama Beach. Wooden sofas, tables and beds were placed at the campsite by the lake near the beach, giving the area a tropical feel.

The glampers enjoyed beer, wine, highballs and soft drinks at a bar while they waited for marshmallows to roast by a campfire.

The tour also included 3½ hours of special activities, including stand-up paddle boarding, yacht cruising, hands and feet aroma massage and hot spring bathing at the Lakeside Banko hotel.

Those who joined the yacht cruise, conducted in cooperation with the Koriyama Yacht Club, were excited to sail under the gaze of Mount Bandai, with many saying it was their first time on such a vessel.

Aroma massage was also popular among women, who made up 80 percent of the participants, as it afforded them a way to unwind amid nature.

After the glampers worked up at appetite during their chosen activities, it was then time for the much-awaited sunset dinner.

Hot meals were prepared in a kitchen car and served buffet style. Basking in the warm glow of the sunset, the guests enjoyed the dishes that featured seasonal vegetables from Koriyama.

“We don’t have to bother about preparing our own meals. So we can all relax and enjoy the outdoors,” said Yukiko Takita, a 72-year-old company executive who participated in the event. “It’s also nice to be able to enjoy freshly baked food prepared in a kitchen car.”

Using the monitoring tour as a stepping stone, Magonote Travel is planning to introduce similar tours across Fukushima.

“We are planning take the kitchen car not only to glamping sites but also to farms and orchards to host food camps,” said Shonoshin Yamaguchi, 47, president of Magonote. “We want to spread the appeal of Fukushima in new styles.”

For inquiries, call Magonote Travel: 024-945-1313.