To celebrate my birthday and our wedding anniversary (yep, we decided to tie the knot on my 25th birthday back in 2015), we went on a roughly 2-hour drive to 日光まなかの森キャンプ＆スパリゾート (Nikko Manakanomori Camp & Spa Resort). This was a much-awaited getaway as it was our first time staying in a cabin. We usually go to a tent camping but this time, my husband opted for something new for the special occasions. The sky was overcast on our way to the site that’s conveniently located in Nikko, a small city away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Despite the hiding sun, the scenic views made the drive lovely.
I instantly admired the place even though the weather wasn’t cooperating. The beautiful surroundings made up for it.
It felt like living in a tiny village with fairies and dwarfs, the good and cute ones of course. This campsite allows you to go fishing, hiking, have a dip in a natural hot spring, and bask in the sound of nature while having some barbeque or setting a campfire, and a lot more. Here’s their official website for more info. Heads up, it’s only in Japanese at the moment.
The area is huge enough for a dog to tire out. My husband tried the onsen (natural hot spring) and it wasn’t bad. I also went into the public bath but I made sure that I was alone. This culture isn’t familiar to me. I can’t be naked around strangers even if they’re women. I passed on the small onsen and just quickly took a shower in that open place.
Toilets weren’t really dirty and tissue rolls were abundant. It was satisfying in some ways I didn’t anticipate. I love that it’s near some sightseeing spots which we’re planning to check out the next time we come here. The famed Shinto shrine, Toshogu is just around 15 minutes by car. We had the chance to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site with our dog, Sushi. I’ll write about it in my next post.
For now, I can only think of two downsides. First is the absence of English instructions. I was dying to know what those Japanese instructions said, especially the ones posted on the walls inside the public bath. It would be delightful for people (ehem, like me) who have limited or don’t have the ability to read Japanese.
Second is the steep rough road going to the upper areas. I noticed they’re still working on that department, though. Hopefully, it’ll be finished or at least better by the time we go there again.
Since the rain was non-stop the whole time we were there, things didn’t go exactly as planned. However, we sure did have a pleasant stay there. What mattered most to me that time was the presence of my best buddies.
Do you like camping? Have you tried camping in Japan? Let me know in the comments below! Follow me on Instagram for more photos!
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