Staying at a Ryokan (Traditional Japanese Inn) with onsen and Japanese food is the typical way of enjoying a visit to Aso. But this area is also famous for stunning nature, and what better way to make the most of the natural beauty than… Camping!
But camping requires a lot of equipment and preparations, which can be a challenge when you are traveling abroad. That is why we want to introduce four camping sights in the Aso area where you can arrive empty-handed and rent everything you need to have an awesome camping experience!
Let’s get right into it!
No. 1 – Yoshiwara Gonbe Mura
Gonbe Mura is located in Minamioguni Town.
This camping area utilizes the slanted mountainside to offer a huge camping site that covers 25000 square meters!
Water is drawn and can be accessed at different points around the camping site making it very convenient. There are also designated spots where you can access electricity to charge up your phone or whatever you might need.
What you see here is Gonbe Mura’s unique take on camping. These peculiar tents are called Gonbe Domes and made using plastic greenhouses. Inside you can enjoy camping regardless of the weather and they are even equipped with wood-burning stoves to fend off the cold during winter!
If you don’t have a tent, you can always stay in one of the charming bungalows. There are many different types, big ones for larger parties or small ones for only 2 people.
You can rent everything from BBQ-set to sleeping sets at Gonbe Mura, the only thing you need to bring is the food you want to eat! Perfect for travelers who want to be close to nature.
Another greatly appreciated facility is the shower!
After having enjoyed life outside or getting sweaty while preparing the BBQ, nothing feels better than refreshing yourself by rinsing away the sweat of your labors.
At Gonbe Mura, they also have ponies (!) and you can stay at their AirBnB making this a place that, apart from camping, can be enjoyed in many different ways!
<Yoshiwara Gonbe Mura>
Address: 869-2402 Kumamoto, Aso, Minamioguni-machi, Mangan-ji 5113
Check-in 14:00 Check-out 11:00
No.2 – Kyuka-Mura Minami Aso
In the middle of Minami Aso Mura, which spreads out in front of Mount Aso’s five peaks, you can find Kyuka-Mura Minami Aso (= Rest village, Minami Aso).
And in this building right here, you can rent everything you need to enjoy a great time!
As you can see above, Kyuka-Mura also offers facilities with plentiful water available without cost!
Wide-open park-like spaces surrounded by mountains and trees lets you truly blend together with nature!
They also have these very comfortable and permanent tents that will save you the headache of tent-preparations letting you get right into the fun!
At Kyuka-Mura, they even offer the “Tegaru-ni-Camp plan (Convenient Camp Plan)” where you don’t even need to bring your own ingredients, everything is arranged at the campsite!
There are also onsens located close by setting the stage for you to have a relaxing and trouble-free camp experience in Aso!
<Kyuka-Mura Minami Aso>
Address: 869-1602 Kumamoto, Aso, Takamori Town, Takamori 3219
Camp season: From Match through July.
Check-in: 13:00 Check-out: 11:00
Website: https://www.qkamura.or.jp/en/contact/ (<- Mail inquiries possible)
No.3 – Kaze-no-Sato (The village of wind)
Our next campsite has been mentioned before, and is none other than, Kaze-no-Sato!
Recently re-opened after 3 years of closure due to the 2016 earthquake. The reason that Kaze-no-Sato re-opened was thanks to the passionate fans that kept pleading for this place not to close permanently!
One of the reasons for the great popularity is that it’s located only 50 minutes by car from Kumamoto City! There are tons of different facilities making Kaze-no-Sato a perfect choice regardless if you are going as a family or a solo-camper.
There is an observation deck that lets you enjoy the beautiful sight of Kumamoto City and on clear days you can see all the way to the sea and the prideful volcano Mount Unzen towering in the distance.
Furthermore, they also have an event stage for you to show off some dance moves or maybe even take a tune? The peculiarity of the buildings around the site itself is also worth exploring and is bound to offer many pleasant surprises.
Among the many different lodgings, these small houses on the top of the hill are equipped with shower, kitchen, toilet, bedclothes, and everything you might need. You only need to bring what you want to fill your belly with!
Another great detail is that the toilets are handicap-friendly as well!
Great for families with newly renovated, clean, and spacious facilities. There are also tents and other equipment available to rent which is a big plus for foreign travelers!
Kaze no Sato is still under renovation and there is much to do. A visit here is both a chance to reflect on the uncontrollable power of nature while also basking in its blessings.
I hope you will have the chance to stop by Kaze no Sato Camping Ground!
<Kaze no Sato Camping Ground>
Address: 1731-7 Miyayama, Nishihara, Aso District, Kumamoto 861-2405
Reception: 09:00 – 12:00, 13:00 – 17:00
Website: https://kazenosato.nishiharashoko.jp/ (Only in Japanese)
No.4 – Yusuikyo
Cold clear water flows over a riverbed of rock, Yusuikyo is a popular summer destination for many!
The best part, you can camp here as well!
If you move away slightly from the river towards the high-grounds, this is where you will find Yusuikyo’s camping grounds.
The area is calm but close enough to the river that you still can hear the murmuring of the stream.
This bungalow is located close to the river allowing you to privatize a stunning view of Yusuikyo’s popular location. It might look small but this bungalow can actually house up to 8 people making it perfect for groups or families.
You can also find these arbor-like constructions that are available for only 1000 yen/day. Great to use as a resting spot between river play or to set up your base for day-camping.
Yusuikyo has its peak in autumn when you can enjoy the red and orange autumn leaves.
This camping site also offers everything you need from cooking tools to blankets or tables. Come empty-handed and enjoy camping in one of Aso’s most popular locations!
Yusuikyo is comparatively cool in the summer making it a strong contender for camping during Japan’s hot summer days.
Address: Kumamoto, Aso, Oguni-machi, Shimojo, Taki-no-ue 4837-3
Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (recommended for camp inquiries)
Check-in: flexible, Check-out: 11:00
Website: https://yusuikyo.jp/ (Only in Japanese)
Camping, a different option when choosing how to make the most of your trip to Aso!
Buy local ingredients at any of the farmers markets or roadside stations, eat beneath a starry sky, wake up early to find a sea of clouds spreading out before your eyes. There are many reasons why camping in Aso might become the highlight of your trip!