Do you enjoy camping in Japan’s beautiful countryside? Whether you live in Japan or you’re visiting the country on vacation, there are plenty of camping locations littered across the nation.
From Miyajima Tsutsumigaura Nature Park to Wataze Midori-no-Hiroba Campground, camping allows you to take in the natural wonders of Japan.
While Japan has some of the most spectacular camping grounds in the world, it’s also renowned for producing some of the best camping brands in the market.
Whether you’re looking to add a sleeping bag, tent, or survival equipment to your camping gear, going with a Japanese brand is a good move.
Japanese manufacturers offer you a focus on quality and precision, with expert manufacturing and craftsmanship. In this post, we’ll look at the best 12 Japanese camping brands worth checking out for your next trip.
The Increasing Popularity of Camping in Japan
With the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, everyone’s looking to get outside after a year of depressing lockdowns. Escaping to the countryside allows you to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and out into nature.
With things opening up across the country in anticipation of the Olympics, camping gear sales see all-time industry highs. Camping gear sales increased 35% year on year, with campers and survivalists choosing top-quality brands to add to their kit.
The Most Popular Japanese Outdoor Brands
Here are our top choices for the best Japanese camping brands available. Check out the offering and pick up your next piece of gear from one of these leading companies.
#1 Snow Peak
Snow Peak gets its name from the famed Mt. Tanigawa, one of the most spectacular peaks in Japan. Coincidently, the company’s headquarters are a stone’s throw away in Sanjo City, Niigata.
Founded in 1958 by Yukio Yamai, Snow Peak has a legacy of manufacturing high-quality camping gear. It was Yamai’s mountaineering adventures that led to him establishing the company.
He started with a custom range of mountaineering gear and later branched out into camping essentials after the brand took off.
Today, Snow Peak manufactures a wide range of mountaineering gear, camping equipment, and auto-camping kit. The brand specializes in grills, stoves, fireplaces, cookware, and cutlery for outdoor adventures.
We like the signature range of titanium drinkware, and the tarps and tents offered by Snow Peak are world-class, suitable for camping in a variety of conditions.
Take a look around the tent section of any camping store, and you’ll see plenty of dome models. Finetrack decided to buck the trend, creating unique tent designs featuring tunnels and single-pole structures.
Founded in 2004 by Yotaro Kanayama, the company has headquarters in Kobe. Finetrack range of specialized tents is suitable for alpine camping and mountaineering at altitude, offering you a range of single-person tents in an array of styles and colors.
The lightweight design of the tents makes them easy to carry up hills and mountains, and the compact design allows you to squeeze into the tightest camping spots and lots.
Our favorite is the Kamino Dome tent. This lightweight model is a little over 3-lbs, and its dome tent design is suitable for two persons.
#3 LOCUS Gear
Founded in 2009, Locus Gear has headquarters in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa. The brand focuses on providing campers and mountaineers with shelters, tents, quilts, and bivvies.
This cottage-gear manufacturer specializes in lightweight camping and mountaineering gear. We like the tarps, offering you an incredibly lightweight shelter to reduce your exposure to the elements.
Locus Gear built its brand name by incorporating the use of premium, durable, light materials, such as its DCF Cuben Fiber and Silnylon models.
Founded by Yumiko and Akira Natsume in 2011, Yamatomichi provides high-quality outdoor wear, backpacks, sleeping pads, and accessories for camping and mountaineering trips. The company has its manufacturing premises in the coastal town of Kamakura City, Kanagawa.
Yamatomichi is another producer of ultra-light camping gear, with stylish design and top-drawer materials. We love the ONE backpack, the flagship model, with availability in multiple hip belt sizes and torso lengths.
Featuring design and construction with premium materials like X-PAC, Ripstop Nylon, and Cordura, you get high-quality camping gear suitable for the professional.
While the company is an innovator in backpack design, it also has an outstanding range of sleeping pads, satchels, and woolly t-shirts for dealing with the cold around Japan’s peaks.
Founded in 1975 by Isamu Tatsuno, Montbell offers the best in down jackets, tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags. As one of the most iconic Japanese brands, it has a cult following worldwide.
Isamu Tatsuno, himself an accomplished mountaineer, started the brand to Provide campers and mountaineers with top-quality gear at an affordable price. One of the most interesting features about Montbell is that the company focuses on incorporating the Japanese principles of kinobi “function is beauty.”
We like the U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger sleeping bag, as well as the Ridge Line lightweight Pack, and our favorite down jacket in the range is the Plasma 1000, with a 1,000 fill. Despite the jacket’s cozy and warm fit, it weighs less than 5-ounces!
Founded in 1978, Soto is a Japanese Zen tradition and also the name of one of the countries leading camping and outdoor brands. The name translates to “outside,” an apt moniker for the brand.
This company has a 40-tear legacy of producing ‘dependable flaming devices’ to help you boil water or snow on the mountain or heat your instant meals.
You have plenty of options for canister and liquid fuel stoves, offering a compact, lightweight design. However, we think the companies flagship model, the “Stormbreaker SOD-372,” is our top choice, giving you a hybrid design suitable for both fuel types.
Soto also has an impressive range of triple-mix fuel canisters (isobutane, butane, and propane), offering excellent performance in the coldest weather conditions. To complement its range of stoves, Soto also offers you high-quality camping cookware.
Nanga is one of Japan’s oldest camping and outdoor brands. Founded in 1941, the company gets its name from the Himalayan mountain “Nanga Parbat.” With headquarters in Maibara City, Shiga, Nanga offers you a comprehensive range of down wear, sleeping bags, and camping/mountaineering accessories.
Unlike other brands that outsource manufacturing to China, Nanga does all its manufacturing locally in Japan, focusing on quality. The most impressive aspect of this brand is its use of the best down feathers, sourced and washed in the Mie Prefecture.
We love that Nanga offers you a lifetime guarantee on its products. You also have the option of paying extra to top-off your down in 50-gram increments.
#8 KS Ultralight Gear
Founded in 2009 in Komaki City, Aichi, KS Ultralight is the brainchild of Frenchman Laurent Barikosky. The company specializes in providing campers, hikers, and mountaineers with customized backpack options featuring ultralight materials that seem to weigh next to nothing.
KS Ultralight offers a range of backpack models, featuring design and construction with ultralight materials like X-Pac (Layers of laminated Polyester and Nylon) as well as 200D, VX21, Cordura, and Spectra diamond ripstop.
While the packs are super-light, they have limited capacity. I the wake of requests for a larger pack, KS Ultralight design a 58-liter model, increasing its capacity from the previous limit of 48-liters.
Our favorite model is the KS50. This lightweight backpack weighs under 14-ounces, and it comes with a sturdy removable frame, weighing just over 2-ounces. With the KS50, you get a 50-liter capacity and an 8.4-lbs limit for base gear, with a total weight limit of 26-lbs.
#9 ARAI TENT
Arai tents is another specialty tent manufacturer with facilities in Tokorozawa City, Saitama. The brand is comparable with other leading Japanese outdoor gear names like Puromonte and Finetrack.
The Arai tent features a classic Japanese design, with every tent going through careful manufacturing and quality control processes.
Founded in Tokorozawa City in 1965, Arai’s self-supporting Air-Rise tent series is one of the most popular ranges in Japan. We like the Arai Tent Air Rise 1 model, offering you a lightweight design with skilled craftsmanship.
The company also offers a range of shelters and sleeping bags, but the Air Rise 1 tent is the standout model in the brands offering.
As the oldest Japanese camping and outdoor brand, EverNew has some of the best camping stoves, titanium cookware, and a range of collapsible water carriers. Founded in the 1920s, EverNew has a solid reputation with mountaineers and campers.
With offices in Koto Ward, Tokyo, EverNew spent the last 90-years designing and building trustworthy cookware for the outdoors person. The company currently has its manufacturing premises in Tsubame City, Niigata, a skilled Japanese metalwork and craftsmanship hub.
Over the last two decades, EverNew designed some of the lightest and most durable camping cookware available. The companies flagship range includes ultralight titanium pans and pots, and EverNew also offers a fantastic range of camping stoves, collapsible water carriers, and mugs.
We like the titanium mug pot, and we won’t go camping without it.
As one of the new players in the outdoor equipment market, Ogawand started selling Dyneema stuff sacks, backpacks, and sacoches in 2013. The company has its manufacturing premises and headquarters in Shinjuku, Tokyo, with a cult following among outdoors people.
The company states that its mission is to produce User-friendly products that let the average camper or mountaineer enjoy high-quality outdoor experiences.
Some of the brand’s standout products include its backpack range, with harnesses available in several configurations to suit your needs. Our favorite model is the OWN backp[ack, offering you plenty of room and adjustment for hiking in any conditions.
We like the Dyneema composite stuff sacks and the sacoches, all featuring design and construction in Japan, using locally sourced materials and labor.
Ogawand’s backpacks feature durable and weather-resistant materials, including options like X-Pac, 210D Spectra Diamond ripstop, and a 3D Mesh. You have a bevy of size options, ranging from 25 to 65 liters.
Wrapping up our list, we have Heritage Outdoor. Founded in 1981, with headquarters in Azumino City, Nagano, Heritage is one of Japan’s leading outdoor and camping brands.
The company offers a range of sleeping bag Covers, tents, and sacoches to suit any environment. The company specializes in cottage-tent designs, with some of the lightest fast-packing tents available.
Coincidently, the company’s offices in the heart of the Alps in Azumino City make it an excellent venue for testing out its range of camping and mountaineering equipment.
The company also employs mountaineers, preferring to have staff on its team that is passionate about the outdoors.
Our standout in the range is the single-person 2nd-gen single-wall crossover dome, weighing less than 20-ounces. If you’re going into cold weather, we suggest purchasing the doubled-walled HI-REVO model, offering you the best choice for all seasons.
Our Top Choice for the Best Camping Destination in Japan
After running through the top Japanese camping brands, you’re probably wondering about the best destination to try out your new gear.
We’ve made our recommendations on the best brands, and now it’s time to select our top camping site in the country.
Japan has more than 3,000 campsites, from Kyushu in the south to Hokkaido in the north. If you want a Japanese camping experience you’ll never forget, we recommend visiting Miyajima Tsutsumigaura Nature Park.
The Miyajima Tsutsumigaura Nature Park offers campers everything they need in an outdoor experience. The park has several activities, including biking, hiking, and birdwatching. You have a range of facilities and amenities, including cooking utilities, fireplaces, and more – it’s the best choice for newcomers to the camping or glamping lifestyle.
Admission to the park is only 500 Yen for adults, with 50% discounts for kids. You don’t need to make a reservation, and the site has camping grounds and cabins available for accommodation.
Take a trip to the Miyajima Tsutsumigaura Nature Park, and gain access from Miyajima Pier, with the campsite being a short 10-minute ride from the gate. You’re guaranteed a life-changing camping experience and a great venue for testing your new camping equipment.