At a farm north of Tokyo, go glamping and enjoy strawberry picking.
If you want to go camping in Japan but don’t want to pitch your own tent or build your own campfire, Namegata Farmer’s Village in Ibaraki Prefecture has you covered. The farm provides a whole glamping experience, with warm cabins and tents ready for your arrival.
Its rural setting, roughly two hours east of Tokyo, making it an excellent spot for stargazing over a campfire, away from the city’s noise and stimulus.
You’ve been missing out if you’ve never tried glamping (glamorous camping). Prepare to relax and take in a different side of Japan. Because this is a farm, you can still get your hands grubby by planting or harvesting sweet potatoes, strawberries, and other vegetables.
The cabins at Namegata Farmer’s Village are repurposed shipping containers with air conditioning, comfortable mattresses, and a grilling area out front. Both the cabins and the tents can adequately accommodate two persons.
Without you having to worry about dinner, the campsite owner and resident farmer will prepare a delicious wagyu beef BBQ for you at night. Of course, it all depends on the package you choose, which starts at $18,000 per night. If you’re feeling very posh, get a glass of hot mulled wine and s’mores grilled over the clubhouse fireplace.
Strawberry picking… at night?
You can choose and eat whatever is in season because the campsite is flanked by various vegetable patches. Don’t miss the strawberry picking at night in a greenhouse with disco lights! It’ll almost certainly be the most unusual fruit-picking experience you’ll ever have.
Farm-to-table dining is a term you’ve probably heard before, but at Namegata, the farm is literally right next to the table. The wide topography of Ibaraki Prefecture makes it an agricultural gold mine; it is Japan’s second largest producer of sweet potatoes. The bacon you’ll get for breakfast comes from pigs that are fed sweet potatoes cultivated on the property.
Sweet Potato Museum
Don’t forget to take some sweet potato goodies home with you after learning about the history of sweet potatoes in Japan and watching assembly workers precisely make sweet potato treats. Your tastebuds will dance when you try the sweet potato galette and sweet potato apple pie, both of which are cooked in-house.
What You Should Know
Operation hours and fees
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Yakiimo Factory Museum is open. Mondays are closed. The cost of entry is $800.
1561 Uzaki, Namegata, Ibaraki 311-3824, Japan
Taking the bus
From Tokyo Station’s Yaesu Exit bus terminal, you can take a highway bus to Namegata Farmer’s Village. Take the bus to Kashima Jingu from Terminal 1 and get off at the Suigo Itako bus terminal. Transfer to a local bus bound for Kashima Ono and get out at Lake Echo from there. It’s only a one-minute walk to the glampsite. The journey takes approximately two hours.
Going by car
The campsite is roughly 45 minutes to an hour by car from both Narita and Ibaraki airports.