Camping Data in Japan

About 10 millions Japanese experienced "autocamping" at least one time in the year of 2000. Thus the "auto-camping" population has continuously decreased from its peak in 1996 with 15.8 millions. In spite of the still sluggish economy, however, this figure itself witnesses that the autocamping took its roots in the life style of Japanese people. Japan Auto Camping Federation conducted a research on this popular outdoor leisure and analyzed it from several perspectives. Here you will see a few of the results.


The majority of Japanese campers are thirties to forties in age. They have two children on an average, which is higher than the national average of 1.4 children. From this fact we may conclude that children motivate their parents to the "family camping".

A typical Japanese camper drives a sport utility vehicle and stays in a dome-type tent. They preferably use a "tarp" (rainproof sheet) as a shelter not only from rain but also from burning sunshine, especially in summer season. But the tarp is absolutely defenseless against mosquitoes. This is the reason why screen-type tents with walls made of net has been developed; air can go through meshes of the net but no insects. So it is a natural course that this new type of tent gradually replaces the tarp.


There are approximately 3,270 campsites in Japan, of which 1,286 are classified as "autocampsite". An autocampsite has 7.5ha with 60 pitches on average that can accommodate 300 people. 73,000 pitches in total have capacity of 370,000 campers. A percentage of private campsites are 27% while public campsites have a percentage of 63.8%. Occupancy rates of campsites are 18% due to the minor usage on weekdays and in the off-season. This low occupancy rate results in the high campsite fees, which is 4,598 Yen on average.

109 autocampsites, a little less than 10% of 1,286 sites in total, are classified by numbers of stars according to the quality level. Japan Autocamping Federation has qualified only five campsites with five stars which shall certify that the facilities of the campsites are of the highest standard on the international level. They are followed by 24 campsites with four stars, 23 campsites with three stars, 33 campsites with two stars and 24 campsites with one star.

Recreational Vehicle

The category "Recreational Vehicle" or "RV" in the Japanese terminology includes all kinds of sport utility vehicles, typically four-wheel driven, except motorhomes and camping trailers. In the past year, 3,720,000 automobiles in total had been sold in Japan, of which 2,076,000 units were RV. That is to say, almost every second Japanese is a RV owner. This fact is more remarkable compared with the data five years ago when only every fourth had RV.

The number of caravans (trailers) and motorcaravans (mobile homes) that exist in Japan is 335,751 which corresponds to 0.4% of the total number of the automobiles registered in Japan (71,600,000 units). The percentage of the motorcaravans overwhelmingly excels that of the caravans with 98.9% (331,935 units) and 1.1% (3,8162 units) respectively. This very low number of the caravans is mainly due to the road conditions being not suitable for towing a caravan. Moreover parking spaces are too expensive to rent both for a passenger car and a trailer. In the past 10 years, 9619 caravans have been imported, of which, however, 6,600 units are used as destination camping units which are fixed on the campground.

Visual Statistics of Autocamping in Japan
Age of CamperNumber of Children
Household IncomeCamping in a Year
Style of CampingType of Automobile
Number of Caravans & MotorcaravansCaravans in Stock

Source:White Paper for Autocamping in Japan, Japan Autocamping Fedearation

Mark of Asia Pacific Commission

Japanese Site