Namegata Farmer’s Village
Go glamping and 'disco' strawberry picking at a farm north of Tokyo.
If you want to go camping in Japan but can’t be bothered pitching your own tent or starting a campfire from scratch, Namegata Farmer’s Village in Ibaraki Prefecture has got you covered. The farm offers a full glamping experience, with cozy cabins and tents already set up and waiting for you.
Its countryside location, about two hours east of Tokyo, makes it a great place for stargazing around a campfire, away from all the noise and over-stimulation of the city.
If you’re new to glamping (glamorous camping), you’ve been missing out. Get ready to kick back and enjoy a different side of Japan. Since this is a farm, you still have the chance to get your hands dirty by planting or harvesting sweet potatoes, strawberries and more!
Glamping Ibaraki style
The cabins at Namegata Farmer’s Village are actually repurposed shipping containers outfitted with an air conditioner, snug beds, and a deck out front for grilling. Both the cabins and tents can fit up to two people comfortably.
At night, the campsite owner and resident farmer will hook you up with a grand wagyu beef barbecue without you even having to lift a finger. This, of course, all depends on what package you choose — starting from ¥18,000 a night. If you’re feeling really fancy, opt for the hot mulled wine and s’mores roasted from the comfort of the clubhouse fireplace.
Pick strawberries… at night?
The campsite is surrounded by several vegetable patches so you can pick and eat whatever is in season. Don’t miss the nighttime strawberry picking in a greenhouse decked out with disco lights! It’s likely the most unique fruit picking experience you’ll ever have.
You may have heard of farm-to-table dining before, but at Namegata, the farm is literally right next to the table. Ibaraki Prefecture’s open landscape makes it an agricultural goldmine — it’s the second biggest producer of sweet potatoes in Japan. The bacon you’ll be served for breakfast comes from pigs who are fed the sweet potatoes being grown onsite.
Sweet Potato Museum
Speaking of sweet potatoes, have you ever noticed how they have a tendency to make you pass gas? Well, now you do thanks to the Namegata Yakiimo Factory Museum.
You’ll hardly be able to hold in your laughter as you make a flatulence rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by touching the colorful butt-shaped mannequins, each producing their own musical note.
After you’ve learnt the history of how sweet potatoes came to Japan, and watched assembly workers meticulously making sweet potato treats, don’t forget to take some home for yourself. The sweet potato galette and sweet potato apple pie, which are both made in-house, will make your tastebuds dance!