Japanese Campers Crowd a Tateyama Campsite, Trying to Escape the Crowds and Coronavirus Worries of the City

Chubu Tour News 2020.10.01
During a recent long weekend, Japanese travelers rushed to campsites to enjoy the fresh air and escape the city, but all did not go as planned.

Great Minds Think Alike... And Sometimes That's a Problem

Around the world, people are understandably frustrated with the COVID-19 situation, getting bored with being cooped up at home. And while Japan's official Go To Travel Campaign has begun to encourage people to head back out into the rest of Japan and travel again, many are still hesitant, looking for places where they can enjoy the great outdoors instead of big crowds. Unfortunately, for quite a few of those people, this plan didn't work out quite as well as they probably hoped. During this long weekend in September, Raichozawa Camping Ground in Tateyama, Toyama became unusually packed. Pictures of the colorful ocean of camping tents, just about lined up end to end, quickly became a topic of interest across the internet.
According to one Japanese Twitter user, around noon on the very first day of the 4-day weekend (9/19), the number of tents set up at Raichozawa Camping Ground was still "normal," but when they returned from an overnight hike in the surrounding mountains the next day (9/20), they were shocked. The number of tents had soared to an estimated 900.
By that evening, other camp-goers were taking photos of the scene and reporting something like 1,000 tents on site. With limited campground facilities, not only did visitors have to line up and wait a full 2 hours to use the communal bath, but the line for the toilets was at least an hour long.

Raichozawa Camping Ground - A Hotspot for Serious Hikers

The Raichozawa Camping Ground is generally a popular basecamp for mountaineers, surrounded by tall mountains great for serious hikes. Aside from climbing the peaks of Mount Tsurugi and Mount Okudainichi, visitors often spend the night in mountainside huts, travel along rocky mountain ridges, or dip into the natural hot springs. And when it's finally time to return to basecamp, the scattering of colorful tents in a small cluster between green grass and high mountains is a popular view in and of itself. With such beautiful mountains in all directions, of course, the area's sunrise and sunset are also celebrated.
But just taking a look at the promotional pictures seen on Toyama's tourism page, the difference between that small collection of tents seen on an average day, and the many-colored rainbow of unending tents that developed during the long weekend, it's no surprise the photos were trending on Twitter. We can only hope that, compared with this crowd, there was a little more space on the mountainsides.
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