One of the closest campgrounds to Fukuoka City, Yamanaka Campground lies on the south side of the mountains that separate Saga and Fukuoka Prefectures. The site offers an escape from the city of 1.5 million but the short hike from there up Mt. Kana also overlooks the metropolis from the southeast. It’s a peaceful vision to see such a large city as a whole but hear nothing but the sounds of nature.
The camping ground is about a kilometer off of Rt. 263 halfway between Saga and Fukuoka cities. It's in the rice-field-lined village of Mitsuse in a quiet forest of Japanese cedars. It’s very basic in its facilities, with six family-sized log cabins for rent and a zone for tents. There are restrooms and cooking areas, but no showers. Staff and other campers, however, can point you toward a nearby onsen, which with its natural waters and more aesthetic bathing experience, is more relaxing anyway. A small stream flows along the edge of the campsite, and an open field as well as an attractive shrine enhance the location. This photo story shows some natural things you can find here.
Whether you are camping or not, you can begin your climb up Mt. Kana (moderate-to-easy, 70 minutes) and beyond if you like to the other peaks of the area. Parking is free. If you prefer to skip the hike up the mountain, the woods are a nice place for a stroll. One option is to walk up the path from the campground toward the mountain until reaching the paved access road after about 10 minutes (video). From there, cross the street and begin your ascent, turn back to the campsite, or turn right and follow the road for about 15 minutes until finding the path on the right that offers another short hike through forest and rice fields of about 15 minutes to the log cabin oasis, Café Notch. From there, a shorter walk through the village takes you back to the campground.
This is an inexpensive campground, with cabins starting at 3,000 yen. You can pitch your tent here for 500 yen. Both prices are subject to an additional a cooperative cleanup fee of 200 yen per adult and 100 yen per child. Check in after 12 pm and check out by 10 am. Inquiries and reservations for camping can be made at Café Notch.