By Cathy Cawood
PICA Fujiyama may only be a ten-minute ride from Kawaguchi Station, but this forest campsite feels like a hidden oasis. The latest addition to the PICA set of "glamping", (glamorous camping) locations, PICA Fujiyama in Yamanashi Prefecture is an easy and unique new choice for those looking to escape city life and rough it…just not too much.
Set in a forest surrounding Kawaguchiko, this 50,000 square-meter facility offers a total of 50 sites for visitors in which to relax and enjoy themselves. PICA Fujiyama takes care of food and bedding, those pesky details that can vex even the most enthusiastic of campers, while putting nature and adventure within easy reach. Gourmet meals, comfy beds, and a list of activities that range from yoga and pilates to mountain biking and paddleboarding let each guest relax however they please.
Accommodation choices are listed simply as tents, cottages, trailers, or domes. However, PICA Fujiyama puts their own spin on this to make for anything but a mundane stay.
Tent sites feature gravel parking, a grassy patch perfect for pitching a tent, and a three-sided wooden roofed platform which features a picnic table, grill and fire circle. In inclement weather, campers can set up on the platform and keep out of the weather. Unobtrusive lights on the two corners of the platform illuminate, without obscuring the stars or views of the lit trail snaking its way up Mount Fuji.
For those wanting a little more structure, the trailer sites may be just the thing. Brightly colored rectangular cabins, the PICA Fujiyama trailers all have a roofed deck with a gas grill as well as a table and chairs for leisurely dining and relaxing. Soak off from a day of mountain biking or canoeing in a spa-like bathtub and fall asleep to the lullaby of mountain breezes from the nearby trees.
The cottages - regular and deluxe – are perfect for groups of friends or family trips, featuring cozy living rooms, spacious back decks with gas grills and two bedrooms. An eat-in kitchen offers lovely views over the campground. Campers in the deluxe cottages can also enjoy views of Mount Fuji from the second-floor balcony replete with comfy basket chairs that simply demand a bit of lounging.
PICA Fujiyama’s Amazing Domes are the most unique and it’s easy to see how they got their name. The clear plastic geodesic domes are delightful little hideaways full of natural light that are like a private room in the forest. Cozy beds, a large surrounding wooden deck and a private tented lounge space with a fire circle make for an ideal romantic getaway or artistic retreat.
Along with luxurious campsites, PICA Fujiyama guests have dinner and breakfast included in their stay package. Staff deliver wicker baskets of ingredients to the door in the late afternoon. Stuffed with the finest food supplied by Yamanashi Prefectural growers and producers – zesty sausages, tender cuts of beef and chicken are joined by seasonal fruits and vegetables. Camp cooking has never been so easy or tasty! A curated selection of Yamanashi wines, beers, and sakes are also available for purchase at the camp store in the main lodge. Campers can also opt to eat in the dining room of the magnificent main lodge, designed by Kisho Kurohawa.
Amazing accommodation, excellent food, and a beautiful setting are just some of what PICA Fujiyama has to offer. Campers who venture out are sure to have an experience they won’t forget.
Take the train or highway to Kawaguchiko Station. Catch the regularly scheduled bus to start your adventure!
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Joan Lambert Bailey lives and writes in Tokyo where she is lucky enough to get her hands dirty on a local organic farm in between forays to explore Japan from top to bottom. You can read about her adventures learning about Japanese food from seed to harvest to table at Japan Farmers Markets.