Long RV trip in Japan

Picture yourself comfortably cruising through rolling fields of green tea bushes, discovering exotic, weather-worn wooden temples, walking amid Japanese World Heritage sites, and falling asleep at night after a long soak in a natural hot spring. I’ve done it, so can you.

A roving retirement experience allows for longer stays and a more immersive interaction with the culture and geography of this most rewarding of countries. That differs from what the majority of the nearly 29 million tourists to Japan in 2017 did.

The usual tourist bucket list includes walking in lines through Kyoto temples, visiting a cat or maid café, or photographing Mt. Fuji while riding the Shinkansen (Japan’s highspeed train) between Tokyo and Osaka. I’m not knocking those people or experiences. But many of us also like to venture off the tourist trail and have engaging encounters with locals. The question is, how can you best explore as much of Japan as possible, without having to stay long-term in lodgings in one location?

I advise free spirits to travel in a camping vehicle. “In a motorhome or campervan, you can go where you want. We often found places that we didn’t find in the guidebooks as a result,” says Sheila Coleman. Traveling this way, Sheila and her husband Gary found themselves guests of honor at a village mushroom festival and also got to experience a religious celebration, when they discovered that a road they wanted to travel on was closed.

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