Nikko Manakanomori Camp and Spa Resort

This was a much-awaited getaway as it was our first time staying in a cabin. We usually go to a tent camping. The sky was overcast on our way to the site that’s conveniently located in Nikko, a small city away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Despite the hiding sun, the scenic views made the drive lovely.

nikko manakanomori camp and spa resort review
Our dainty home for 2 nights.

I instantly admired the place even though the weather wasn’t cooperating. The beautiful surroundings made up for it.

Enjoying the fallen leaves.

It felt like living in a tiny village with fairies and dwarfs, the good and cute ones of course. This campsite allows you to go fishing, hiking, have a dip in a natural hot spring, and bask in the sound of nature while having some barbeque or setting a campfire, and a lot more. Here’s their official website for more info. Heads up, it’s only in Japanese at the moment.

The area is huge enough for a dog to tire out. My husband tried the onsen (natural hot spring) and it wasn’t bad. I also went into the public bath but I made sure that I was alone. This culture isn’t familiar to me. I can’t be naked around strangers even if they’re women. I passed on the small onsen and just quickly took a shower in that open place.

view from the upper ground

Toilets weren’t really dirty and tissue rolls were abundant. It was satisfying in some ways I didn’t anticipate. I love that it’s near some sightseeing spots which we’re planning to check out the next time we come here. The famed Shinto shrine, Toshogu is just around 15 minutes by car. We had the chance to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site with our dog, Sushi. I’ll write about it in my next post.

For now, I can only think of two downsides. First is the absence of English instructions. I was dying to know what those Japanese instructions said, especially the ones posted on the walls inside the public bath. It would be delightful for people (ehem, like me) who have limited or don’t have the ability to read Japanese.

Second is the steep rough road going to the upper areas. I noticed they’re still working on that department, though. Hopefully, it’ll be finished or at least better by the time we go there again.

Tough road but we had fun looking around.

Since the rain was non-stop the whole time we were there, things didn’t go exactly as planned. However, we sure did have a pleasant stay there. What mattered most to me that time was the presence of my best buddies.

Do you like camping? Have you tried camping in Japan? Let me know in the comments below!

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32 thoughts on “Nikko Manakanomori Camp and Spa Resort

  1. What a lovely place! I have been camping once, and that was enough. Camping wasn’t part of my culture growing up, and I spent the whole time worrying about being slain in the tent at night and having no signal for phones or my IPad. If my husband and I go again, it will somewhere with more modern accommodations and Wifi. I would like to visit Japan. My husband went there as a child, as his father, a doctor, was stationed there during the Korean War.


    1. You should find a safe place to camp. Japan is a great place to camp. 😀 Camping is always a humbling experience for me. Lucky for me, my husband enjoys it, too.
      When the time comes, hope you’ll enjoy your stay here.


  2. The instructions in the hot springs and public baths are usually the same everywhere, so if you saw them at one place in English, you can consider yourself prepared: take of all clothes (no underwear or bathing suits are allowed), wash yourself in the shower room before getting into the bath or the hot spring and do not take any towels in the bath (women folding small towels and placing them on their heads while they are in the hot spring is a very usual picture).

    The culture is not familiar to me either, but once I have discovered what an open air hot spring on a cool autumn or winter day (and especially evening) is, there was no way back for me.
    You may try one of the resorts that have private hot spring facilities. There are hotels that have hot spring baths in the rooms (not all of them are necessarily expensive, but many look dull, because those usually look like bathtubs, only the water is different) and other hotels have real open air hot spring cabins that can be reserved privately for a separate fee or no additional fee at all. You cannot enjoy a hot spring if you cannot relax, but once you can relax, you’ll be able to appreciate its healing and soothing qualities.


    1. Thanks for the input!
      Good for you!
      I’m also not used to getting hot baths. I’ve tried a couple of times at home before but didn’t really enjoy it. I felt very sick and almost fainted twice. After the last one, I swore I will never do it again.


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