Love nature but don’t love the hassle of camping? The glamping services of UFUFU VILLAGE in Shizuoka Prefecture might just have you covered.
For many in Japan, 2021 has not been a year of ambitious travel plans. While the country has imposed no official lockdown, a string of long-running state of emergency declarations has much of the population avoiding unnecessary travel.
But not everyone is ready to give up their second summer vacation in a row. While crowding onto an airplane or sending the kids to splash about in the resort pool isn’t quite back in the cards yet, many wanderers are turning elsewhere to scratch their itchy feet: The great outdoors.
Earlier this summer, Rakuten Insight collected data from 1,000 Rakuten users between the ages of 20 and 70 to gauge the general mood on camping. Just over 11% of respondents revealed that they had in fact been camping at some point in the preceding 12 months, making an average of 2.5 trips.
Young male campers have the strongest urge to get outdoors
Over 30% of respondents revealed they either planned to or wanted to go out camping — a figure that jumped to nearly 50% for women in their 30’s.
However, only 10% of this group (just one in five) actually made it to the camping grounds. And those who did may have found it full of young male camping enthusiasts: Around 30% of male surveyees in their 20’s responded that they had been camping in the past year, averaging 3.9 camping trips compared to just 2.4 in 2019. Their female counterparts, meanwhile, averaged just 1.5, compared to 4.5 in 2019.
One potential factor contributing to this trend is the rise of solo-camping. Over a quarter of the male campers surveyed revealed that they had been camping solo in the last 12 months, compared to less than 3% of female campers.
More than a third of solo-campers cited the ability to travel responsibly during the pandemic as one of the top reasons for going alone. But an overwhelming majority revealed that freedom was their ultimate goal: Freedom to go wherever they wanted, whenever they wanted and to partake in whatever leisure activities they wanted without needing to worry about their companions.
Despite this enthusiasm, the solo-camping movement is still small: Just 5.5% have tried it, and 14.6% say they would try it or do it again. Significantly more respondents showed interest in glamping or day camping — both requiring considerably less hassle.