Meet our guide: Jared Campion
Jared is a founder of Dream Drive, a custom campervan rental business in Tokyo, Japan. The Dream Drive campervans give you the freedom to travel and stay just about anywhere. The vans have comfortable beds and come equipped with just about everything you need to comfortably travel and holiday in Japan.
Jared was born and raised in the small country town of Uttoxeter in England, his family owned a vintage vw campervan and he loved the lifestyle of camper travel. He moved to Japan with his Australian wife in 2007 where he worked in the corporate world before starting Dream Drive. Dream Drive is a concept Jared was dreaming about for years before deciding to focus on it back in late 2018, The first customers started using the vans in May 2019 and now the fleet has 15 vans and is the highest rated campervan rental service in Tokyo.
Campervans bring a new level of freedom to traveling in Japan
The world of travel has changed, the idea of visiting popular tourist districts is no longer as appealing as it once was. Many of our guests discover our campervans while searching for options to get out of Tokyo while avoiding crowded transportation. This past year has seen a major camping boom in Japan, particularly over the summer, but to some, the idea of sleeping in a tent just doesn't feel like a vacation.
Since the pandemic hit, over 80% of our guests have never used or rented a campervan before. When people think of campervan travel, they often associate it with cruising across America or New Zealand in a RV and have never considered Japan as a road trip destination. Campervans unlock a whole different type of Japan experience, some of the best parts of Japan don’t have many accommodation options or public transit. Japan is uniquely suited for Campervan travel, and arguably the best place in the world for it.
Here are our top six reasons why to choose a campervan trip in Japan:
1. The Hot Springs (Onsen) Bath Houses
Japan boasts over 30,000 onsen dotted throughout the country, and generally just cost a few hundred yen to use. Onsen are an amazing way to relax after a day of travel and besides natural baths and showers oftentimes include shampoo and body soap as well. Some onsen even have private baths that can be reserved.
2. Network of Road Side Stations “Michi-no-eki” throughout Japan
Japan has built a network of over 3000 roadside stations which are commonly used by campervans and RVs as free sleep spots (but not always, we list on our map the ones which are RV friendly). Besides free parking Michinoeki include 24/7 clean toilets, local foods, restaurants, free wifi and sometimes even onsen baths.
3. Some of the World’s Best Driving Roads
It is a really fun place to drive and explore, and once you get away from Tokyo the roads quickly get quiet and very scenic. They are not only scenic they are also safe.
4. Freedom – Campers allow you to be spontaneous
Travel where the weather is good or go with the flow as you check out various small towns or spots around rural Japan. Traditionally if you are going to have a vacation in Japan it requires a lot of pre-planning of transport, booking accommodation and so forth. Campervans remove this hurdle and allow guests to spend more time holidaying and exploring a destination.
5. More Affordable and less stressful when traveling with the family
Campervans are rented per night and by renting a van you are covering accommodation and transportation, As a father of 3 children I know how expensive it can be to travel around Japan with a family. To stay in a hotel in Japan it’s common to be charged per person and not per room which means travelling as a family of 5 gets expensive really quick.
6. The van is your hotel on wheels
Take the stress out of your trip. A massive amount of vacation time is wasted dragging a suitcase around and checking into one hotel after another, people want to spend less time in hotels and more timing experiencing this amazing country. So, when travel returns maybe you too should consider a campervan as a way to explore Japan and build new amazing memories.