Gondo Charolais – Day camp!

Hello friends!
I did it, I managed to write another post without waiting a year this time.
Today is the 1st of June and the summer vibes are real! The temperature outside easily goes above 30 degrees and I can feel the creeping presence of insane Japanese humidity looming around the corner. But enough about that, I have another thing I want to shout out at the world!

Next month I will become a dad!!! Our daughter is expected on the 29th of July so I’ve been eagerly awaiting the chance to say “next month”! I’m so excited and nervous!! Sadly, patience isn’t one of my many good qualities, so from the moment we found out about the pregnancy, I’ve been fighting an inner battle trying to calm my eagerness as time slowly creeps by. But finally, we’ve reached the point when we can say “next month”!

With that done, let me get into the main theme of this post!
Ayumi and I love camping and outdoor activities but with the pregnancy and all, our options are quite limited. Then Ayumi thought of the splendid idea to go for “day camp”. This works great since there are lots of camping sites in the town we live. And since we won’t stay the night, we get spared the possible strain of sleeping outdoors.

This time we visited Gondo Charolais, also known as “the camp site in the sky”!

From the picture above you can probably guess where the nickname comes from? Gondo Charlois is located at an high altitude and when the season and conditions are right, you can see some amazing cloud seas in the early morning. This picture is from their official instagram so go ahead and follow them!

Welcome to our day camp set! No fluffy sea of clouds but still an amazing view to gaze upon!
Day camp costs 1000 yen per adult and you get your own site to use as you please from 09:00 – 16:00. This is a so called “auto camp site” which means that you can park your car right by the site, which saves you a lot of heavy lifting!

So, the big question is, is it enough time? Is it worth it?
Well, we arrived at 09:45, checked in and started setting up our camp. We finished packing and left the camp site at exactly 16:00. So what did we manage to do in the time between?

  1. Set up and play with a slackline long enough to almost get a hang of it again, and long enough to leave my legs sore from muscle pain today!

2. Make a campfire and have a sweet BBQ that featured, huge and slightly frightening scallops from Hokkaido, crispy charcoal flavored corn, and marshmallows for dessert (among other things)!

3. Get nerdy with my new gear and do some plein air watercolor sketching. Yeah, you know it! I use cool words such as “plein air” now! Who are you to judge?!
Sorry… I know, I should learn to paint better before i start using fancy lingo!

4. Finally! Maybe the most important thing, just being super lazy below the new tarp we recently bought and finally got to try out for the first time! And yes, you are not mistaken, Ayumi is playing nintendo switch in the picture!

So, there you have it, apart from setting up our camp, and taking it all down again, we had more than enough to play, eat, rest, and even enjoy our hobbies! Such a great way to spend a day. Get the complete camp feeling without the being ridden by guilt for leaving your cat home alone one night. The best of two worlds!

And for the one who got curious about Gondo Charolais check out the videos below, they are from my visit this winter! To sum it up, freezing cold, storm, snow, near-death-experience… and off road course? What?! Well, check and see yourself (They come with English subtitles so don’t worry!)!

And if you just want to know where Gondo Charolais is located, I’ll add a map below!

They don’t have an English website so I’ll summarize the most important info down below.
Website: http://www.gondo-cr.net/ (only Japanese)
Phone number: 0967-44-0316
Check in: 13:00 – 17:00
Check out: 11:00
Cost(1 night per person):
Adult (13 y/o and up) 1500 yen
Child (7 y/o 〜)700 yen
Small child (3 y/o〜) 500 yen

Reservations must be made beforehand and the reception is open between 09:00 – 18:00! And pets are allowed as well, but remember to keep clean and mind other campers.

I think that will be it for now!
I’m considering writing a post on my experiences of going through a pregnancy on the Japanese countryside, what do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Anyhow, thanks for reading!
Much love!
Max

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