Early October a few friends and I decided to go camping in Shizuoka. When they heard the news, many teachers simply said to me “You’re going to Shizuoka again?”. Yes, I was there for Mt. Fuji in the summer but this time would be different. Every year there is a giant camping event called Go Out Camp. Tons of people gather and camp in the outskirts of Mt. Fuji while enjoying various events such as going to market stands, riding on hot air balloons and listening to concerts. I wanted to ride a hot air balloon so bad so I accepted my friend’s invitation, despite my feelings towards camping.
We were one of the first to arrive and the staff was first confused, thinking we were vendors. This led us to walk a long way towards another entrance where we denied entry. Having to walk back to the original entrance with a ton of camping gear was a pain in the ass for us. Finally though, we were let in and had first dibs of the field.
The first day was sunny and the weather was great. Towards the evening though things got cloudy and sadly, never went away. Being able to camp with having Mt. Fuji in the background sounded so cool but unfortunately it was hidden behind the clouds from here on out. In terms of events, the first day didn’t have much as it was more of a preparation day more than anything. Food stands were available during the evening though and I had a great steak and French fries dinner. Hardly camp food but I don’t care.
We played some Uno in the evening until it got too dark out and we all just wandered back into our tents and decided to crash early. I was surprised I was able to sleep but I kept waking up because I had underestimated how cold it got during the night. I eventually woke up early the next morning to be greeted by a couple of my friends. Not knowing when our other camp buddies would be getting up, we decided to go ahead and get some coffee.
After breakfast we checked out the newly opened bazaar that sold various camping goods as well as other random knickknacks. I picked up some awesome wool socks because my frozen feet was what mainly kept me awake the previous night. After some wandering around, we got some lunch and checked out the other events going on in the area. Sadly the hot air balloon ride turned out to be super lame and expensive; you barely got to go up in the air for less than a minute and we were expected to pay 20 dollars for it. No thanks.
Evening soon rolled around but this time around there were some night events. One was a little light up area that was really pretty:
There was also an odori that was really fun to watch while we relaxed by a fireplace.
While we ate dinner, we interacted with a cute boy that kept showing off his dance moves and mimicked the weapon performers we saw earlier. Every time he would finish, he would bow and we would clap at him. When it was time to go he said “Please come again!” in Japanese. He was adorable. While some went to the club tent to dance the night away, I was too tired and decided to sleep early. We had to get out early and there was a good chance of rain the next day so I wanted to get enough sleep.
The wool socks worked: despite the heavy rain I slept like a log. I was pretty impressed because I really have difficulty sleeping in a tent, it’s half the reason why I hate camping. Anyways, the next day was a complete mess. It was raining non-stop and we had no choice but to pack our stuff up ASAP while under the heavy torrential downfall. We were completely soaked all the way back to Osaka—it really sucked not having any spare clothes but I somehow survived.
Was Go Out Camp fun? I did enjoy it but I think I’d rather go somewhere more nature-y if I wanted to go camping or at least have more spectacular events. The cloudy weather also kind of killed the momentum for me. Maybe this is just me being super bitter about the hot air balloon ride being lame 😛