Don’t get me wrong—I love Tokyo and wouldn’t trade it for any other city in world. But sometimes you’ve just got to get out and decompress by dropping the pace several notches with an overnight stay somewhere beyond the borders of the urban sprawl. So if you’re looking to unwind while surrounded by nature but still maintain a modicum of creature comfort and semblance of civilization within striking distance of the capital, look no further than Reef Break Resort in Ohara, Chiba Prefecture, located only 1.5 hours from central Tokyo by train.
Owned and operated by gregarious Canadian national and longtime Japan resident Markus with his wife Kyoko, Reef Break offers Japan’s closest equivalent of “glamorous camping”, (“glamping”)—guests stay inside of a large, fully furnished yurt equipped with all of amenities of the modern world surrounded by a stunning backdrop of semitropical foliage, jagged stone cliffs and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. You can also rent mountain bikes to explore the surrounding area and Buddhist temples, arrange for a massage, participate in a beachside yoga session, jump into the onsite outdoor Japanese bath with ocean views, or enjoy a BBQ on the expansive deck with covered cabana. It’s almost like staying at a high-end safari lodge on the African savannah, only with the Pacific at your doorstep and without the fear of contracting malaria or getting eaten by a large predatory carnivore in the middle of the night.