Outdoors

Highlights from the Japan Camping Car Show 2015

Highlights from the Japan Camp...
Highlights from the Japan Camping Car Show 2015 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Highlights from the Japan Camping Car Show 2015 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
View 52 Images
This see through display model that shows the tight packaging on a Cab Conversion from NUTS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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This see through display model that shows the tight packaging on a Cab Conversion from NUTS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The La Kunn K-Camper from AZ-MAX (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The La Kunn K-Camper from AZ-MAX (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Hiace Saloon Compo from NUTS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The Hiace Saloon Compo from NUTS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
This T@B from a German company Knaus Tabbert cuts quite a distinctive shape (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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This T@B from a German company Knaus Tabbert cuts quite a distinctive shape (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Balocco from Fieldlife is available in 4-Wheel-Drive (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The Balocco from Fieldlife is available in 4-Wheel-Drive (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Balocco has room to sleep 2 adults and 2 children (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The Balocco has room to sleep 2 adults and 2 children (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
One way to increase space and also not have a dedicated living area, is to have a roof tent on top of your vehicle – this example is from FOCS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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One way to increase space and also not have a dedicated living area, is to have a roof tent on top of your vehicle – this example is from FOCS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
This FOCS van conversion shown in dining room mode (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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This FOCS van conversion shown in dining room mode (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The D:POP from Sun-auto is based on the Mitsubishi DELICA D5 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The D:POP from Sun-auto is based on the Mitsubishi DELICA D5 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Inside the Wake K-Car from Honda (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Inside the Wake K-Car from Honda (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Camping brings the indoors outdoors so long as the weather is OK (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Camping brings the indoors outdoors so long as the weather is OK (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Deck Cruiser from Karucan (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The Deck Cruiser from Karucan (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Fifthworld's Triplex cargo trailer (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Fifthworld's Triplex cargo trailer (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The CAMPMASTER from Schtelt - a K-Camper based on the pick-up version of the Suzuki Carry K-truck (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The CAMPMASTER from Schtelt - a K-Camper based on the pick-up version of the Suzuki Carry K-truck (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Inside the CAMPMASTER there is room to sleep four people- two upstairs and two downstairs (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Inside the CAMPMASTER there is room to sleep four people- two upstairs and two downstairs (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Rear view of the INDY 727 by a Japanese company called INDIANA RV (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Rear view of the INDY 727 by a Japanese company called INDIANA RV (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The INDY 727 is based on the Daihatsu Kei-Truck chassis (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The INDY 727 is based on the Daihatsu Kei-Truck chassis (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The interior of the INDY 727 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The interior of the INDY 727 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Voxy Hybrid Days from White House Camper (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The Voxy Hybrid Days from White House Camper (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Voxy Hybrid Days interior (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Voxy Hybrid Days interior (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Rakuneru from Meito.jp (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The Rakuneru from Meito.jp (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Inside the Rakuneru (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Inside the Rakuneru (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The N-One Natural Concept features an all wood interior (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The N-One Natural Concept features an all wood interior (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
In the rear of the N-ONE there was everything for a day at the beach (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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In the rear of the N-ONE there was everything for a day at the beach (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
By adding a rear axle, the TENTMUSHI 6Wheel achieves a 4 meter overall length (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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By adding a rear axle, the TENTMUSHI 6Wheel achieves a 4 meter overall length (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The TENTMUSHI t-po was launched at the show - like it`s bigger brother, it is available in both 2 and 4-Wheel-Drive versions (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The TENTMUSHI t-po was launched at the show - like it`s bigger brother, it is available in both 2 and 4-Wheel-Drive versions (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
In some vehicles the only place for your feet is out of the rear window (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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In some vehicles the only place for your feet is out of the rear window (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Mini Pop Bee is a de-mountable camper with a pop-up roof. The whole rear section can be left standing in your parking slot when you want to go sightseeing (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The Mini Pop Bee is a de-mountable camper with a pop-up roof. The whole rear section can be left standing in your parking slot when you want to go sightseeing (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The J-cab Mini is a hard roof version of the Mini Pop Bee. It offers a little more luxury and better rear access to its living area. (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The J-cab Mini is a hard roof version of the Mini Pop Bee. It offers a little more luxury and better rear access to its living area. (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The J-cabin L mounted on the back of a Toyota Land Cruiser (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The J-cabin L mounted on the back of a Toyota Land Cruiser (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The J-cabin L mounted on the back of a Toyota Land Cruiser (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The J-cabin L mounted on the back of a Toyota Land Cruiser (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Access the living area of the Mini Pop Bee is through this tiny rear door (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Access the living area of the Mini Pop Bee is through this tiny rear door (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Honda Freestyle Hybrid Camper (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The Honda Freestyle Hybrid Camper (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Inside the Honda Freestyle Hybrid Camper (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Inside the Honda Freestyle Hybrid Camper (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Wan Car Go towed by a Suzuki Hustler 4x4 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The Wan Car Go towed by a Suzuki Hustler 4x4 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
A roof mounted roll-out awning by Autoone provides space for outdoor seating on the Suzuki Hustler (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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A roof mounted roll-out awning by Autoone provides space for outdoor seating on the Suzuki Hustler (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
This the interior of the Wan Car Go - all the seats fold out to a flat sleeping area (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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This the interior of the Wan Car Go - all the seats fold out to a flat sleeping area (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Nissan e-NV200 BBQ - "the biggest and most powerful electric BBQ in the world" (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The Nissan e-NV200 BBQ - "the biggest and most powerful electric BBQ in the world" (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Relax Cabin from Car-Taka (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The Relax Cabin from Car-Taka (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Rear view of the Relax Cabin (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Rear view of the Relax Cabin (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Inside the Relax Cabin there are two floors - the upper deck is pure sleeping area but the lower deck is normal car by day and accommodation by night
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Inside the Relax Cabin there are two floors - the upper deck is pure sleeping area but the lower deck is normal car by day and accommodation by night
View from the rear passenger side door to the rear of the Relax Cabin (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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View from the rear passenger side door to the rear of the Relax Cabin (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Direct rear short shows how the company has still used the original Prius rear lights (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Direct rear short shows how the company has still used the original Prius rear lights (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
This is the view from the front, showing the camping body matches the car body in color but not in style (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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This is the view from the front, showing the camping body matches the car body in color but not in style (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Roof tents on show in Tokyo (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Roof tents on show in Tokyo (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The MiniBig amphibious trailer from Car-Taka (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The MiniBig amphibious trailer from Car-Taka (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The MiniBig can travel on water for 1 to 3 hours at a very slow speed (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The MiniBig can travel on water for 1 to 3 hours at a very slow speed (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
There is room in the MiniBig for 3 adults out on the water (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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There is room in the MiniBig for 3 adults out on the water (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
This picture shows the difference in size between Camping in the USA and Camping in Japan (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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This picture shows the difference in size between Camping in the USA and Camping in Japan (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The new Cresson Voyage from NUTS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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The new Cresson Voyage from NUTS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Highlights from the Japan Camping Car Show 2015 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Highlights from the Japan Camping Car Show 2015 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Highlights from the Japan Camping Car Show 2015 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
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Highlights from the Japan Camping Car Show 2015 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
View gallery - 52 images

Almost three quarters of Japan is covered by forests and mountains, meaning the mostly city-dwelling population of 126 million have both the space and the necessity to just get away from it all. Time is also in short supply for the working population, so long weekends or short vacations are the norm ... and when everyone has same vacation idea at the same time, accommodation is at a premium. This all adds up to a ready marketplace for camping vehicles. Gizmag headed along to the 2015 Camping Car show in Tokyo to check out the latest ways to tackle the great outdoors on wheels.

This picture shows the difference in size between Camping in the USA and Camping in Japan (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
This picture shows the difference in size between Camping in the USA and Camping in Japan (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)

The Japanese Camping Car market has developed into some very different forms to those in Europe and the USA and also Australia, the three other major markets for these kinds of vehicles. There are three basic ways the Japanese Camping Car market has gone, according to Masahiko Yamada from vehicle modification company NUTS – the Micro K-Camper, the Combo and the Cab Conversion.

The Micro K-Camper

The Balocco has room to sleep 2 adults and 2 children (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Balocco has room to sleep 2 adults and 2 children (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)

The CAMPMASTER from Schtelt - a K-Camper based on the pick-up version of the Suzuki Carry K-truck (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The CAMPMASTER from Schtelt - a K-Camper based on the pick-up version of the Suzuki Carry K-truck (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)

Starting at the bottom, in terms of size and price, we have the K-Camper. These are based on the chassis or body of the Kei-Truck and are both very small and quite cheap. And just like their Kei-Car counterparts, they conform to a strict set of government rules regarding their size and power output. This isn't necessarily conducive to camping comfort, but with pop-up roofs and clever interior packaging, you can get a quart into a pint pot, as they say.

The Combo

The Hiace Saloon Compo from NUTS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Hiace Saloon Compo from NUTS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)

The D:POP from Sun-auto is based on the Mitsubishi DELICA D5 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The D:POP from Sun-auto is based on the Mitsubishi DELICA D5 (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)

Taking a step-up size-wise is the Combo. These vehicles are usually based on large people carriers or family vehicles and look almost totally standard from the outside.Their primary function remains that of a family runabout, but they are designed to be easily converted into an overnight camper for weekend adventures.

The Cab Conversion

This see through display model that shows the tight packaging on a Cab Conversion from NUTS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
This see through display model that shows the tight packaging on a Cab Conversion from NUTS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)

The new Cresson Voyage from NUTS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The new Cresson Voyage from NUTS (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)

Cab Conversions sit at the high-end of the market and are designed for the dedicated traveler, with virtually everything to accommodate life on the open road. Their size is still relatively small compared to their European Motor home cousins ... and tiny compared to the American RV. Masahiko Yamada believes this type of vehicle will move from niche to the mainstream as the market grows in Japan.

Assorted oddities

Along with one of the highlights from the show, the Honda N-Truck and N-Camp, there were several vehicles on display that did not really fit into any of these categories, like the Triplex Cargo Trailer from Fithworld – a kind of inside out house that you essentially have to have to build once you arrive at your destination.

Fifthworld's Triplex cargo trailer (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
Fifthworld's Triplex cargo trailer (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)

The MiniBig amphibious trailer from Car-Taka (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The MiniBig amphibious trailer from Car-Taka (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)

Also catching our eye was the MiniBig amphibious trailer, which is sold by a company called car-taka.

This is the view from the front, showing the camping body matches the car body in color but not in style (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
This is the view from the front, showing the camping body matches the car body in color but not in style (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)

Our final mention goes to the Relax Cabin. While not the only example of Toyota Prius-based camping we've seen, it certainly gets points for style ... and apparently it sleeps four!

The Nissan e-NV200 BBQ - "the biggest and most powerful electric BBQ in the world" (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)
The Nissan e-NV200 BBQ - "the biggest and most powerful electric BBQ in the world" (Photo: Stephen Clemenger/Gizmag.com)

Head through to our gallery for more highlights from Japan's 2015 Camping Car show.

Official site: 2015 Camping Car show (Japanese)

View gallery - 52 images
3 comments
Thomas Boles
Thanks fso much or posting the pics and comments from the show!
It's always great to see another culture's take on RV'ing and camping. I think it would be amazing and informative to do a photo essay on a VW factory camper from 1967 (the SO42) and then the next two generations based on the next two body styles of the VW van. Compare what was being done in the 60's, 70's and 80's at VW (Westfalia) to what the Japanese are doing now. Informative for all!
BTW, did you happen to document any interesting gear at the show? I saw some intriguing camping tables and such at the edge of your pics that might bear further research!
jaxx003
My thanks also- only Gizmag would enlighten us with this new facet of camping. Now, when will someone combine the spaciousness of Western vehicles with the fuel economy famed in Japanese vehicles? My ideal? 4WD camper van a la Sportsmobile with at least 30 MPG. Can it be found?
yawood
@jaxx003 Any modern diesel should just about do that, certainly in cruising on the open road. Something like the Mercedes Benz Sprinter with the 2 litre turbo diesel. There are plenty of equivalents, or at least there are in Australia or Europe - I'm not sure about the US. You don't seem to have the modern efficient small diesels in the States. They are terrific.