There are many campsites and onsen (hot spring) areas in Niigata around the mountains, and a particularly pleasant one worth visiting is Akamatsuyama Camping Ground in Yasuda, Agano City. Situated on the side of Shiroyama (lit. “Castle Mountain”) this camp ground has fantastic views on the drive up and from the gazebo at the peak of the accessible road. The tent area is in a clearing in amongst the trees, presumably to give a bit of protection from the elements. The camp site is about a five minute drive from the theme park in Yasuda (Suntopia World), and so with all the signposts pointing to that, finding it shouldn’t be too difficult. Access to Akamatsuyama is about 40 minutes’ drive from Niigata City, or 20 minutes from Suibara station (the closest train station in Agano City), or five minutes’ drive from the Yasuda Expressway. This camp ground doesn’t have any kind of shuttle bus, so rental or your own car is absolutely essential.
In total there are 10 wooden raised spots for tents in the camp ground, and as I’m aware, they are ¥510 per night: each platform is about two and a half to three metres squared. Just down from the camping area is a large communal dish wash and wood stove area. Beside the camp area is a playpark for kids: they even have side by side zip lines! There are about three different toilet buildings around the campsite and gazebos and there are parking areas at different levels up and down the mountain.
In the summer be aware that horseflies can be a pest if protective skin spray isn’t used to keep them away, and keep in mind is that there are signs warning of bears in the camp area.
In Yasuda there are two supermarkets (Hirasei and Windy) and five convenience stores and two hardware stores and a few ramen shops. Be sure to check out Noroshi Ramen beside Hirasei, and don’t miss out on Yasuda Yogurt.
Season is in from late April to late September, be sure to make a reservation in advance.