Deep in the mountainous forests of Chiba’s Boso Peninsula, Gankoyama is the first “treehouse village” in Japan, offering a back-to-nature escape from the bustle of Tokyo. Eleven guest treehouses are grouped around a central treehouse/reception hall, with the whole complex surrounded by tall trees cloaked with creepers. You could just kick back completely and swing in a hammock, but if you’re up for a bit more adventure, spend a couple of days on the “Tree House Master” course learning how to build a treehouse. In between carpentry sessions you’ll also get a chance to climb trees and forage for herbs and mushrooms.
The tree houses at Gankoyama are far comfier than those you may have played in as a kid: rooms are large, heated in winter and have solar-powered hot showers. Impressively, the whole village is powered by solar and wind energy, and all meals are cooked by wood-fired stove. But the childish excitement of playing in the trees is still there, as anyone who tries out the zip-slide that runs through the village will affirm.
Gankoyama is two hours’ south of Tokyo. For directions, details of tours, availability and costs see http://www.gankoyama.com