Karst Campsite in Okinawa has “Only Japanese” rules due to Covid. Another one for the pile. UPDATE: Rules have been amended to exclude people who can’t “understand Japanese properly”.


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Hi Blog.  Covid strikes again.  Here’s a campground in Okinawa that says that foreigners can’t make reservations there due to Covid.  Screen capture from https://karstcampsite.com/facility/


〒905-0219 沖縄県国頭郡本部町字山里東屋比久原1381番地

050-6864-3379, email karstcampsite115@gmail.com

https://karstcampsite.com/facility/  Courtesy of SJ


COMMENT:  I’ve said this many times before, but associating contagion with nationality is unscientific.  Again, because a) there are Non-Japanese residents who live in Japan the same as Japanese, exposed to the same risks of contagion as Japanese, b) there are few foreigners in Japan from overseas at the moment due to the mostly-closed border controls, and c) chances are that foreigners who do come in from overseas are better vetted (not to mention more likely vaccinated due to better jab regimes overseas) than Japanese.

So there is no scientific reason to put up a rule like this.  There is, however, plenty of reason if you’re a xenophobe, like so many people who reflexively put up “Japanese Only” signs are, and will use any excuse (including foreign “health scares” from SARS and AIDS) to justify, even if they are a health care provider.  These are the people we will continue to expose for the record on Debito.org.  Adding to the pile.  Debito Arudou, Ph.D.


UPDATE AUG 27, 2021:  The campsite has changed their rules.  As MM reported on FB, after telephoning them (anonymized):


MM:  Well, I did call them now and asked them if I can use the camp site […]

They answered me that the biggest reason was that their terms & co is only in Japanese, and there are no English speaking staffs so they were afraid that they cannot communicate with the customers and ask them to follow the rules. They wrote “because of COVID” because they couldn’t explain it well in English on their website, and thought that people would understand if they wrote so.

So, in my case they said I could make a reservation because I have no problem communicating in Japanese.
It does say 電話で要相談, so it seems that they aren’t shutting down all foreigners and there are acceptable cases.


Of course, that’s not what Karst’s website said, excluding all foreigners by resorting to the racist trope that foreigners have disease.  So this morning, they amended it to “we can take a reservation for someone who can understand Japanese properly Because you need to understand our rules correctly.”

https://karstcampsite.com/facility/. Courtesy of EK.

Because of course, campsites are fraught with danger, and one language miscommunication and all goes to hell.  After all, foreigners don’t know how to camp if they can’t “understand Japanese properly”. And that’s after they decided in good faith just to blame Covid.  — Debito

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15 comments on “Karst Campsite in Okinawa has “Only Japanese” rules due to Covid. Another one for the pile. UPDATE: Rules have been amended to exclude people who can’t “understand Japanese properly”.

  • I think it might be important to create a blacklist somewhere of businesses that post or have posted Japanese Only signs to foster greater public awareness, corner the people who run these businesses into dialogue, and publicly shame these business owners. As it stands who is reading this other than disgruntled expats or human rights groups or the occasional concerned person. Moreover, s there anything I or other readers can do?

    — I created that blacklist decades ago, The Rogues’ Gallery of Exclusionary Establishments, and I linked to it in my blog post. And updates happen at Debito.org on a regular basis; I also linked to them in this blog post.

    What can you do? Keep an eye out and send me (debito@debito.org) more “Japanese Only” signs and rules as they come up. I’ll be happy to record them for posterity. Who reads them? They’ve made domestic and international media many times; see for example the Rogues’ Gallery linked above and the Otaru Onsens Lawsuit Site. Thanks.

    • At the rate things are going with Osaka’s game (she’s not winning anymore these days and now having tantrums) and her continual fits of wanting to take a break, I’m betting Japan and those sponsors are getting tired of her and she’ll be losing her special foreigner privileges soon…

      She’ll be feeling discrimination from both sides then.

      As far as this yet another “Japanese Only” camp site, the scenery looks like crap, the rules are way too fussy and convoluted, won’t let children be children….reads like a bully uyoku’s paradise.

  • So, they wrote “because of COVID” because they couldn’t explain it well in English on their website, and thought that people would understand if they wrote so, but now that their business is on Debito they found a way to explain it well in English?

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Hmmm, ‘we can’t speak English*’ vs ‘the government ha already created the narrative that covid is an ‘NJ problem’ might as well use that as an excuse’.

    Yeah, they sound like nice people…

    *Big hint: it’s racist to assume that all NJ only speak English.

  • Even if we assume that their pathetic excuse has some grain of validity, standard rules against the spread of Covid (masking up, keeping distance to strangers, washing hands) can be explained with universally understandable pictograms. I wonder what kind of other rules they have that can’t be expressed with pictograms and need sophisticated understanding of the Japanese language. 🤔

    —- CJ notes on FB:

    “If you actually read their rules they are so unbelievably fussy that they clearly don’t even want most Japanese people to stay there either, and currently have a total moratorium on elementary school age children. Pets are okay but kids aren’t!”

    • Thank you, but those don’t like specific Covid prevention rules. They look like general “don’t camp here” rules.

  • File in the “Japan is…” one liners #10,001. “Japan is….so unbelievably fussy there is no point trying to do anything that involves other people or even leaving the house”
    Aha. Explains the Hikikomori herbivore men phenomenon. Indeed, why bother?
    Mirrored in China now with the lying down movement, btw. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/28/economy/china-japan-korea-youth-intl-dst-hnk/index.html
    “In South Korea, young people are giving up on marriage and home ownership. In Japan, they are so pessimistic about the country’s future that they are eschewing material possessions.”

    So indeed, why go camping if it means instead of relacing one regime with another and entering a Little Hitora’s regime of rules and regulations? Not exactly a relaxing weekend.
    Reminds me of a dodgy hotel in Yokosuka I stayed in one weekend that had a 7 am “Reizoko checkku” Yep, a woman came in at 7am to check the contents of our fridge. Maybe a technique to get us check out early and wake us up for the breakfast, I dunno. But no lie in for us.
    “Welcome to Japan. Follow the Rules”.

  • Reminds me of a blog I read, a guy married to a trad Japanese family a la Debito’s novel.
    “Weekend excursions were scheduled down to the minute with strict details redolent of a military operation”

    Sad mIcrocosm of the 90s Tokyo Spring.
    Hopeful :”I am a designer and DJ. I have started my own Dot.com agency.
    LDP: “Nani tte, Get back to your desk, Salaryman and stop being “Fumajime”! But Ok, I now deem that you may loosen your tie. We will call it “cool Biz”.

    “The Old Man’s Back Again (Dedicated to the Neo-Stalinist Regime)”- Scott Walker.

  • realitycheck says:

    Thanks again to Dr Debito for providing this kind of information. Sad but true that Japan as a society and nation is in a weird backwards mode that is all the more disturbing because the year is 2021.

    All the ‘half’ celebrities and usual ‘half’ citizens and residents of Japan will not change much if anything other than the usual cosmetic, playing to the world ‘changes’. In fact I see the Naomis and Ruis as part of the wider problem because they are used to promote ‘how much Japan is changing’ and go along with it by their silence.

    Can’t lose any sponsorship money and can’t genuinely go against the grain unlike in the USA where they were supported to the hilt by the media etc over BLM.

    Some of us have no intention to see out the decade and will return home before the end of it and in our case hopefully taking my in-laws with us. Nobody is saying Japan is the worst country on earth but its fundamental problems from the oligarchy running it and their extraordinary resistance to any mature policy like other developed countries have for maintaning a demographically healthy society, are warnings of worse to come.

  • Yeah, add that ironic comeback to the list (say with straight face):
    “I wish there was a social activist tennis player in Japan”
    ” What if there was democracy in Japan?”
    “I wish Japan were safe” (earthquakes, radiation, tsunami, murders, harassment etc”
    “What if Japan had companies run by foreigners?”

    Do you like Japan?
    “Yes, “Tin Drum” was their best album.”

    I actually think this is the best way to enjoy life in Japan, by building a kind of self enclosed Dreamy Day bubble that already consists of, as Oscar Wilde argued, western constructs of what Japan is. And then refuse to accept or recognize any challenge to these preconceived beliefs, should they inconvenience you. After all, that would be logical- how very western of you. And as logic doesn’t do so well in Japan anyway, why use it to put yourself at a disadvantage by accepting logical discourse?

    Honeymoon to cognitive dissonance to acceptance (aka sad realization) and then back to honeymoon phase again!

    Full Circle.

  • Baud I agree with your exhausting hamster wheel circular travel observation, if you stay in that loop, you can become a causality by it. Ive come to the exact conclusion, interesting how others can confirm something you already know!
    The “Koko wa Nihon, Nihongo hanashite!” or “Eigo dekimasen” fun and games are just cloaks for an obvious attempt at gas lighting the gaijin…”its your fault!” I never play it

  • I came across this website a few months while looking for a quiet campsite in Okinawa. I’m glad others picked up on the obviously xenophobic owners.

    I considered calling them at the time to question them, but by that point I realized I didn’t want to stay there anyway and was too busy to waste my time listening to predictable and lazy excuses.

    Any campsite that insists you must “correctly understand our rules” sounds like a bloody nightmare anyway.


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