TRAVELLING IN AUTUMN
The Japanese Alps are beautiful, recommended! As is Nikko. Luckily the campervan had a heater against the cold in the mountains at night. The heater can make quite some noise though which sometimes kept me awake. But without it we wouldn't have slept at all. :) Most of the time we didn't have to use the heater.
The Roadside stations (michi no eki) are a really convenient free way to sleep, with overall really good facilities. If you don't have an iPad or iPhone, you can find most Michi no Eki in the TripAdvisor app. Just look for: 'Road Station' and check the pictures to make sure it is a legit Michi no Eki.
In Osaka we also stayed at a 24h coin parking at night (2k jpy per day/ around 18 euro) to be able to stay in a more central location. In Kyoto we also used Airbnb although there is a good nightparking spot available at a good location.
But as stated we mostly stayed at Michi no Eki. Next time or in a better season I might try to find some more natural places to camp.
STUFF IN THE CAMPER
The camper is comfy and the fridge and gas worked well. We didn't take the toilet, as there is usually a toilet nearby every parking spot. We brought but didn't use: the picnick table and chairs, and we almost never used the inside table. They do take some space, so our advice is to consider beforehand how hard you will need this. If you want a Queen size bed instead of the two beds in a staple, you get an extra Japanese style matress. This matress was harder than most Japanese matresses we knew, so we used some creativity to enhance the softness by using the cushions from the chairs, then it was perfect. Overall, Japan Campers thought of everything, we even had mosquito window nets.
Would rent again!
— with Guido Van Diepen.