A washed-up Japanese comedian made an unexpected comeback when he began broadcasting his solo camping expeditions on YouTube several years ago.

Lasting anywhere from around 10 to 30 minutes an episode and often attracting millions of views, the footage typically depicts the man, who goes by the stage name Hiroshi, pitching a tent somewhere in the nation’s wilderness and cooking food on a fire while sipping a mug of coffee.

There’s a meditative ambience to the simple videos, an ethos that resonates with urbanites dreaming of escaping cities and reconnecting with nature. And now that COVID-19-induced social distancing has become an accepted part of life, the call of the wild is more tempting than ever, spawning a new trend: buying plots of affordable forestland for camping expeditions — a prospect that turns out to be easier said than done.