Snow/ Native tribe

Snow/Native tribe


In the mountain areas of Akita, a hunting tribe called “Matagi” still exists. The Matagi people possess the knowledge and are well adept to hunt large-sized animals, such as bears. A large amount of their income is this system of hunting. Although the Matagi tribe exists in other regions of Japan, it is said that Akita has an exceptionally large number of these bear hunters’ villages. The Matagi people excel at forming groups to hunt bears. They enter the mountains from late autumn to early spring. Once they reach deep into the mountains, they will set up and stay at a hunting hut. They hunt bears and Japanese serows and earn most of their livings through hunting. The lifestyle of the tribe has been greatly altered due to outside influence, however, to this day, much of the mountain life culture and hunting traditions are preserved. Now, let’s experience a unique lifestyle of bear hunting tribe in Akita.

■ Snow / Native Tribe 1-night and 2-day tour schedule

【Day 1】

9:23 Leave Kakunodate Station

Take Akita local train “Akita inland rail road”, and head to the village of Matagi. Enjoy the beautiful snow covering as far as the eye can see from the train window.

11:30 Lunch/ Matagi hunting knife black smith

After having lunch at a local restaurant, you will see how the soul of the tribe -hunting knife- is forged at a black smith.

13:00 Matagi life experience (“Kanjiki” Snowshoe making)

Kanjiki is a snowshoe Matagi always wear when going hunting. You can make your own snowshoes here. This is important because you will wear them for a mountain stroll the next day.

16:00 “Kiritanpo” hot pot cooking / Dinner / Stay

Kiritanpo is a traditional Akita cuisine made from delicious white rice. Let’s cook it together with local people and have a delicious dinner! One of the three famous Japanese chickens from Akita called “Hinai Jidori” will be used for the pot as well.

【Day 2】

9:00 Snow Mountains Trekking

Wearing the snowshoes, you made yesterday, let’s go for snow mountain trekking guided by a real Matagi hunter! This, for sure, will be a unique trekking experience only this place can offer.

12:00 Lunch in the snow mountain

After trekking, let’s make a lunch. Let’s gaze at the beautiful winter sky while enjoying a special lunch of grilled wild game and snow mountain hot pot.

13:30 Hot Spring

Let’s warm our cold bodies in a hot spring! The hot spring is connected to the station, so we can stay and relax until the train arrives.

15:12 Leave Anni Station

Let’s go back to Kakunodate station while enjoying the beautiful snow landscape from the train window (arrives at 16:32)

■ Tour Fare: 50,000 yen ~

The price above includes
-train tickets (round trip)
-black smith tour
-Matagi life experience (snowshoe making)
-Kiritanpo hot pot
-Trekking Experience (guide fee)
-Snow mountain lunch
-Hot spring fee

■ Options

-Rice cake “Mochi” making/ You can experience rice cake making using delicious Akita rice.
Duration: 1hour
Option fee: Varies depending on the number of participants

-Butter Mochi rice cake cooking/ Let’s make sweets loved by the local people.
Duration/ 1 hour
Option fee/ Varies depending on the number of participants

-Japanese Drum Performance Viewing/ We can view a Japanese traditional drum performance, which is a tradition of the Matagi’s area.
Duration/ 1 hour
Option fee/ Varies depending on the number of participants

-Snow Shoveling/ You can experience the Akita’s regular practice of early morning snow shoveling.
Duration/ 1 hour
Option fee/ Varies depending on the number of participants

-Matagi Story Telling (English Translation)/ A Matagi expert tells a story of the Matagi tribe and its culture.
Duration/ 1hour
Option fee/ Varies depending on the number of participants

Please consult the homepage of the relevant tour company to confirm tour details and conditions.

This tour is produced by Travel Design

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What might seem like common practice and everyday values to local Japanese people can be new and attractive treasures through the eyes of people from different countries and cultures! There are so many unknown and enticing treasures just waiting to be discovered in Tohoku – come and find them!