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Winter Excursion with a Matagi Hunter


Ⓒ Mt. Moriyoshi Guesthouse Oriyamake  

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Winter Excursion with a Matagi Hunter


Explore the forests of Akita on snowshoes and learn the secrets of nature from a traditional hunter

Akita Inu Tourism


Matagi are traditional hunter-gatherers originating from the Northern regions of Japan. They are believed to be the protectors of the forest, keeping the balance of nature. Matagi do not over-gather plants, nor do they over-hunt: they only take whatever is required. Matagi hunters still exist to this day, although their number is decreasing. Today, Matagi is no longer a profession, but rather a way of living sustainably in harmony with nature.


Ⓒ Mt. Moriyoshi Guesthouse Oriyamake


In order to pass on the Matagi culture, the owner of Mt. Moriyoshi Guesthouse ORIYAMAKE, in Akita Prefecture, organizes winter excursions into the forests surrounding the guesthouse. Mr. Oriyama is a Matagi himself and his knowledge of the forest is vast. Spending time with him is guaranteed to be a great outdoor experience. 

Before entering the forest, you will attend a purifying ceremony. Then, you can prepare for the adventure. The easiest way to walk through snow would be with a pair of kanjiki, Japanese traditional snowshoes. Put them on and you are ready to go! Spot and identify animal footprints and maybe even catch a glimpse of the elusive winter hare. Learn more about the animals that live in the forest and the fauna that grows there. 


Ⓒ Mt. Moriyoshi Guesthouse Oriyamake


After a walk through the forest, enjoy a barbecue of bear meat in the snow with some stew to warm your body up. Sip on spicewood tea, freshly picked and brewed, to complete the gourmet experience and end the adventure with a fun slide down the snowy hills. At night, experience the authentic hospitality of Akita at Mt. Moriyoshi Guesthouse ORIYAMAKE. Renovated from a 70-year-old house, this traditional style lodge allows guests to immerse themselves into the local culture and enjoy the slow pace of a different way of life.


Ⓒ Mt. Moriyoshi Guesthouse Oriyamake






How to get there


From Odate-Noshiro Airport, take the limousine bus to Takanosu Station (15 minutes), transfer to a local train to Animaeda Onsen Station (10 minutes), then take a taxi to reach  Mt. Moriyoshi Guesthouse ORIYAMAKE (10 minutes). Pickup from the station is also available. 


131 Nakanomata, Nemorida, Kitaakita-shi, Akita-ken



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