Guided Trekking With 'Matagi' (Traditional Hunter) (Akita)

Discover the mysterious world of Japan's traditional game-hunters

'Matagi', traditional Japanese bear hunters, have practiced their craft in Northern Japan (Tohoku and Hokkaido) for hundreds of years. While these days their numbers are few, they represent a unique part of northern Japanese culture that is intrinsically intertwined with nature. Although the closest translation of 'Matagi' is simply 'hunter', a deeper exploration of the spirituality and practice of the Matagi reveals much more than simply hunting for wildlife. This short experience program gives visitors the opportunity to spend time with an authentic 'Matagi' and learn more about this unique history and culture. On the 'Ichi-no-taki' 1-2 hour course, visitors will trek to some picturesque local waterfalls, with stops along the way to discover more about the traditional activities of the Matagi. Other seasonal experiences such as foraging for wild vegetables or cooking bear-meat hot-pot in the snow also available!

Tour length: 1-2 hours

Seasonal programs: 

June – October: trekking, wild-vegetable foraging etc.

January – March: snow-shoe trekking, outdoor winter hot-pot etc.


By train: 30 min walk or 15 min drive from 'Animatagi Station' on the scenic Akita-Nairiku Railway Line.

*Pick-up from Animatagi Station may also be possible upon request.

Address: 'Utto Onsen: Matagi-no-yu', 67 Michikami, Semboku Watari, Ani Utto, Kita-Akita City



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