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Intimate time with Akita Intimate time with Akita

Try a hunter-gatherer lifestyle at Kominka guesthouse Try a hunter-gatherer lifestyle at Kominka guesthouse

Kominka guesthouse at oriyamake Map Kominka guesthouse at oriyamake Map

Access from Tokyo

  • 08:55 Haneda Airport - ANA Domestic flight (70 mins)
  • 10:05 Odate Noshiro Airport
  • 10:20 Taxi (30mins)
  • 10:50 ORIYAMAKE

Nearby Recommended Spots

  1. 1Kakunodate Samurai District:1 hour and 40 minutes by Akita Nairiku Line
  2. 2Nyuto Hot Springs:about 1 hour and 50 minutes by car
  3. 3Morioka Bullet Train:2 hours and 40 minutes by Akita Nairiku Line

Experience the hunter-gatherer lifestyle in a traditional guesthouse

Experience a hunter-gatherer lifestyle with a homestay situated in the small village of Nemorida in Kita-akita City. Surrounded by mountains and beautiful terraced rice fields, ORIYAMAKE is a 70-year old kominka, a traditional Japanese house commonly found in rural Japan as homes to farmers and merchants. Originally designed as a place of work as much as a family home, ORIYAMAKE has been renovated into a modern guesthouse that retains the charm of rural Japan. The host, Mr. Oriyama, is an active Matagi - traditional hunter-gatherers whose culture dates back about 1,000 years - and guests will have the opportunity to experience the authentic lifestyle and spirit of Matagi culture that is still prevalent in the Tohoku region.

ORIYAMAKE Kominka Guesthouse Akita Japan
Guests at ORIYAMAKE Kominka Guesthouse
Host of ORIYAMAKE Kominka Guesthouse

Form a deeper understanding of the local Matagi culture

ORIYAMAKE is more than just a traditional guesthouse with its friendly host, Mr. Oriyama. He is a descendent of the Matagi - Japanese hunters, who once survived by hunting, gathering mountain vegetables, and making charcoal, now still prevalent in the Shirakami-Sanchi forest between Akita and Aomori. The Matagi have been around for about 1,000 years and have established a unique faith while hunting and gathering in the harsh nature of snowy mountains. To them, their prey is a gift from the mountain gods, and their gratitude for receiving the bounty from nature is expressed in many rituals. Stay at ORIYAMAKE to understand the authentic lifestyle of these people who have been living sustainably since ancient times.

Mr Oriyama Descendent of the Matagi Japanese Hunters
Matagi Culture Akita Japan
Hunting and Gathering in Akita Japan

Partake in activities like hunting and gathering with a Matagi
(no animal will be harmed during the hunting activities)

You can learn the wisdom of living in harmony with nature, which is the root of the Matagi lifestyle and culture. The best time to stay at ORIYAMAKE is in winter since the Matagi are winter hunters. Put on traditional Japanese snowshoes, called kanjiki, and go on a trek through the snow to follow the tracks of animals. There are also plenty of nature-based excursions outside of winter. In spring, gather wild vegetables in the forest and make tea from the "Kuromoji (spicewood)" plant that grows naturally in the mountains (April to May). In summer (June to August), go fishing in the river or trek through mountain streams. In autumn (September to October), you can pick wild mushrooms. Experience the Matagi culture of living with nature.

Winter in ORIYAMAKE Akita Japan
Matagi Lifestyle and Culture
Tea from Kuromoji Spicewood Plant

Stay in a Matagi guesthouse with all the creature comforts

After a long day of exploring Akita's nature, taking a break in the living room with an irori is a special treat. No longer found in most homes today, this Japanese sunken hearth - traditionally used for heating homes and for cooking - invites you to slip a century back in time and you feel relaxed in the seemingly slow-paced mood. You can also prepare your own meals using local ingredients in the well-equipped modern kitchen. Time seems to slow down in ORIYAMAKE as you soak in the nostalgic atmosphere of the tatami rooms and warmly lit corridors, and enjoy the warm company of the host. In order to truly enjoy the local lifestyle here, it has been recommended to have a stay of at least 3 days and 2 nights.

ORIYAMAKE Japanese Sunken Hearth
Local Life Experience in ORIYAMAKE Akita Japan

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