why did you come to Japan?

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Traditional Japanese "Matagi" experience! New Year's day spent in Japan with struggle against sleepiness.

  • food
  • PLACE
  • act
  • cul
Traditional Japanese
  • Alan
    Alan
    nedVery unique "Matagi" experience that is even rare for Japanese!
    A 25-year-old former Akita International University student who loves Akita.

Traditional Japanese "Matagi" experience! New Year's day spent in Japan with struggle against sleepiness.

  • Visiting Japan again to visit best friends.

    Visiting Japan again to visit best friends.

    25-year-old Alan is from Holland used to study at the Akita International University until last year. He's visiting Japan again to visit his best friends from university. He is planning to experience a Matagi trip during his 12 days of stay.


  • 3.5 hours train ride with no seat.

    3.5 hours train ride with no seat.

    Alan wasn't aware how bad the transportation situation could be at the end of the year and he had to keep standing for 3.5 hours as he could not reserve a seat on a shinkansen. His best friend Suzaki-san has picked him up, apparently they are planning to drink all night at their another best friend Komiya-san's house.


    Akita Station
    7-1-2, Nakadori, Akita city, Akita prefecture
  • What are traditional Matagi hunters that continues their history since the Heian period.

    What are traditional Matagi hunters that continues their history since the Heian period.

    "Matagi" are traditional winter hunters of Akita prefecture. Kita-Akita is known as a home of Matagi and there are about 30 of them still exist but the number is decreasing. To experience the Matagi hunting Alan visits Moriyoshizan, north of Akita, which is 3 hours away by car.


    Let's begin hunting in a traditional Matagi style!

    Let's begin hunting in a traditional Matagi style!

    Alan meets up with Hifumi Sato-san, the boss of Matagi, who is taking him hunting today. Alan wears a 50-year-old Akita-inu fur skin jacket, a wicker hat and snowshoes that fits him perfectly! Making a wish to a mountain god, let the hunting begin!


    Taking a bite of bear meat!

    Taking a bite of bear meat!

    Chasing the game for 3 hours yet nothing has been caught and it's time to call it a day. Matagi has prepared a hot pot dish for Alan cooked with bear that they caught in summer, and some local pork. This is Alan's first time tasting bear meat but he seems to like it that its texture being soft.


    5 more hours till the new year! But nothing can beat the sleepiness.

    5 more hours till the new year! But nothing can beat the sleepiness.

    5 more hours till the new year! As soon as Alan arrives at a B&B, he falls asleep… He drank till dawn last night and spent half a day hunting in the snow mountain. He is reaching his limit… But he cannot spend the new year's eve in bed, Suzaki-san keeps trying to wake him up.


    A few more hours till new years! Is he really ok drinking that much??

    A few more hours till new years! Is he really ok drinking that much??

    A new Matagi Oriyama-san joins and the party continues on till count down! A various local food including Kiritanpo hot pod and Toshikoshi soba are served. Alan enjoys the company with good memories from last year, and keeps drinking!


    Then he falls asleep again…will he be there for the count down?

    Then he falls asleep again…will he be there for the count down?

    Alan falls asleep again in bed but thanks to his friends he wakes up 1 minute before the new year. He and his friends enjoys a local sake to start off the new year! Alan feels the culture of Akita and is confident to say that it is his second home.


    Moriyoshizan
    Kita-Akita city, Akita prefecture