We believe

We’re a small outdoor brand from Kamakura, Japan.

Our philosophy is simple:

We are hikers.

We make and use our own gear.

Then we make the gear better the more we use it.

Year by year

UL Pad 15, ONE, Yamatomichi Sachoche released.

Akira and Yumiko Natsume founded Yamatomichi aiming to create the best ultralight gear in the world. The very first product was the UL Pad 15, followed by the ONE backpack in early summer.

In October, Yamatomichi hosted the first ‘Kamakura Hikers Meeting,’ bringing together Japanese ultralight garage brands. The event featured exhibitions, talk shows, and workshops. About 300 participants gathered, creating a lively atmosphere in the ultralight community scene. The ‘Kamakura Hikers Meeting’ continued to be held for the next five years.”

MINI、Minimalist Pad was released.

We released our second backpack, the MINI and the Minimalist Pad. The MINI continues to be one of our most popular products and is known for bearing able to support quite a bit of weight despite its simple and lightweight design

5-Pocket Shorts was released.

A long-cherished dream of making proprietary shorts since our establishment came true with the 5-Pocket Shorts. Featuring five pockets meticulously designed with hikers in mind, including a dedicated pocket for smartphones, these shorts set the standard for all our subsequent hiking wear.

Yak Wool Cap (Now: Merino Knit Cap) was released.

Since launching Yamatomichi, Akira and Yumiko Natsume have embarked on hiking trips every year. This year, for the first time they walked through the Himalayas.

THREE, 5-Pocket Pants, Stretch Mesh Cap, Zip Pack released.

Sales began in Taipei with ‘A.C.S.’ marking the start of overseas distribution, marking the beginning of a deep connection with Taiwan. (Later, due to the closure of the A.C.S, sales were transferred to ‘COW RECORDS.’ )

Merino Henley T-Shirts (Now: 100% Merino Light Henley), Merino Hoody(Now: 100% Merino Hoody), Merino Wool Cap, MINI2, Winter Hike Pants released.

Yamatomichi’s first office, the ‘Kamakura Factory,’ opens in Omachi, Kamakura. Simultaneously, our first physical store began opening only on the weekends. Around this time, a shared vision with Takeshi Azuma of ‘PLANTLAB.,’ known for organizing ultralight gear events in Osaka, led to opening ‘Yamashokuon’ in Kyoto.

Alpha Anorak, Alpha Haramaki was released.

A lot of new people started working with Yamatomichi. The nationwide “HIKE/LIFE/COMMUNITY TOUR 2017” was conducted at 23 locations. The realization that walking in the mountains, or “hiking” goes beyond a mere pastime and significantly influences their “life” and “community” prompted participants to search for clues on how each individual could mutually influence and enrich one another, creating a more fulfilling experience. To achieve this, talk shows by guest speakers with connections to each location and pop-up shops were organized.

Furthermore, we launched the Yamatomichi Journals, a web media platform covering a wide range of topics related to hiking, including ultralight (UL) hiking methodologies, equipment, trail information, history, and culture.

UL Rain Hoody、UL Rain Pants、5-Pocket Light Pants (Now: Light 5-Pocket Pants), 5-Pocket Light Shorts (Now: Light 5-Pocket Shorts), 5-Pocket Merino Pants (Now: Merino 5-Pocket Pants) released.

Impressed by the kindness of the people in Taiwan, We wanted to establish a base for hiking culture in Taipei and opened “samplus,” serving as a bridge connecting hikers from Taiwan, Japan, and around the world. Additionally, we implemented a program to help to obtain hiking permits in Taiwan, which can be a challenge to acquire, especially for foreigners, due to complicated application system.

Light Alpha Jacket/Vest, Merino Pullover (Now 100% Merino Pullover), Merino Zip Hoody (now 100% Merino Zip Hoody), Light Merino Kangaroo Pocket T-Shirt (Now 100% Merino Light Kangaroo Pocket), Light Merino Short Sleeve T-Shirt (now 100% Merino Light Crew Neck Pocket), UL Shirt, UL Short Sleeve Shirt, Bamboo Shirt, Bamboo Short Sleeve Shirt, Merino Shirt, β Merino Shirt Jacket, Merino Knit Cap was released.

In Zaimokuza, Kamakura, we established our first office, the Yamatomichi Research Laboratory as a hub for product research and development On the weekends, we turned our office into our first shop. Our HLC program began in the same year, with Hideki Toyoshima appointed as the director with ambassadors from all over Japan. In September, the Yamamichi HLC Hiking Festival was held in Iwate Prefecture.

Light Alpha Vest/Jacket Custom Edition, Light Merino Long Sleeve T-Shirt (now 100% Merino Light Long Sleeve), UL Rain Jacket PU Shinsui/Sosui, DW 5-Pocket Pants, DW 5-Pocket Shorts, Merino Coach Jacket, Only Hood, One Tuck 5-Pocket Pants, 5-Pocket Shorts Light was released.

With the COVID pandemic, we launched our Instagram live Q&A to keep connected with our loyal customers.

Merino Short Sleeve Shirt, UL All-weather Hoody, UL All-weather Long Hoody, UL All-weather Pants, 100% Merino Light Tank, 100% Merino Light Sleeveless, 100% Merino Light French Sleeve, 100% Merino Light Hoody, 100% Merino Light Long Sleeve Zip, 100% Merino Hoody, Light Alpha Only Hood, Light Alpha Tights, Alpha Vest, UL Mittens, UL All-weather Jacket was released.

On April 1st, we celebrated our 10th anniversary as well as launched our English website. The ‘UL All-weather’ series was released , introducing a new perspective for waterproof fabrics.

DF Mesh Merino Long Sleeve, DF Merino Mesh Sleeveless was released.

We developed BLACK UHPE, as our very own proprietary fabric. The ONE, previously available only through custom orders, became available for regular purchase. Major updates on the MINI were made. A new fabric was selected for the UL Shirt and UL Short Sleeve Shirt. The Yamatomichi Research Laboratory was transformed into a shop and reopened as Yamatomichi Kamakura. We moved our research and business hub, to our current Yamatomichi Daibutsu Research Laboratory in Fueda, Kamakura.

5-Pocket Shorts Long, DF Mesh Merino Crew Neck, DF Mesh Merino Hoody, Yamatomichi Cap, Light Alpha Armsleeves, Alpha Socks, AW Hike Pants, All-weather Alpha Jacket was released.

Our direct partner store in Kyoto, “Yamashokuon,” closed, and we opened our own stand alone store in Kyoto.The Yamamichi Festival, postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and typhoons, was held for the first time in four years, at Mt. Ishizuchi. We also also launched our monthly themed online articles, the YouTube series “Product Voice,” and the UL Hiking Training Program.

Yamatomichi has grown into an organization with over 50 people, including external staff.

Yamatomichi and friends

Yamatomichi was started by Akira and Yumiko Natsume, but became what it is now, thanks to many friends and family. Here, we would like to introduce our amazing staff and friends.

Yamatomichi Staff

Our main team is located in Fueda, Kamakura, In our Yamamichi Daibutsu Laboratory, engaged in product development, manufacturing, repair, and communications.

Akira Natsume

Founder and Director
Worked in the art and publishing fields until his mid-30s. Became deeply involved in the world of ultralight hiking in the early 2000s. In 2011, Akira and his wife Yumiko started Yamatomichi and have since, opened stores in Kamakura, Kyoto, and Taipei. Akira continues to develop new gear and to spread the philosophy of ultralight hiking to the world, not only through Yamatomichi’s gear but also through creating content, tours and events.

Yumiko Natsume

Co-founder of Yamatomichi. Sewing specialist.
After graduating from the Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, Yumiko worked six years in a costume production studio. Following that, freelancing for ten years, creating costumes for television, stage, pop idols, and cosplay. Although she only knew clothing, when starting Yamatomichi, she drew her first backpack pattern which became the ONE. The background music during her work has been TBS Radio since her costume production days.

Hiroki Kimura

Previously worked in a child-oriented digital craftsmanship education business, gaining experience in store management and event planning. Hiroki’s passion for adventure can be traced back to his childhood, where he embarked on journeys with his father, which led to his fascination to explore remote areas overseas and participating in crazy races like desert marathons. He later moved to the Kamakura area, where he discovered hiking through Yamatomichi. Hiroki also organizes outdoor sauna events and adventure races for kids with his local community. Through Yamatomichi, he wishes to create thriving hiking communities where members can be themselves and connect with nature.

Hidenori Maehara

Store Manager of the Yamatomichi Zaimokuza Store.
Hidenori grew up in rural Hokkaido. After working for five years as a physical therapist in an orthopedic clinic, he decided to work as a mountain hut caretaker in the Northern Japanese Alps. In 2019, he embarked on a journey of walking the entire length of New Zealand’s “Te Araroa” long trail with his spouse, seeking to fully immerse themselves in nature. This experience led them to embrace ultralight hiking and his current goal is to research and adopt a hiking style that minimizes injuries and environmental impact, so that he can stay as an active hiker even when he ages.

Yukari Fujita

Sales & Customer Support
After working at a fancy parasol shop and a trail running gear shop, Yukari joined Yamatomichi in 2018 with her expertise in Sales & Customer Support. Yukari was always into camping and hiking, but in 2016, she discovered trail running and was fascinated by the spiritual freedom it brought to her life. Yukari spends her days making work, family, and life richer and more beautiful and runs everyday to free her mind.

Junki Nakamura

Graduated art university, where he studied advertising.
Worked for five years at a video production company, managing the entire production process from planning, shooting, editing, and delivering of the final product. As a student, he learned about the long trails in the United States and embarked on an adventure to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). In 2018 and the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) in 2023. Fascinated by the lifestyle on trail, his life’s work is to share with the people how fun, healthy, and life changing hiking can be.

Stephen Moss

Born and raised in Japan. Grew up going on adventures with his local friends on their skateboards and through that experience, fell in love with backpacking. After graduating college, Stephen joined Yamatomichi with the hopes to someday hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), a long-distance trail in the US. In 2022, that dream came true, and he successfully completed a thru-hike of the PCT with the Yamatomichi ONE. Stephen works as a translator for our website, handles English customer service and works at the Kamakura shop during the summer. You can find him snowboarding in Niseko, Hokkaido during the winter. He hopes to one day become a triple-crowner (to hike the 3 long-distance trails in the US.)

Kazuhiro Hasumi

Production Manager
Originally from Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture. After university, Kazuhiro learned about video production at a television production company. Later, he expanded his expertise at an advertising production company, working on various media production projects, including television, commercials, graphics, music videos, web content, apps, interactive content, and live events. His fascination for hiking started when he discovered the beauty of the Northern Japanese Alps, which led to the discovery of the world of ultralight and Yamatomichi.

Yuma Shimoyama

Product Page Production.
Born in 1997, Rumoi City, Hokkaido.
Yuma worked for 4 years as a production manager in charge of video content and advertising. Originally, he enjoyed the outdoors through glamping but became obsessed with ultralight hiking after reading Hikers’ Depot Tsuchiya’s guide to UL hiking, during his endeavors of minimalistic living. Yuma is currently in charge of Yamatomichi’s product page production and is looking into his own unique ways of minimalistic living.

Otake Hikaru

Graduated university as a design major, but pursued photography, starting as an assistant at an advertising production company. Although born in Fukushima Prefecture, surrounded by nature, she thought that mountains were something to be seen from afar. After participating in OMM, an intense 2-day hiking race, the joy of hiking caught her heart. This led her to hike in Nepal and other foreign countries and she became a true outdoor enthusiast. She is constantly looking for inspiration in nature to implement in her artwork and lifestyle.

Masao Nakayama

Manufacturing Management.
Previously involved in apparel production and management, Masao discovered Yamatomichi and was captivated by the production of our Merino wool products and now oversees manufacturing for us. As for outdoor involvement, he once enjoyed hiking but shifted after developing a friendship with a potter who works in the mountains, and became deeply interested in ceramics made from natural materials, as well as the beauty it develops through daily use.

Takahiro Nakagawa

Production Manager.
Has worked in apparel since his early 20s, involved in planning, design, graphics, and production. In 2012, he and his friends launched a surfer brand in Chigasaki. As a freelance designer, he works with various brands and undertakes OEM work. He learned the joy of camping and other outdoor activities through the birth of his children, which led him to discover ultralight hiking. As he actively enjoys hiking as well as surfing, he is seeking a minimalist lifestyle as a “Surf Hiker” who goes beyond the waves and mountains.

Hirotomo Hirono

After university, Hirotomo enrolled in fashion school. After graduation, he gained experience in design and as a patterner for various designer brands, eventually finding his way to Yamatomichi. Although born and raised at the base of the beautiful Yatsugatake mountain range, he was a beginner in hiking. Hirotomo hopes to incorporate the experiences and joy from hiking into his craft.

Mami Nakanishi

Sewist, sample production
A graduate of a design-oriented technical college in Hokkaido. After graduation, she worked in a made-to-order clothing production company and a mass production factory after, specializing in sewing unique garments, stage costumes, and mass-produced clothing. Subsequently, she worked for 8 years as a sample sewing specialist for an apparel brand, participating in events like Paris Collections.
Captivated by the functionality and craftsmanship of our products, she works with us further deepening her sewing skill with ultralight hiking equipment. While she enjoys hiking, in recent years, she and her husband have developed an interest in weight training and running. Looking ahead, they are excited to take on trail running as a new challenge.

Ichiro Kitajima

After graduating from highschool with a engineering degree, Ichiro’s career in craftsmanship started in a video equipment manufacturer. After that he worked as a pattern cutter for 11 years at a sewing factory that handledhandles various brands. During his search for a lifestyle closer to nature, he encountered Yamatomichi and was profoundly moved by its philosophy, that led him to embark on a new challenge in his life. He is currently in charge of repairs. He has a passion for craftsmanship and nature, and his dream is to achieve a complete self-sufficiency lifestyle someday.

Misuzu Hirokawa

Repair Specialist
Originally from the picturesque Awaji Island, she brings with her an impressive 18-year career as a pattern maker in the world of fashion. Her fascination with mountains was ignited during her twenties when she first set foot in the Himalayas of Nepal. Since then, she’s embraced the life of a backpacker, exploring the globe as well as hiking mountains in Japan. She has a deep appreciation for the forested areas, ridge walks, and the intricate beauty of wildflowers and lichens. In 2017, she fulfilled a lifelong dream by hiking the trails of New Zealand. Her journey to Yamatomichi occurred when she was seeking a change in her work-life balance after becoming a mother. Despite the demands of parenting, she expertly manages repairs. In the future, she envisions embarking on long hiking journeys with her family.

Kiyo Matsumoto

After working in the music industry and a children’s clothing industry, Kiyo has been sewing since 2014 while simultaneously raising her children. She works every day with the motto of “​​Treat each piece with attention and care.” When a backpack is completed, she can’t avoid smiling and feeling joy for her work.

Kyoko Saito

Quality control manager.
Born in athe downtown area of Tokyo. After graduating from a fashion school, Kyoko worked as a pattern maker. She also gained experience in the development of original functional materials and product planning in the outdoor apparel division of a fishing company. Driven by intellectual curiosity towards the challenging creation of functional materials, Kyoko joined Yamatomichi and enjoys spending her free time in nature.

Yuto Kato

Software Engineer
While having a background in web engineering, Yuto was involved in a wide range of businesses in his previous job, including education, organizational consulting, and community development. The inspiration to start hiking came from previous work, a project involving participants to deepen self-understanding through hiking. Yuto hopes that through hiking, more people can become more free. After a career change, he moved to the Zushi-Hayama area, enjoying a lifestyle full of nature.

Reo Inami

Back Office
Reo is in charge of back-office tasks in Yamatomichi, focusing on accounting and finance, He started hiking by chance after watching a YouTube video, and quickly became hooked on all things outdoors including climbing, canyoning, and trail running. The experience of section hiking the John Muir Trail in the US with his spouse left an indelible impression, and inspired them to live a life closer to the mountains. In 2021, they made the move from Tokyo to Kofu, bringing them closer to the mountains. Reo has a passion for making spice curries, and occasionally opens a pop-up curry shop. Recently, he has been challenging himself to create delicious curries while hiking using minimal ingredients.

Kazumi Imai

Kazumi is a mother of two who relocated to Zushi, her husband’s hometown, when their eldest son entered kindergarten. Amidst the richness of mountains, rivers, and the sea, she engages in parenting and enjoying and sharing the outdoors. Kazumi is in charge of accounting atin Yamatomichi.

Masayo Noguchi

Applied and accepted to enter the Tokyo Marathon in 2009 on a whim, with zero training, Masayo somehow managed to complete it. After completing a full marathon, initially thought to be impossible, the desire to overcome various hurdles grew, leading to finishing trail running races exceeding 100 km, both domestically and internationally. Embracing the belief that even an ordinary housewife can overcome the impossible, she eagerly takes on various challenges. During the weekends, she is often found somewhere running around in Okumusashi. The landscapes seen during a trip to South America remain unforgettable, and she dreams of walking the Inca Trail someday. Her two beloved cats are her pride and joy.

Kanade Sangawa

Chef at the Yamatomichi Cafeteria
Even though Kanade was raised by parents who both worked in outdoor-related professions, but never developed her own outdoor skills. To rectify this she joined Yamatomichi. Hiking allowed her to confront the past and stay present, feeling the weight of entanglements, and imagining how to lighten the weight off her shoulders. Kanade is also an active artist, with a reputation for illustrations that express emotions in a straightforward style. She regularly holds exhibitions in Kamakura. She Dreams of having a studio with a sauna in the middle of the forest, aiming for self-sufficiency as an artist.

Masaaki Mita

Yamatomichi Journals editor-in-chief / photographer.
Working as a photographer for cultural and music magazines, a deep passion for adventures emerged. Drawn to the grandeur of nature during adventures to many countries, Masaaki began hiking as a way to connect with nature. Before long he was working for outdoor magazines, with writing assignments, leading to the current state of not knowing his main profession. As a writer he, continues to pursue ultralight hiking and the culture of Japanese independent makers as a lifelong passion. Through a work-related interview with Yamatomichi’s founder Akira Natsume, he gradually found himself in his current positions through sharing drinks and going on hiking adventures with Akira.

Koh Body

Illustrator & Graphic Designer for Yamatomichi’s online shop / Journals.
An illustrator / graphic designer based in Taipei. After working in design in Tokyo, Koh became independent. In 2017, established “Raying Studio” and has been actively engaged in various activities, focusing on illustrations for magazines and books between Japan and Taiwan. He alsoAlso, happens to be the younger brother of Hector Hsu, the owner of Samplus, our collaborative store in Taipei.

Yamatomichi Laboratory Staff

Day and night, the research team at Yamatomichi diligently studies the materials and functions of hiking equipment. The research findings of the team are not only fed back into the products of Yamatomichi but are also shared with the public through our journals.

Takahiro Watanabe

Main Researcher
In charge of research, including materials and the general outdoor market. After working for various design companies, Takahiro participated in the establishment of a marketing company. Currently involved in various research and data analysis. Also works on travel-related tasks such as operating a travel information site (tabinote.jp) and writing guide articles. His favorite style of hiking is walking for 2 days straight with no sleep. Occasionally participates in trail running races.

Rin Matsumoto

Textile Researcher
After working in sewing factories, fashion brands, fabric manufacturers, and design offices, Rin has been working as a freelance textile planner since 2016. She likes to visit production areas nationwide, engaging in a wide range of craftsmanship, including functional materials and fashion textiles. Rin enjoys hiking daily, from casual day hikes to tent camping traverse, climbing, and snowboarding both locally here in Japan and abroad.

Masaaki Nonoyama

Organization Development / Sandal Development Team Leader.
Engaged in various UI designs, focusing on embedded system UIs for home appliances, business equipment, vehicles, and more as a User Interface Designer. Started working in Kyoto Kitayama around the same time as becoming fascinated with hiking activities like trail running and fastpacking. Involved in various prototyping and design, leading to making his own gear like huaraches, gaiters, and wallets. Additionally, Masaaki engages in MYOG (Make Your Own Gear) regardless of physical gear or digital, such as creating a metronome app that changes according to running speed. Interested in motion analysis, also conducts training and analysis using sensors and cameras.

Yamatomichi Zaimokuza Communications Staff

The staff at our Zaimokuza Shop in Kamakura, serve as a hub for hikers in the area. The, the staff here are in charge of delivering information to our customers about products and ultralight hiking related topics.

Oji Sonoda

Yamatomichi Zaimokuza Staff
Originally from Osaka, Oji relocated to Kamakura in 2017. After working as a book planner and editor at an art-related publishing company he went freelance and now also works at our Yamatomichi Zaimokuza shop while running his own book business. He is also a keen gardener and hunter!

Yuko Tsunoda

Yamatomichi Zaimokuza Staff
Born in Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture. In her twenties, with no prior interest in the outdoors, she started her hiking adventures on a colleague’s invitation. Captivated by the scenery of the Japan Northern Alps, she developed a strong desire to live there and began working at a mountain hut. Subsequently, after working at a mountain gear store, she joined the Yamatomichi. After walking the Everest Trail and the Camino, experiencing the joy of long trails, she developed a desire to walk in nature for even longer. Her dream is to be a trail angel somewhere in Japan while traveling the world with her self-proclaimed eternal backpacker husband.

Ayumi Uesugi

Yamatomichi Zaimokuza Staff
Originally from Kanagawa. After graduating from an event production specialized school with the goal of becoming a tour staff for her favorite artist, she achieved her dream early in her career as backstage crew. While contemplating her future and influenced by her hiker parents, she decided to pursue a career related to hiking as well. She first started working for an outdoor gear company, then a mountain hut in the Northern Alps and a finally a gear store staff before joining Yamatomichi. Ayumi engages in various hiking activities such as traversing, climbing, canyoning, alpine climbing, and ice climbing throughout the year. Currently experimenting by combining her interests in moped touring, skateboarding and hiking.

Yuhi Yokoi

Yamatomichi Zaimokuza Staff
Originally from Gifu Prefecture. Yuhi grew up working with nature such as rice field work and shiitake cultivation with his grandparents, fostering a connection with nature from a young age. Enjoys fishing and going to rivers and the sea but did not start hiking until his mid-30s until one-day he hiked a trail in Kamakura. The excitement he felt for nature during his childhood rekindled, awakening an interest in hiking. Since then, fluctuating between the initial excitement of hiking and the reality of a slightly overweight physique, Yuhi is attempting an ultralight transformation with his gear and his body.

Yamatomichi Kyoto Communication Staff

Yamatomichi Kyoto shop, serves as a hub for hikers in the area. The staff are in charge of delivering information to our customers about products and ultralight hiking related topics.

Akihiro Yamamoto

Yamatomichi Kyoto Staff
In 2015, Akihiro started day hiking with his family when his child was only 5 years old, enjoyed exploring giant trees and historical mountains in the Kansai region, especially around Kyoto. During a visit to our previous shop in Kyoto, ‘Yamashokuon,’ he encountered Yamatomichi and ultralight hiking. Subsequently, his hobby as an illustrator turned into a job, and after leaving a career of over 25 years in the fishing industry, he started working at Yamashokuon. Currently, Akihiro is challenging himself by going on long-term tent camping, snow hikes, and bikepacking and being actively engaged in ultralight hiking, aiming to convey the profound impact that ultralight hiking has had on himself.

Ryo Kubota

Yamatomichi Kyoto Staff
Born in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture. A loving father of one who has a deep affection for Shiga. Ryo is semi-famous in Japan from his “Misoshiru Egao” YouTube channel, which focuses on hiking and Shiga prefecture. After graduating from a specialized school for childcare, he worked at nurseries and children’s rehabilitation facilities. The catalyst for his current journey started when he cycled all of Japan, leading to a decision to pursue dairy farming in Hokkaido. While enjoying camping since his student days, he became tired of the clutter and amount of gear needed and began hiking. However, while hiking he almost fell from a cliff due to his heavy pack, which ledlead him to ultralight and minimalist approaches. Ryo takes pride in walking long distances with the bare minimum, like walking the Shiga Circumference Trail for over 24 days. He is actively exploring ways to live leisurely with minimal expense.

Mayumi Syoji

Yamatomichi Kyoto Staff
From her student days, Mayumi had a love for hiking and camping, but sought more nature during her travels in New Zealand. She worked on various farms while traveling the entire country by car, walking from the Routeburn Track to local trails, completely captivated by the experience. In New Zealand, she realized her lack of knowledge about hiking in Japan, and immersed herself in domestic adventures upon returning. Discovered Yamatomichi through a friend’s ultralight gear setup, she was amazed with how light it was during her first overnight hiking trip in the Japan Northern Alps. Mayumi coincidentally met Akira, the founder of Yamatomichi, at a club in Kyoto, which led her to help with the launch of Yamashokuon in the city. Now, Mayumi maintains a lifestyle of winter snowboarding in Hokkaido for about 2 months and returns to Kyoto in the spring, continuing this reverse migratory bird life for over 10 years. She enjoys music and Japanese-style comedy.

Ayana Nagai

Yamatomichi Kyoto Staff
Ayana loved traveling since her student days and embarked on backpacking trips in search of nature. She developed a passion for hiking during these travels and began hiking while working as a nurse. She dDecided to quit her job to embark on overseas trekking adventures, exploring trails like the John Muir Trail in the US and trekking in Patagonia, Chile, Canada and South America. Through these adventures she was able to rediscover the beauty of Japanese mountains. After returning home, Ayana joined Yamatomichi as a staff in our Kyoto store. She enjoys trail running and is grateful for every minute spent in the mountains

Ryota Mabuchi

Yamatomichi Kyoto Staff
Ryota is a Kyoto native. Started playing the guitar at the age of 15, then moved to Tokyo after high school graduation to pursue a career as a professional musician, working as a composer, arranger, and guitarist. However, after surgery, he experienced numbness in his hand, leading to the end of his musical career. He then started exploring new possibilities, leveraging skills such as room styling, video shooting/editing, and coaching. Later, he returned to Kyoto and began camping, turning his childhood memories into a serious hobby. Discovered ultralight hiking later on, sensing the potential of incorporating a minimalistic way of living into his life, he began his journey as a ultralight hiker in January 2023. Currently studying to maximize the application of ultralight thinking from hiking to everyday life.

Yusaku Andoh

Yamatomichi Kyoto Staff.
While working at Yutonami, a company that runs saunas such as “Ume-yu” in Kyoto, he was charmed by Yamatomichi founder Akira, during the reception party at the Yamatomichi Kyoto store and decided to join the company shortly after. Yusaku had previously owned a MINI2 drawn to its mesh pocket. Although Yusaku has experience in day hiking and trail running, he didn’t know too much about ultralight hiking and is currently gaining experience through Yamatomichi. He plans to participate in the Ultra-Trail Mt. FUJI in 2 to 3 years and is also active in the running team “HAR,” based in Osaka and Kyoto. Despite often being mistaken for a Southeast Asian, he is 100% Japanese, originally from Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture.

Daisuke Ito

Yamatomichi Factory Staff

The staff at our small Yamatomichi Factory in Kamakura make most of our custom-order products such as the ONE and Custom MINI backpacks.

Kyoko Inoue

After graduating from Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, she worked as a pattern maker at an apparel manufacturer. Following that, she worked for a costume production company before becoming a freelance costume maker. Currently, she is mainly involved in projects with Yamatomichi and occasionally works on stage costume production.

Satomi Kichise

After graduating from Esmod Japan, she worked for a well known fashion brand in her early twenties. At the age of 28, she became an independent freelance pattern maker and later. In her thirties, she founded her own apparel brand, balancing the roles of a brand owner and pattern maker. About 10 years ago, she moved to Kamakura after meeting her husband. Starting a new chapter in her life helping out her husband’s hiking gear store and beer business, previously unfamiliar to her. Mother of two.

Ayako Igarashi

Ayako worked in an apparel company after graduating from university, gaining experience in the sales of women’s products and coordinating bridal outfits. After getting married and, while taking care of her children, she rediscovered her love for creating things, fabrics, and threads. She worked for 6 years as a production staff at a canvas bag store in Kamakura. With numerous Yamatomichi products at home, she discovered a job opening for a sewing staff on the website and applied and started working for us.

Yamatomichi Hike/Life/Community (HLC) Team

A community devoted to a life well hiked! The following people help us spread the word about Yamatomichi and organize events and local hikes throughout Japan.

Hideki Toyoshima

Yamatomichi HLC Project Director
While engaged in creative activities such as art production, spatial composition, curation, and event planning, Hideki is also the founder of “Happy Hikers”, a group of Yamatomichi friends in Kyushu. In addition to hiking, he is also into telemark skiing and climbing. As a vegetarian, he is addicted to South Indian food, and enjoys growing banana leaves to use make asmeal plates. On paper he lives in Fukuoka with his wife, (though they are mostly not at home!

Ai Hino
Yoshitaka Toge

HLC Hokkaido Ambassador & Owner of Coffee Shop Sprout
Yoshitaka moved to Niseko, Hokkaido in 2009 to open the SPROUT coffee shop, in 2019 he opened Camp&Go, a place where you can enjoy coffee and the outdoors. He currently spends his time studying coffee, hiking, skiing, kayaking, and being active in the Niseko mountain range.

Hiroki Ueno

HLC Tohoku Ambassador & Outdoor Shop Knotty Owner
Hiroki moved to New York in his teens, and became immersed in dance and street culture. After returning to Japan, he rediscovered the mountains that he had been familiar with as a child and began enjoying nature all year long through hiking, bag-country skiing, climbing, trail running, and river trekking. He established the outdoor store “Knotty” in Shiwa-machi, Iwate Prefecture, to promote safe and fun mountain activities, and is constantly striving to find a sense of groove with nature, mountains, and people.

Tomoyuki Meguriya

HLC Kita-kanto Ambassador & Outdoor Shop Lunnetes Staff
When Tomoyuki was 20 years old, he climbed Mt. Nasu with a friend and was left deeply impressed. Tomoyuki first encountered UL culture when he picked up a Yamatomichi Sacoche. Around the same time, he also discovered the beauty of making his own gear, and found joy in going hiking with tools that he had made by hand. After retiring from a camera manufacturer, he joined the staff of LUNETTES. Besides hiking, he is also into fly fishing and telemark skiing.

Riku Yamamoto
Yuji Nakagawa

HLC Kanzai Ambassador & Owner of Taninokisha Mountain Gear
While wandering around with a camera in hand, Yuji became fascinated by the lifestyle and culture of mountain tribes in Tibet, Karakoram, Ladakh and their overwhelming landscapes. In April 2020, he opened his own shop, Yamadogu Taninokisha, while running an apparel company that sells handicrafts from around Asia and the Middle East. His favorite thing to do is explore mountains and drink hard liquor while camping with ultralight gear.

Tetsu Kanno

HLC Shikoku Ambassador & Outdoor Shop T-mountain Owner
Tetsu, a loving father of three girls, runs thea mountain gear store “T-mountain,” at the foot of Matsuyama Castle in Shikoku. He loves to run, climb, snowboard, and hike, and has been traveling to major mountains in Japan and abroad since his twenties. In recent years, he has found a deep connection in the mountains he grew up around, in his local area in Shikoku.

John Lin

HLC Taiwan Ambassador
After studying Western mountaineering techniques at the Yamnuska Mountain Skills Semester in Canada, he returned home and founded the Miasan Outdoor Center, where he teaches hiking and snow mountaineering and manages mountain lodges. For more than 20 years, he has been learning how to live closer to nature from the indigenous Bunong people of Taiwan, and has a deep knowledge of permaculture.

Yamatomichi Friends

We wouldn’t be what we are without our many friends that help us with all the stuff we cannot do on our own.

Kotaro Hayami

Sizing control / design has been his focus in the apparel industry for about 20 years, currently serving as the dedicated sizing designer for four chief pattern makers in the apparel industry. When asked to do the grading for backpack shoulder straps, he was so fascinated by the fun of it that heshe became eager to grade everything related to mountain gear. Kotaro’s private life is dedicated to UL hiking, preferring solo trips to low mountains and lowlands. HeShe tends to spend hisher days drinking in front of a tent rather than moving forward. Father of two.

Eriko Tsuchikawa

A graduate of Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo. Eriko worked as a pattern maker for a collection brand right after graduation. After becoming a mother, she left the company and began working as a freelancer. Currently operating under the name ‘Tsukada Seisakujo,’ she can create anything that can be made with a sewing machine, not just limited to clothing. Occasionally joining their daughter in bouldering, she finds it challenging to keep up with the rapid progress of her child. Her daughter, who loves hiking and outdoor rock climbing, expressed a desire to camp in nature. However, since they only have experience with mountain hut overnights, Eriko is currently contemplating how to fulfill her daughter’s wish of hiking overnight in a tent.

Masashi Yamamoto

Online shop consultant, engineering specialist
Due to his wide range of skill and expertise, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what he specializes in, but his main profession is web directing and engineering. Since hiking the John Muir Trail (JMT) in 2016, he has become captivated by overseas hiking and tries to go overseas every year. Whether it’s trail running, hiking, or fast-packing, he’s determined to enjoy everything to the fullest as a working professional, striving to make his weekends fulfilling.

Jens Jensen

Branding/Communication/Real estate development and management
Born in Denmark, Jens has been living in Japan since 2002. He moved to Kamakura in 2013 in a house he renovated over a period of four years. He helps with branding, communicaionts and is also in charge of real estate development and management.

Yosuke Abe

Art direction and design.
Handling various companies’ websites and movies at the design firm ‘tha ltd.’, he also served as the art director for GINZA magazine. He became independent in 2017 and now runs his own creative agency ‘small inc.’, where he is involved in the promotion and branding building of various companies such as Muji. Through Yamatomichi, he discovered the charm of tent camping and snow-capped mountains. While walking the mountains in his local town of Kamakura almost every week, he contemplates his next mountain expedition.

Toshihiro Saito

Web direction and technical direction.
Since the early days of the internet, Toshihiro has been continuously involved in consulting and producing corporate websites and e-commerce sites. Simultaneously, he has released five albums with his band Pepe California. He continues to produce and perform live at his own pace. He also organizes the wine bar NEWPORT in Yoyogi Park and spends most weekends playing soccer. Still being a beginner in terms of hiking, he is gradually learning through working with Yamatomichi.

Emma Nakajima

Freelance writer.
In Yamatomichi, Emma is responsible for our care page and other writing-related tasks.
After studying broadcasting and advertising at an art university, she worked 8 years in PR, IT and retail. After becoming independent, she engaged in sports and outdoor coverage, writing, and PR consulting for various ventures. With almost no experience in athletic clubs or sports, she started getting into running around the age of 25. Now, engaged in various mountain activities such as running, trail running, long trails, winter trekking, and delivering heavy rations to mountain huts by foot throughout the year. Completed the Tor des Géants, a 330 km race in the European Alps, and in 2018, ran the GR10 in France from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Emma enjoys trails in Europe and Asia, hiking and exploring cities around the world. Emma is known to show up anywhere at moments notice and lives a dual-life with her small Japanese camping car.

小林 朋寛
Tomohiro Kobayashi

In the early days of the internet in 2000, started working in music media editing as a new graduate, and later worked in production at an internet company. After becoming independent in 2012, he started freelance writing and editing work, focusing on the music field. In 2014, encountered trail running, leading to an expansion of writing into sports and lifestyle fields. Joined the web media/magazine “mark” as an external editor (until April 2023). Moved to Okinawa in 2015 to raise a son. In addition to editing work, started a business in 2020 with his wife producing spicy oil, running the venture together as SUNNY&ME.

Hector Home

Through the Taipei select shop “COW RECORDS,” Hector introduced products from Japanese independent makers, including Yamatomichi, to Taiwan. In April 2018, he opened the outdoor shop “samplus” in collaboration with Yamatonichi and his younger brother, Hong Bao Di’s “RAYING STUDIO.”

Makoto Uchida

Legal and Intellectual property
A lawyer and patent attorney at the iCraft Law Office. Graduated from the Department of Physics and Engineering at Kyoto University. Specializing in intellectual property strategy in AI and IT. Especially deep tech fields, legal strategy for data business, personal information protection law, and IT-related legal matters. Actively involved in various committees, serving as a member of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s “AI and Data Contract Guidelines Review Committee,” a specialist committee member for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ “Data Contract Guidelines Review Committee in the Agricultural Field,” and a mentor for the Japan Patent Office’s “Intellectual Property Acceleration Program (IPAS).” Hobbies include collecting gadgets, home appliances, and camping. Despite specializing in the IT field professionally, he grew up hiking during his childhood, making him a true “outdoors person”.