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Snowshoe Workshop

Make Your Own Traditional Wooden Snowshoes

  • Inquire for Pricing
  • Tour starts and ends in Otari

Service Description

Our village, Otari, is located right smack in the middle of Japanese snow country, and over the centuries locals have developed numerous items and techniques to adapt to the harsh conditions that winter typically brings. In order to get around in all the snow, simple handcrafted snowshoes became the default solution - and one of the most elegant and useful iterations is known as "tsume kanjiki". ​ About "Tsume Kanjiki" ​ In general, this type of snowshoe was used by workers conducting various types of manual labor in spring. They are made from the branches of small, shrub-like trees. The outer frames are oblong in shape, and are made to be just slightly wider than your shoes, both on the sides and at the toes and heel. Your shoes rest on two parallel strands of woven cord just under your arch, while two wooden crampon-like "teeth" extend roughly 5cm into the snow on either side. Unlike standard "kanjiki", "tsume kanjiki" are designed such that your toes and heel can be dug into the snow to create additional traction. This design is most appropriate in spring or hard pack snow conditions, as well as climbing, descending and traversing snow-covered mountain slopes. ​ Recently, these traditional snowshoes, which are perfectly suited for the type of terrain and snow encountered here in Japan, have enjoyed a resurgence of popularity amongst winter mountaineers, backcountry skiers and snowboarders, fisherman, photographers and other outdoor enthusiasts because of their high functionality, light weight, use of renewable materials, traditional craftsmanship, uniqueness and more. Specifically, international visitors to Japan and younger individuals seem to particularly favor them for personal use. You will not only get to enjoy the process of making your own snowshoes, but the finished product is yours to keep; a unique, meaningful, fashionable and functional souvenir!

Upcoming Sessions

Contact Details

+ +81 90-6073-8250

Japan, 長野県北安曇郡小谷村中土瑞穂12992

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