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A Day in the Life of a Jomon Era Hunter-Gatherer in Niigata
Tokamachi City • Niigata
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"Travel over 2000 years into the past, and experience life in Japan as it was during the Jomon period."
In the beautiful wilderness of snowy Niigata, don the traditional clothes of the Jomon period and experience a day in the life in ancient Japan.

While Japan is known worldwide for its bustling modern cities and technology, it’s also a country with a long and rich history. Japan's history has been broken up into different eras, the earliest of which is the Jomon period, spanning from 14,500 BC to 300 BC.

During this immersive experience, you will learn about the rich culture of the Jomon period. First, you’ll choose your own traditional outfit, similar to the ones seen on ancient Jomon statues. Once you’ve dressed for the journey, a local guide will lead you up the mountain to hunt for edible plants while enjoying the view. After gathering wild plants, try your hand at hunting practice, learning how to shoot a bow and arrow at stationary targets.

At the Tokamachi City Museum, you’ll learn about the history of Niigata prefecture and the Jomon period through interactive activities. The museum boasts an impressive collection of Jomon artifacts, including the nationally-treasured flame-shaped earthenware pottery. Surviving in such a snowy climate can be difficult today and must have been even more so for people living in Niigata thousands of years ago. These artifacts help give a glimpse into the lifestyles of this ancient civilization, while hands-on activities put you right in the shoes of the Jomon era people.

No hunter-gatherer experience would be complete without a feast, so the day ends with a high-end meal made from local, Jomon era-appropriate ingredients. You’ll gather around an earthenware hot pot of vegetable nabe inside a restored pit house. Hot food and conversations around the fire—these are the things that brought people together during the Jomon period and are the same things we enjoy today that connect us to each other and to our shared past.

Highlights

  • Dress in traditional Jomon period clothing - simple outfits during the day, and colorful festive clothes in the evening
  • Connect with nature through gathering wild ingredients and hunting with a bow and arrow
  • Learn all about the time period from local guides with extensive knowledge
  • Enjoy a meal featuring local, gathered ingredients prepared in the traditional earthenware pottery

Inclusions

  • A visit to the Tokamachi City Museum
  • Jomon food and drinks
  • Lectures and tours from local tour guides