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    • Spring
      • Eating Wild in Japan

        Eating Wild in Japan

        Winifred Bird's latest book is an introduction to the world of sansai (mountain vegetables) and foraging in Japan.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkaido

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Northern Tohoku’s Top 5 Spring Hikes

        Chase the cherry blossoms north and enjoy five of Tohoku’s best hikes this spring.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.

        Haga Farm Spring Glamping in Tochigi

        Haga Farm and Glamping in Tochigi opened in August 2020, and it has quickly become a popular escape for Tokyoites.
    • Summer
      • Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Climbing Mt. Fuji Outdoor Japan

        Peaking in 2021: Climbing Mt. Fuji

        Thinking of climbing Mt. Fuji this summer? We talk to Mt. Fuji guides on best practices for scaling Japan's highest mountain.

        Japan Camping Guide

        Check out our picks all the way from Hokkaido to the Okinawa Islands and then plot your perfect Japan camping adventure.
        Japan's Digital Nomads Van Life in Japan

        Japan’s Digital Nomads

        Adventure couple Ruth Aisling and Bappa Shota explores Japan by van.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endangered Wildcats

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
    • Autumn
      • video

        Shikoku Road Trip: Kochi by Camper Van

        Mountainous forests and coastal towns dominate most of the prefecture, where visitors will find enterprising locals and nature guides working to revitalize their communities. Shikoku’s winding roads are best explored by car.
    • Winter
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
        Outdoor Japan Shimoda

        Blue Waves and Black Ships in Shimoda

        Shimoda may be famous for its white sandy beaches and surfing, but it also played a major role in shaping the Japan we know today.
        Iriomote Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote Activity Guide

        A guide to Iriomote's outdoors, hiking, diving, cultural experiences and accommodation.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
    • River and Lake
      • Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endanger...

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Iriomote Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote Activity Guide

        A guide to Iriomote's outdoors, hiking, diving, cultural experiences and accommodation.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkai...

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor A...

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
        video

        Shikoku Road Trip: Kochi ...

        Mountainous forests and coastal towns dominate most of the prefecture, where visitors will find enterprising locals and nature guides working to revitalize their communities. Shikoku’s winding roads are best explored by car.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • hiroshima skiing osorakan snow parkvideo

        Hiroshima Skiing at Osorakan Snow Park

        Enjoy skiing and snowboarding just an hour from Hiroshima at Osorakan Snow Park. Every winter, people from Kansai and Kyushu flock to one of the region’s most popular ski resorts for winter fun.
    • Travel
      • Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
        Japan's Digital Nomads Van Life in Japan

        Japan’s Digital Nomads

        Adventure couple Ruth Aisling and Bappa Shota explores Japan by van.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endangered Wildcats

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Eating Wild in Japan

        Eating Wild in Japan

        Winifred Bird's latest book is an introduction to the world of sansai (mountain vegetables) and foraging in Japan.
    • Food and Drinks
      • Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
        Japan's Digital Nomads Van Life in Japan

        Japan’s Digital Nomads

        Adventure couple Ruth Aisling and Bappa Shota explores Japan by van.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endangered Wildcats

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Eating Wild in Japan

        Eating Wild in Japan

        Winifred Bird's latest book is an introduction to the world of sansai (mountain vegetables) and foraging in Japan.
    • Races and Events
      • Photo by Noriteru Ino

        2021 Summer Music Festivals in Japan

        Camp and listen to great music in the outdoors at these summer music festivals across Japan.
        Summer Events Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        2021 Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these fireworks festivals held throughout Japan this summer and autumn.
        Summer Festivals in Japan

        2021 Summer Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these traditional matsuri festivals throughout Japan this summer.
        summer events omm lite and bike hakuba

        2021 Summer Events and Races in Japan

        Check out upcoming events and races held throughout Japan this summer and early fall.

Talking Fly with Eiji Hamachi

It’s uncommon that I meet someone who, from a young age, had a clear idea of what he or she loves to do and turned that passion into a successful business. Eiji Hamachi, founder and president of CAPS, is one of these rare souls. I could tell right off he was first and foremost an avid fisherman, explorer and all-around lover of the outdoors. 

Hamachi started his business back in the ’80s as a fishing equipment importer and later developer. The company has since grown, expanding into a multi-faceted outdoor goods business. These days a large portion of his business is through his brand Stream Trail and the design, manufacturing and distribution of high-quality waterproof bags and accessories. His designs emphasize simplicity, utility and solid construction, above all else.

Before heading over to his Tokyo showroom in Jiyugaoka, I had seen a few of them on the shoulders of light tackle sport anglers poking around the canals and seashore areas in Kanto, but also on hikers, campers and even cyclists. The simplicity of the designs gives them a lot of versatility for use across all outdoors pursuits.

Today, in addition to Stream Trail, CAPS brands include Vision Fly Fishing, Izumi Lures and Angler’s House, which offer a variety of tackle and accessories. They also began publishing their own web magazine, Stamps, which highlights the activities and adventures of enthusiasts and their brand ambassadors.

Our conversation meandered through all kinds of fishing-related subjects. I was impressed by his knowledge of a wide variety of fishing genres—and not just fly-fishing, his main pursuit. We could have talked into the wee hours of the morning about the places he’s wet a line. 

According to Hamachi, fly-fishing in Japan hasn’t taken off to the extent it has in the west, but there is an avid group of enthusiasts who push and define the boundaries of the sport in Japan and overseas. Although limited in scope, one of the interesting outcomes of Japan’s fly fishing movement has been a proliferation of some of the highest quality fly-tying materials as well as line and tippet material.

Hamachi says a good portion of these products is exported overseas to the best fly-tiers in the world. It makes sense, considering how popular Japanese lure fishing tackle has become in the last decade or so.

There are numerous hatchery trout streams all over the country that are perfect for beginners, and for saltwater enthusiasts there’s always world class sea bass and rockfish angling in Tokyo Bay, perfect for fly casting. Up north in Tohoku and Hokkaido, there are many rivers with native fish for the taking during the warmer months.

The last frontier for Japanese fly-fishing seems to be blue water fly casting for pelagics such as tuna and dorado. This is by no means impossible, but fewer skippers are currently knowledgeable of, or up for, the special challenges that come when guiding fly anglers in open water. We made tentative plans to fish in Sagami Bay later this summer when the dorado bite is in full swing.

Despite an uncertain business climate, Hamachi’s ventures seem to be humming steadily along. The company recently opened a spacious shop in Bangkok, Thailand, and is preparing to open or explore the possibilities of opening several other shops in the Southeast Asia region. In addition to fishermen, the company also sponsors artists and outdoor enthusiasts of activities such as caving, photography and cross-country cycling.

I came away impressed with Hamachi, not only because of his business success, although things do seem to be looking up for his company, but also his zest for life and the open-minded approach he takes to everything he does. I hope some of those good vibes rub off on me when we hit the water this summer.

Tokyo Showroom
2-5-2 Midorigaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-0034 
Tel: 03-6421-4425

Stream Trail Outfitters Bangkok 
66/2, Soi 2, Sukhumvit Road, Klong Toei, Bangkok
Tel: +66-2-656-8811-2

CAPS
2-12-19 Shinmori, Osaka Asahi-ku, Osaka-shi 535-0022 
Tel: 06-6955-2066

CAPS Brands 
Stream Trail
 
Izumi
Angler’s House
Stamps

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