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Yama-Girls: Making the “Love Trek”

February 2011

By Julia Barnes & Clint Taniguchi, Tokyo

“Yama-gaaro” (mountain girl) and “power-spot” (spiritual place) are new trends seeing young women or Yama-Girls flocking to the mountains for health, fitness and even spiritual purposes.

Hotels are cashing in and creating high-value packages for the Yama-Girls by offering group discounts. Packages for women-only include round trip transportation, one-night accommodation, two health-conscious meals and an array of extras to relax after a day of hiking. Additional services include reflexology, hot spring bathing, saunas and aromatherapy. Higaki Hotel in Northern Japan is taking advantage of this trend in the winter season, creating women-only snow-shoeing packages with guides and instructors.

Amongst this demographic, perhaps there is nothing more important than fashion. Most mountaineering brands found in Japan have typically come from America or Europe. Now, however, domestic brands like Nanamica and White Mountaineering have jumped on the bandwagon, creating fashion-forward hiking gear for these young women like colorful leggings and mini-skirts.

Uniqlo & H&M are keeping up with the trends by marketing hip and affordable innerwear and outwear to this group. French company Aigle has recently embraced Yama-Girls fashion and created an entire “Love Trek” line for these mountain girls together with Japanese designer Yuri Yosumi.

Check out this URL to access a community of Yama-Girls complete with the latest list of hiking gear shops, promotions and postings of the latest Yama-Girl outfits!

Health & Fitness

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