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Campfield Origin Story

Written by: Savanna Frimoth

June 20th , 2022

Campfield Origin Story

As we inch ever closer to the eventual opening of Snow Peak’s first Campfield in the USA, we’re encouraged by the origin story of Snow Peak’s first campfield in Niigata. Tohru’s dedication to his vision of a new kind of camping experience laid the foundation for future ventures in the United States, like HQ4, Snow Peak’s restaurant Takibi, and now the Long Beach Campfield.  

In the 1999 company newsletter, Tohru Yamai shared his dream for an office located in the center of a campfield. He hoped to leave his office and wander through the tents, chatting with campers. After a failed attempt to purchase a small parcel of five acres, it was uncertain when Tohru’s dream would be realized.

However, that failure actually became a stroke of good fortune since it led to the discovery of a 41-acre property perfectly suited to Snow Peak. Tohru’s first visit took place on a cold winter day. He walked up the long snow-covered road, looking out at the fresh, bright snow covering the wide landscape. His heart was stirred by the beauty around him. He firmly decided that no other place could be the holy ground for Snow Peak. There were many discussions with the construction company until everyone was satisfied with the site design. In 2011, twelve years after Tohru first shared his vision, Snow Peak HQ1 Campfield opened to campers for the first time.  

The HQ1 Office and Campfield exemplify the quintessential Snow Peak experience. It conveys the Snow Peak philosophy to the world, not just in theory but in practice. Campers have visited from all over Japan, returning to their homes with more appreciation of Snow Peak than before. 

The Niigata Campfield fundamentally changed Snow Peak’s engagement with customers, offering a deeper sense of connection and purpose while also serving as a real-life test lab for new products. Eventually, Snow Peak opened five additional campfields across Japan, providing its customers with rejuvenating moments in nature. All Snow Peak’s campfields in Japan offer campers the opportunity to reconnect with nature without skimping on comfort or amenities. Each one provides a variety of sites, from tents to jyubakos (tiny cabins), and several offer retail stores, specialty activities, and food & beverage concepts.   

CAMPFIELDS & SOCIAL CAMPING  

The campfield nomenclature references traditional campgrounds in Japan. However, unlike typical campsites in the United States, there is often no delineation between sites. Instead, campers select their spot in an open field, usually next to their fellow outdoor enthusiasts. This open space approach naturally spurred a more social camping experience in Japan. Instead of isolated sites with limited interactions between groups, campers are integrated and often visit other’s setups. This community-oriented atmosphere is a core part of Snow Peak’s gathering ethos and approach to outdoor culture.     

SNOW PEAK CAMPFIELD LONG BEACH  

After months of demolition and planning, we’re thrilled to share that construction is progressing at the Long Beach Campfield. We hope you’ll enjoy a closer look at the project by watching our high-definition rendering tour.

We can’t wait to welcome Snow Peakers to the Long Beach Campfield in 2023. Stay updated on the project’s progress by following along on Instagram @snowpeakcampfield.