Bushcraft Japan

A new Bushcraft Experience is coming to Japan!

Did you ever have the feeling of connecting with nature, going back to your roots, wanting to understand what nature has to give, understand and Practise bushcraft & primitive living skills or just want to get Comfortable with the natural world? Then this might be the course for you.

We have designed Two different 3 day courses. These two courses can be booked separately or as one 6 day course. These courses can be followed by beginners but definitely also by more experienced “bushcrafters”. The reason for this is because of the amount of knowledge we bring to the table, we will bring in Thijmen Apswoude From Holland, who runs one of Europe’s most respected bushcraft schools. His school is very female friendly and has a 50/50 ratio of men to women. (You can find more about Thijmen later in the description.)

This course will be a perfect mixture of theoretical, practical & demonstration lessons,
With breaks in between each new lesson.


We believe that if you really want to practise bushcraft and primitive living skills you have to do so in the natural environment and stay away from modern materials.  We believe that practising with modern materials like modern cordage, plastics etc, teaches you how to use modern materials.

We also believe that modern materials can be a distraction from connecting with the natural environment, and connecting with the natural environment is key to truly merge with it and understand how things work, how plants and trees grow, and how animals behave and bring you the level of solitude that is needed.

“Bushcraft & primitive living skills is like a book with difficult words, once you start to understand the word, you will understand what the book is about.”


Set 100% outdoors on the edge of a forest in a small village in Sanda, Hyogo.


More in depth course description

Day 1 – Fire Day

We start with basic Knife safety…

After that, we will be learning about finding Dry wood, not just hinoki or Sugi “Cryptomeria Japonica”,but multiple trees during the tree walk and also identify these trees, how to find really dry wood in a Moist/damp environment and learn how to build up a fire with the 7 stages of fire building We will then gather different tinder materials and understanding the differences between hard, soft and flash tinder material. When we have prepared everything for our fire, we will collect,make and use a bowdrill from natural materials. We believe that collecting your bowdrill set out of nature teaches you way more than just using a set that is already prepared for you, this is a philosophy that we believe is close to the heart of Japanese Culture.

When we are working on these skills and crafts, our Japanese colleague will prepare a tea ceremony with cups made from bamboo taken directly from the forest, and sweet rice candy prepared in leaves. In a traditional style.

During the evening there is time to finish projects or spend time with others, but one thing is important. We are preparing the dough for the morning. Besides the more traditional japanese breakfast we will also bake bread on a fire.

Day 2 – Fishing & Trapping

During the second day after our freshly campfire-baked bread, we will be working on traps made from bamboo and other various primitive style traps, using mechanisms that can be applied to most primitive traps. These traps have been proven to work. Thijmen has used many traps in his life in scenarios where he had to, or where it was the only way of getting food. The traps we make are traps that are 100% made with natural materials. (These traps will not be used on live animals.)

One of the highlights of the day is the fishing traps. We will use these to catch crayfish and fish. These traps are also 100% naturally made.

Why do we make them from 100% natural materials?

The reason is so that you can apply them anywhere without relying on modern materials. The basket traps that we are making will be set and the food that we catch will be used in our evening meal, but before that, we will show you how to prepare whatever we catch!


Day 3 – Food & Water

Preparation is just as important as the food itself, so we will be preparing for cooking in bamboo, dutch ovens, ground ovens and more!

We will take you on a plant Identification walk explaining about edible and poisonous plants and trees and their uses in bushcraft.

We are also going to talk about and practice finding and purifying water and yes, this will be done 100% natural, how to boil water in bamboo, how to steam in bamboo and make dumplings in bamboo.


Day 1 “4” –  advanced Knife safety & Bamboo fire saw

Knife & saw safety is one of the most important basic skills you need to have. However, basic does not mean simple. Improper technique can lead to dangerous situations. We spend time on power techniques and fine techniques of knife and saw safety. These techniques have been proven safe and super useful and are used all over the world. Over the coming days, we will be continuously using and improving our techniques.

Next, the bamboo firesaw…

After knife safety we will be teaching the bamboo firesaw, Bamboo is a very versatile and beautiful material to work with and can be used for the whole process of bamboo firemaking. We will be explaining the best kind of bamboo to use and also how to make your tinder from the bamboo itself! This is a beautiful way of making fire with a type of grass! 😀


Day 2 “5”  – Fermenting, Light & Food

Fermenting is Well known in Japan but fermenting in natural materials is not that common anymore. We are going to talk about how to ferment, making all kinds of ferments and yes of course kimchi!! that you can take home! But most important making containers out of natural materials and how to prepare them for fermenting, with the right PH’ food stays safe and only the “Lactobacillales” survives, we are going to explain all that and bring it to a practice

Light is very handy in dark situations, which is why we are going to be making candles from natural resources like tar & Animal/fish fat, making wicks and how to use them. Where are we getting the animal fat from?


Day 3 “6”  Bark containers & cordage

Yes you read it well !
We are going to make containers from bark, hinoki ’”Chamaecyparis obtusa” To be precise, these containers are not only beautiful and a show off on your level of craft but are also very handy in collecting materials from nature like berries etc, and this specific design is used for exactly that. It’s a design from the Ojibwe (west coast native canadians)

We will also teach you how to make cordage from various plants & trees. We will teach three different Twining techniques ( twining is a way to create cordage/rope) and show you how to create a nice even thickness in your cordage and also how to add fibres in an even way.

If that’s not enough, we demonstrate and if time is our friend we work on Weaving techniques using the Hinoki tree bark showing how to process and make beautiful patterns. These mats can be used for sitting, decorating, cooking, fishing, steaming and much more.


Extra Information

2 Extra days  for free !!! what!? Yes, for free!!

We have two days before the course starts that are accessible for the participants that booked three days or the complete six day course .


Small description of the 2 days 

We believe that getting comfortable with nature, weather, fire, tools, materials and just being outside are the basic needed skills so in these 2 free days we spend time on, setting up camp, setting up your camp & sleeping location, spending time on hygiene in the woods, making fires with a fire-steel, getting familiar with how fire works, running camp and how things work around camp, feeling safe, Q&A and spending time with the instructor.

During the Course in the morning or evening( evening when time allows)  you can participate in Yoga/Meditation class Run by Tessa Kauw. Mornings will be for yoga, the meditation classes can be Breathing exercise, forest bathing, Sit spots



Bushcraft Japan


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3 Days 60918,-Yen. 400,- Euro

6 Days 101530,- Yen. 700,-Euro

+2 days free
more info Mail;  Info@livingbynature.nl

Course Dates

All our course days start on 09:00 except for April 29 & May 3 start on 10:15


April 27 Free day Welcome From 12:00
April 28 Free day
April 29 Day 1 Course
April 30 Day 2 Course
May 1 Day 3 Course
May 2 Off day ( stay on location or go home for a day)
May 3 Day 1 “4” Course
May 4 Day 2 “5” Course
May 5 Day 3 “6” Course

Instructors & staff

Thijmen Apswoude Head instructor
Lee issit Instructor
Tessa kauw Yoga & meditation instructor – Camera woman
matsuda san Japanese assistant
Japanese assistant


Woman & Man Friendly

Thijmen Has worked Hard to get a 50/50 man and woman ratio Within his company, he says in a true natural environment you can not live without one or the other.

Free Stuff

Besides the optional 2 free days, you get an Silky Saw for free
Thijmen Apswoude is Brand ambassador of Silky Europe
Things you Make during the course can be taken home
Extra Articles


By following and completing the course you will receive an hand out certificate

This certificate is granted by Living by Nature and british bushcraft, ( Living by Nature is Thijmen Apswoude his school who have been running instructor courses for many years and is respected all over the world) You can use this for your own CV,  Bushcraft coach

Practical information

Location: Sanda, Hyogo. ( specific location send after booking)

Dates: Free days ( 27th & 28th April)
Course 1 ( 29th April ~ 1st May)

Off day ( 2nd May )
Course 2 ( 3rd May ~ 5th May )

Logistics: Including camp spot, Food & Drinks ( breakfast, Lunch and dinner) Free    Materials. Certificate, Insurance. Materials specific for the course Knowledge

Excluding Camping Equipment, expenses to and from the course location.

Please see kit list for more information.

Age 16 ( younger with an adult)

Participants: 15-20

Ervaring van de deelnemers

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“Great Instructors, Great setting, great trainings / Big thanks Thijmen and the Crew / you guys rock!”

- Guy Gelaude

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“Knowledge, Location, Enthusiastic, Inspiring”

- Jos van Hal

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“veel geleerd afgelopen weekend. een echte aanrader....dank voor ieder die hier een bijdrage aan gelevert heeft”

- Casper Mutsaers