Untold Stories: the family history of Snow Peak | St James's London


Untold Stories: the family history of Snow Peak

Discover Snow Peak’s evolution into a leading outdoors brand

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Champions of the outdoors, Snow Peak on Regent Street St James’s - is a family-run business. Whilst their passion for nature is evident to all, you may not know about their heritage and how the brand has grown across the globe and throughout generations.

#BehindOurDoors: The untold stories of Snow Peak, a brand rich in heritage

The origins

Snow Peak was founded by Yukio Yamai, an accomplished mountaineer living in Sanjo City, Japan. Frustrated by the lack of options for climbing gear, Yukio was reliant on the metal workers of the Tsubame-Sanjo area of his hometown to create customised gear for him. Eventually, realising he was able to create a superior product, Yukio set up Snow Peak in 1958.

Named after the famous Japanese mountain, Tanigawa, which has a notoriously tricky summit, Snow Peak’s brand DNA is centred on challenging yourself outdoors. The brand still operates from its origins in the Chūetsu region of Niigata Prefecture, an area where nature is a part of everyday life, with the International Headquarters here as its beating heart.

Continuing the legacy

Following successful growth, Yamai’s son Tohru Yamai took over the business and continued crafting climbing equipment to allow others to enjoy the wild outdoors more easily.

In 1988, Snow Peak generated a movement - ‘car camping’ - which brought stylish and comfortable camping to the forefront of Japanese culture. The brand’s constant innovation for the outdoor lifestyle has landed Snow Peak its ever-growing popularity.

Fashion-forward granddaughter Lisa Yamai leads the way

Seeing an opportunity for further growth, in 2014 Yukio’s granddaughter Lisa Yamai launched Snow Peak Apparel - offering fashionable outdoor clothing to nature enthusiasts. Today, Lisa is the third generation of Yamai to lead the company, having been appointed CEO in 2020 - her family history deeply ingrained within the company culture.

As a brand with nature at its heart, we wanted to ask the Snow Peak team how to make the most of the outdoors. Here are a few tips from them:

Take time out with a gentle walk or run

The simple pleasure of a short walk, run or bike ride each day is not lost on us. Never has it felt better to connect with nature and the world outside of your home.

Take a moment to step outside

You really don’t need a garden to enjoy nature fully. Snow Peak’s ethos is that time outdoors restores the human spirit and even a small step outside onto your doorstep, patio or porch can do just the trick.

Enjoy 'tabiki time' at home

Lucky enough to have outside space? You might choose to spend the chilly spring evenings wrapped up in the warm glow of a fire. Improvise with a barbecue, or a campfire stove, or go the Snow Peak way with a tabiki firepit. Light the fire and draw inspiration from tabiki (a Japanese word for gathering around an open-air fire) and spend your evening outdoors.

If you are inspired by the ethos and family history of Snow Peak and want to delve a little deeper into their brand offering, browse their outdoor-friendly apparel, or read more expert advice here.

Or for further Untold Stories from our neighbourhood, explore Behind Our Doors with stories from Fortnum & Mason, the Regent Street Beekeeper, Ziggy Green, or Sabor.