Looking for an original experience to try out this summer around Tokyo? A gallop in the shadow of Japan’s most celebrated peak might be just the thing.

Never far from Mt. Fuji views, Okamoto Riding Club is definitely a pleasant place to discover or practice equestrian activities. It’s about 1.5 hours away from central Tokyo by train or bus, and you can be picked up at Gotemba Station, which is then a 5-minute drive to the club. The club’s well-trained horses and the friendly English speaking staff make the riding experience possible in Japan.

Beginners and advanced riders alike can learn from instructor & owner Masami Okamoto, who has a sharp command of equestrian technique thanks to his extensive international experience. You will be able to try out your horse-riding skills as you walk or trot—or even gallop or jump (for the more confident riders!) in the tree-lined arena.

Depending on your level & objectives, you will be able to ride one of several horses per lesson, to practice dressage, jumping or just “hacking” (light riding) outside the arena. As many families with young children discover, riding doesn’t need to just be for adults: it’s a great activity for kids, who can learn how to control and care for animals, while developing confidence and a greater sense of empathy at the same time.

Very trained riders who are closer to the competitive level will be pleased to know that Okamoto has wide experience in the world of three-day eventing, and weekends sometimes see competitions and events at the club. Call for further details.

Okamoto Riding Club

Web: www.okamotoriding.com
Tel: 0550 84 1289
Address: 412-0031 Gotemba, Shizuoka, 378 Numata
Train station: Gotemba Station (Odakyu line)
Bus station: Tomei Gotemba (Odakyu Hakone Highway Bus)

For some more information about riding locations around the Tokyo area, read our piece, “Saddle Up in Tokyo.”

—Ingrid Dubreuil