I never thought it was possible to ride a horse in Japan. Maybe in the countryside, for way more expensive than in the UK, like camping.
But it turns out there are a few horse riding schools in and around Tokyo, and not for such a bad price, either. We visited Tokyo Club Crane (乗馬クラブクレイン東京) which is located in Machida.
We got a special campaign price – 2,500 yen for half an hour, which is pretty reasonable considering some other schools cost tens of thousands. We arrived to get a free helmet and boot rental from some very kind staff.
After we were all set up, it was time to meet the horses!
Most of the horses there are veteran racers. My 27 year old boy was a dressage horse and loved being scratched. Ken’s was a younger 14 and used to be a racer. He loved being petted, too.
We didn’t do much more than walk and trot in a circle, but since it’s been over a decade since I last rode, it was more than enough. The staff commented that I rode well, so it’s good to know my childhood lessons paid off.
After our lesson, the staff showed us around the stables, where each horse had its age, name, blood type, parents, and country of origin. Mine was from Australia, so the staff joked that he could speak English. He was a cheeky one; he kept wanting to stop and sleep in the warm weather.
If you’re interested in trying horse riding, Crane is a great place to get started. It’s not ideal for experts because you can’t really go anywhere outside the school without a license, and the fastest we could go was a short trot. However, it’s a fun day out.
To reach the school, get the Odakyu Line to Tsurukawa Station. Then get the number 21 bus to Wakogakuen Bus Stop. It’s a five-minute walk from there.