I had the opportunity to enjoy horseback riding in Ishikari city, which is just above Sapporo. For those of you who don't know, Sapporo is a bustling city in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido.
Located near the bay and the mouth of Ishikari River in the sprawling city of Ishikari, is the Frontier Horse Riding Club where you can enjoy horseback riding through multiple landscapes including forests, fields and along the beach.
If you don't have a car, the transportation is inconvenient in that location, so I recommend renting a car. The roads are wide and straight, so be careful about speeding! If you travel about an hour outside of Sapporo city, you will find yourself in Ishikari city where the ranch is located.
When I arrived at the ranch, I had some time to kill before my reservation, so I visited a lighthouse and sand dunes where Japanese roses (Hamanasu) were blooming. Ishikari San Dunes was so full of natural beauty that you could get lost in nature without seeing a single soul.
When it was time for my trail ride at Frontier Horse Riding Club, I was paired with a female horse named Julia. She had the most incredible, big beautiful eyes. She was afraid of horseflies, so she got nervous when we walked near bushes and I wasn't sure what to do. Besides that, she was a great horse!
I spent two hours together with Julia, plodding through forests, fields and along the beach. During this time, I really grew to like Julia. Thank you for a fantastic time, Julia!
Once I finished my trail ride, I headed back to Sapporo city. While there, I also visited Hokkaido University's botanical garden and the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building made of red brick. Since Sapporo is far north, I expected it to be cooler than it was. To my disappointment, the weather was about as hot as Tokyo when I went in early August.
The biggest difference between the heat in Tokyo and Sapporo is the amount of trees in the city. These trees offer shade all over the city so that you can stop for a moment when the heat is overwhelming and you can cool off under the shade and enjoy the nice breeze.