A trip to Yamanashi would not be quite complete without a horse-riding experience. Due to the luxury of space, the Yamanashi prefecture is populated with stables. Horse-riding is also a great way to experience Yamanashi's nature, no matter what season of the year. I visited in late October, when the autumn leaves were just peeking out. I had a truly unforgettable experience and I have RISONARE Yatsugatake to thank for recommending horse-riding at Canadian Camp Riding Club!
After the initial administration procedures at Canadian Camp, I was brought to the stables and was introduced to my horse for the day, Trinity. Trinity is a beautiful brown horse that competes in 80 km endurance races.
My instructor for the day was Akiko Ueda, who spoke good English and was very patient with me. As I followed her (also on horseback) through the forest course, she always looked back to make sure that I was doing fine with Trinity. She also knew the personality, likes and dislikes of each horse very well. She told me that Trinity does not like down slopes and pebbles, loves green and juicy leaves and likes to walk slowly. I get the impression that more than being an equestrian expert by profession, Akiko-san genuinely loves the horses under her care.
Before I could go on the forest trail, I was brought into an enclosed arena where I was taught the basic techniques of giving requests to the horse: go, stop, turn left, turn right. Trinity was very gentle and understood my requests quite easily. When I could manage walking a full circle around the fence, Akiko taught me how to trot and use my leg muscles to stand up and down. following the horse’s rhythm. I had a couple of tries trotting before I was allowed to go out to the forest with Trinity, following behind Akiko and her horse, Yukon.
Fall is an unbelievably beautiful season to go horse-riding. The momiji trees turn a bright red, and at the foot of Yatsugatake, the Yatsugatake mountain and Minami Alps surround on all sides. On a good day, the distinctive snow-covered tip of Mount Fuji can even be seen. It was a little too cloudy to see Mount Fuji for me that day, but I was already overwhelmed with so much beauty all around me that I didn’t mind one bit.
As soon as we were in the forests, I could not stop gushing about how beautiful it was. The autumn leaves of yellow and red contrasted together beautifully and when gusts of wind blew, they rustled and fell like snow. Trinity walked on steadily, albeit slowly, and she also bent and ate the fresh juicy leaves from time to time. We passed fields where Mount Yatsugatake was clearly seen and little streams that run through the forest. I felt like I was a character from a movie. No more words suffice for the beauty that I saw, you just have to go for yourself!
Credit for most of the photos shown goes to Akiko-san, who was riding in front of me and spared no opportunity to take photos for me through the forest trail.
Being born in the busy city of Singapore, it was the first time that I got to experience riding on horseback with superb views of mountains. I really recommend anyone visiting Yamanashi to go horse-riding. Yamanashi is also a short 2-hour train ride from Tokyo, so it is a considerably convenient escape from the busy city life!