Iwakuni seems like a very simple place with not many activities for those who are used to the exciting city life. But you know what Iwakuni has that a lot of other places in Japan doesn’t?
Iwakuni Horseback Riding Club is on the way to Sanzoku or “the chicken shack” from MCAS Iwakuni. Many of us Iwakuni residents have driven by it but never seen it. It is not the biggest facility of its kind but you would be surprised at how it is way bigger than it looks from the main street. The sky opens up in between the mountains and the horses trot comfortably along a friendly farm dog. It really is a refreshing experience to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Iwakuni.
There are 14 horses at the facility and 6 of them are available for lessons and lead riding. You can go try it once at a special rate, but you’d have to either pay visitor rate or become a member if you want to come back. If you are somewhat experienced and do not want to lose your touch, it is definitely worth it. They require you to bring a translator at your first visit and then you’re good to go on your own from the second time on. There’s an instructor who has trained in England and can speak English to help you with your lessons. They do teach their non-Japanese speaking students a few terminologies in Japanese so that spontaneous command or advice can be delivered to the riders immediately from instructors who speak Japanese predominantly.
Go out there once and see how liberating it is to finally get an open space to yourself and your horse to run or trot around freely. It may not be Texas or Montana but Iwakuni Horseback Riding Club has its own charms.
Make sure to check the weather at the club before you get there because there’s a big temperature difference between sea-level Iwakuni and where the club is located which is up in the mountains. If the grounds are frozen or muddy, they won’t let the horses go out on the tracks. They value their customers but their number one priority is always the wellbeing of their horses.
If you’re interested, there are more details about membership, fees and such on our webpage: