Guide to Horseback Riding and Horse Racing in Tokyo

While there are plenty of conventional tourist attractions in Tokyo such as temples, shrines, observation decks at the top of towering skyscrapers and endlessly buzzing streets, surprisingly enough, Tokyo has quite a few options for equestrian enthusiasts, too! Tokyo is a city mixed with the old and the new, the traditional and the modern. It’s this diversity that makes the city so endlessly fascinating and exciting to explore.

In this article, we will cover where you can experience horseback riding and horseracing in Tokyo, so keep reading to learn more!

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A (Very) Brief History of Horseback Riding in Tokyo

Horseback riding has a long and storied history in Tokyo, dating all the way back to the Edo period. It is said that the first horse was ridden into the city by a samurai warrior during the Edo period. During that time, horseback riding was considered a very dangerous activity, and only the most skilled riders were able to safely navigate the city’s crowded streets. As horseback riding became more popular, however, more regulations were put in place to ensure the safety of both riders and pedestrians.

Places to Horseback Ride in Tokyo

Horseback riding is a more quietly kept secret in Tokyo, and there are a number of stables and equestrian grounds located both within and not far outside of the city limits. If you’re looking for a more unique or eccentric experience, this could just be it. Below, we’ll introduce you to some of the best places to go horse riding in Tokyo. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, there’s something for everyone. So, saddle up, and let’s go!

Places to Horseback Ride in Tokyo

Hachioji Riding Club

If you’re new to horseback riding, Hachioji Riding Club is the perfect place to start. Established in 1970, this ranch offers both private and group lessons for riders of all levels. And if you’re worried about getting dirty, don’t be! All of the horses are equipped with English-style saddles, so you won’t have to worry about putting your pants in a Japanese-style stirrup. Hachioji Riding Club has the only outdoor, forest course in Tokyo. There is also a cafe on the grounds where you can grab a bite before or after your ride. For more information, check out their website.

Tel: 0426-91-1915

Address: 192-0003 Tokyo, Tangimachi, Hachioji-shi 1-501

Tokyo Riding Club and Yoyogi Pony Park

Tokyo Riding Club was founded in 1921 and is the oldest riding club in the city. Being that it’s well established, it offers a wide range of options based on the experience you’re looking to have. If you choose to visit every once in a while, you can pay per lesson. If you want to learn in earnest at least once a week as a member, you can do that, too. The club even offers wellness riding for people with physical or mental disabilities. They may be the only club to offer this according to my research.

But regular horseback riding may not be an option if you have children in tow.  You’ll feel safer—and they may feel less scared—if you take them to Yoyogi Pony Park, an offshoot of the Tokyo Riding Club located directly next to it. Here, you can actually do some pony riding for free! Children up to 6th grade can ride by themselves, while children ages 1-3 can ride with a parent provided the total weight is not over 75 kg.

Tokyo Riding Club is located near Sangubashi Station on the Odakyu Line. You can find more detailed information here and here. They might not offer English support or lessons at the club, but it’s worth calling or visiting to confirm.

Tel: 03-3370-0984

Address: 151-0052 Tokyo, Shibuya, Yoyogikamizonocho 4-8

Okamoto Riding Club Japan

One second on the website of this riding club, it was obvious that they are a welcoming, perhaps more laid-back club than a place like the Tokyo Riding Club.  The club was founded in 2011, making it a bit younger than some, but it certainly holds its own.

The owner, Masami Okamoto, studied equestrian instruction extensively in Europe and the United States and has been an instructor himself for more than ten years. He makes sure the club emphasizes its ability to cater to all riding levels as well as English and Japanese speakers! Located about an hour outside of Tokyo at the base of Mr. Fuji, they offer visitor lessons and various membership options with amazing scenery in the background. About ten minutes away from the club is the Gotemba Competition Center, one of only four in Japan. You can catch horse events here such as jumping and dressing.

Tel: 0550-84-1289

Address: 412-0031 Shizuoka, Gotemba, Numata 378

CRANE Horse Riding Club Tokyo

If you truly want to commit to equestrianism for a long period of time and you also want the flexibility of doing so from almost anywhere in Japan, CRANE Horse Riding Club might be what you’re looking for. CRANE was founded in 1971 and has done a great job of expanding its business. The club is like a “chain store”, if you will—they have dozens of locations in prefectures across the nation. While they are a members-only club, members can transfer to other clubs, and the company has great membership prices for those under 18 and then those under 29 (U29). To date, there are more than 40,000 members and 3,000 horses in CRANE clubs across Japan!

You can check out their site here for more information.

Tel: 042-737-5600

Address: 195-0051 Tokyo, Machida-shi, Shinkojimachi 1227

horse riding in tokyo

Riding Club Malvern

Malvern is located about an hour away from Shinjuku and just 10 minutes from Hachioji by train. The club opened in 2002 in an area that nostalgically reminds the owner of where he lived abroad in England. This club offers temporary visitor experiences as well as various membership packages. They also offer group horseback riding for school field trips, which is something that other clubs seemed to need to offer. Finally, they have pony rides for children ages 4 to elementary school-aged, too!

Tel: 042-770-7582

Address: 194-0211 Tokyo, Machida-shi, Aiharamachi 1575

Hinode Horse Riding Club

Hinode has been in operation since 1965 and has had 4 presidents so far. The current president did not begin riding until he was 30, so he understands and embraces the idea of people trying horseback riding at any stage of life! The idea of the riding club is for everyone to enjoy horses, and the club prides itself on being a “homely” place where people of any social status can come together.  Hinode offers visitor lessons, short-term memberships and long-term memberships.

You can bring your own horse here to ride and train, too.

Tel: 042-596-0028

Address: 190-0155 Tokyo, Akiruno-shi, Ajiro 394

Shinozaki Pony Land and Nagisa Pony Land

Last, but certainly not least on the list is Shinozaki Pony Land in Edogawa, Tokyo. They offer free fun for kids. Children up to elementary school age can do pony riding and carriage riding for free. There is also a petting zoo area with goats and miniature pigs to enjoy. This webpage ( can tell you more.

Nagisa Pony Land offers a lot of the same experiences and is located about 20 minutes away from the Tokyo Disney Resort area. Click here to learn more.

Tel (Shinozaki Pony Land): 03-3678-7520

Address: Tokyo, Edogawa, Shinozaki 3-12-17

Tel (Nagisa Pony Land): 03-5658-5720

Address: 134-0085 Tokyo, Edogawa, Minamikasai 7-3

If horseback riding is not your thing, but you’re still looking for some fun in Tokyo, why not head to a racecourse and see a horse race?

Horse Racing in Tokyo

Horse racing — kurabeuma in Tokyo — has been a popular sport for hundreds of years. It dates back to the 1600s when horse racing events were held at temples, shrines and the Imperial Court as part of religious celebrations. It was inevitable that horse racing caught on in the bustling capital city. In the 1860s horse races had become more organized and Western-style, with tracks opening all over Tokyo. By 1907 horse racing enthusiasts could even place bets on races; this eventually led to the formation of the Japan Racing Association in 1948.

Though horse racing is much different than it was centuries ago, it is still enjoyed today. It’s considered a wholesome leisure activity in Japan, and remains a favorite pastime among local residents and tourists alike – both for its excitement and its fascinating history!

Here are a few places in Tokyo where you catch some races:

Tokyo City Keiba (TCK)

This racetrack, also known as Ohi Racecourse, is located right in Shinagawa, Tokyo, and can hold up to 15,000 spectators! It was built in 1950. Of course, famous derbies are held here, but it’s also home to nighttime races called “Twinkle Races”, They were the first of their kind when TCK started having them, and now they are held at racetracks all across Japan. You can place bets for as little as 100 yen, making the event an affordable, fun time.

Further, there is no need to feel nervous about seeing a race for the first time. The website provides great information for first-time visitors, and employees at the race track are also very accommodating.

Besides races, TCK also has illuminations (which are especially popular now during the winter season) buffet-style dining and large-scale events. During a race or event, you can grab some good eats from the food court of the L-Wing.  If it’s too hot or cold, they have box seats you can reserve to watch the race inside. You can still see the race from the windows, but you can also catch all the action from screens in the box seats.

For more information, visit TCK’s website.

Tel: 03-3763-2151

Address: 140-0012 Tokyo, Shinagawa City, Katsushima, 2-1-2

Tokyo Racecourse

More popular than TCK, this facility was built in 1933, and it’s considered the height of all racecourses in Japan. As taken from their site, the major races held here are the Japan Cup, the Victory Mile, the Yasuda Kinen, the February Stakes and the Japanese Derby (Tokyo Yushun)! It can hold over 220,000 spectators, and it reaches that capacity during some of the more famous events.

A couple of things to note are: On the day of certain big races, you cannot buy tickets at the door of the racecourse where the races are being held, but you can buy them at other racecourses and in advance. Only people who live in Japan can purchase tickets online in advance through the JRA website, which is only in Japanese.

Tel: 42-363-3141

Address:  183-0024 Tokyo, Fuchu, Hiyoshicho, 1-1


Tokyo may be best known for its urban jungle setting, but it has more green space per capita than any other city in the world. And it has unique tourist attractions if you’re willing to go a little off the beaten path and search for them. Two of those events are horseback riding and horse racing. We laid out more than four places where you can have a great riding experience and two well-known and frequented racecourses. So if horseback riding is not your style, visit one of the two, historic racecourses above. Place your bets, sit back, enjoy a good bite to eat and feel the excitement of a horse race.

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Whatever you choose, best of luck planning your next adventure in Tokyo or anywhere else in Japan!

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