If you’ve been to the natural outdoor ice rink in Tokigawa, you have no doubt seen the stable you have to pass to access the skate rink. If you haven’t yet been to the natural ice rink – here’s another reason to get there this season! Because the “Tokigawa Horse Care Garden” stable is close to the ice rink and you can actually interact with the horses without actually horse riding, which is quite rare in my experience.
Stable in Tokigawa where you can interact with horses
At the Tokigawa Horse Care Garden you can interact with horses without having to book a horse riding session. This is actually quite rare in Japan…
Where to see horses in Japan?
In my home country of Ireland, there are no horses in zoos or wildlife parks. You go to a farm or stables if you want to see a horse. You can pet them without having to book for horse riding or anything else. Furthermore, you can also find them in the wild. But in Japan it is quite different.
For one, there are no wild horses. Furthermore, it is rare for a farm to have horses. Moreover, while there are plenty of stables, generally you can only interact with horses at stables if you’re paying (an arm and a leg) for horse riding.
Generally, the best place to see a horse in Japan without paying for horse riding, is either at a zoo or a safari park! You can also often see horses at spring fairs in rural areas. You can usually pay a small fee for a short ride of them too at either a spring fair, safari park or at the zoo. So finding Tokigawa Horse Care Garden a few years ago, was a lucky break…
Tokigawa Horse Care Garden Stable
The Tokigawa Horse Care Garden is a stable for retired horses. Most of the horses are more than 15 years old. Some of the horses worked as pony horses at race tracks, such as Ai-chan (short for Sky Eye) above. Named no doubt for his beautiful eyes. As most of the horses are retired horses, the stable does not offer horse riding. There are about 8 horses at the stable. In addition, there are a couple of cats, chickens and goats at the stables.
Even without paying anything at all, you can see the horses from the side of the road. But for just a small fee you can actually interact with them. The easiest way is to pay 200 yen for a cup of carrots and feed the horses. They also have a special interactive package limited to one group a day. It costs 3000 yen per group, regardless of how many people. For that, you can try several different horse care activities such as grooming, hay feeding, massage, rein a horse etc.
Address: 877-1 Nishidaira, Tokigawa, Hiki District, Saitama 355-0364
Hours: 1 to 4 pm for carrot feeding from Wednesdays to Sundays. For the interactive package you can either book for a morning session or an afternoon session on days the stable is open. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. They only take one booking per day, so make sure to ring well in advance.
Cost: it costs 200 yen for the carrots. If you want to have a full interactive package it costs 3000 yen per group.
The stables are located off route 172 in rural Tokigawa, near the Kasa Natural Ice Rink (which is only open in January and Februarys). The best way to come is by car, but you can organize for a taxi from either Myokaku station or Ogose station. It needs to be done in advance though. It costs 500 yen per adult and 300 yen per child. The contact information is provided on Horse Care Garden’s website.