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The town of Kobuchizawa in Yamanashi’s Hokuto region is located at the southern foot of Mount Yatsugatake, on the Kobuchizawa Plateau at an altitude of about 1,000 meters. The town has a long history of horse breeding. War horses for samurai were raised here already in the time of Takeda Shingen, the warlord who ruled Kai Province (present-day Yamanashi) from 1540 to 1573. Kobuchizawa is close to the border with what is now Nagano Prefecture, and Shingen built a road there through the mountains. Known as Bo Michi, or Stick Road, because it was so straight, the road was ideal for travel on horseback. Today, part of Bo Michi is a hiking trail, so you can walk the route while imagining Shingen’s horses trotting beside you.

There are still many ranches, stables, and horse clubs in Kobuchizawa and owners from other parts of the country keep their horses here. There are no racetracks in the town, but show jumping and equestrian competitions are held regularly. The national equestrian championship, held every summer at the Yamanashi Equestrian Center, is open to the public. Horse riding lessons and guided trail rides for beginners and experienced riders alike are available at several stables. The oldest stables in the area is Wrangler Ranch, which has trained horses and the actors riding them for many popular films and TV shows.

The equestrian clubs and some accommodations are located in the mountains about 200 meters above the center of town. Central Kobuchizawa includes the impressive station building, completed in 2017. Designed by architect Atsushi Kitagawara, the modernist station is intended to resemble an art gallery and even has its own gallery space. The dark wood paneling on the outside helps the building harmonize with the surrounding mountains.


Venue Address

408-0044 1024 Kobuchisawacho, Hokuto-shi

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