Adventure vacations in Japan

Samurai Ride


Horseback riding has a long history in Japan, a fascinating land of ancient culture and diverse scenery. The landscape is particularly stunning during the spring cherry blossom season when the pink blooms blanket the lush greenery.

This riding trip takes place on Kyushu island, the southwestern most of Japan’s main islands. The area is known for its active volcanoes, beaches and natural hot springs, all of which you experience on this itinerary, and the wide open spaces lend themselves beautifully to exploration by horseback.

The trip starts in Aso-Kuju National park, one of the largest parks in Japan, with views and sightseeing on Mount Aso, which the largest active volcano in the country. The itinerary also includes soaks in the natural hot springs and brings you to sunset rides on the beach.

The trip is organized by one of the oldest western riding ranches in Japan, and the guide’s family has ties to the Samurai traditions, which you will have the opportunity to experience yourself

Accommodation is in modern upscale hotels and small traditional ryokans (inns).

Meals are in the local traditional style, with fresh ingredients and unique Japanese flavors. Meals are taken at restaurants and hotels and are designed to give you a full and authentic culinary experience.

  • Overview:
    The horses are American Quarter horses and the tack is Western. The herd consists of 12 horses.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Quarter Horse
  • Trip Pace:
    Can be adapted to group's needs
  • Tack:
  • Weight limit:
    210 lb

Fukuoka airport

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

You will be met upon arrival at Fukuoka Airport or Hakata train station and transferred to your hotel by taxi. Dinner is at a local restaurant.

Day 2

After breakfast, your guide (daughter of your riding leader), will take you via public bus to the Kurokawa hot springs (please note you will need to be responsible for handling your own luggage). After a morning relaxing there, a shuttle bus will collect you for lunch at a local restaurant before continuing on to your next hotel, where you spend two nights. Resonate Club Kuju is located in Aso Kuju National Park, where you will spend the next few hours riding within view of Mount Aso. There will be time for more hot spring soaking if you so desire, with both public and private baths available. Dinner will be full course Japanese style at the hotel.

Day 3

Breakfast will be served at 7:00am and before leaving the hotel at 8:00 for the town of Takeda.  Okajyo (rock foundation of Castle) is the start of the historical event.  Okajyo was built during the 12th century and was destroyed in 1871 after the Meiji Era.  In 1936 Okajyo was recognized as one of the 100 important historical castle sites and also one of the sites with the most beautiful Cherry Blossoms.

8:30 – 9:30am you will change into Samurai armor with help of professional staff. After a group photo you will walk a mile to meet all other groups and a ceremony starts around 11:00am. You will take place in the march through downtown Takeda, have lunch around 1:30pm, and the festival will be over at around 4pm. You’ll then change back into your clothes and transfer to Resonate Hotel.

Dinner will be a full course European style dinner at the hotel.

Day 4

It’s your choice of breakfast before checking out of the hotel for another day of riding of about 4 hours, with a bento box lunch. In the afternoon you will be transferred by car to Yufuin, where there is a well-known hot spring village. After some time to explore and enjoy, settle into your ryokan, or inn, called Uraku. The ryokan offers traditional tatami flooring with futons, and complete traditional dinners and breakfasts featuring matcha green tea. You can wear a Yukata, a type of kimono, while exploring downtown Yufuin.

Day 5

After breakfast check out of the ryokan and your guide will take you to Yunotubo gaidou, a famous street for shopping and sightseeing. Then depart Yufuin at about noon to arrive at Hakata station to take the subway to the Fukuoka castle ruins. Here you have the opportunity to dress traditionally in kimonos or Samurai armor while riding, with great photo ops at the castle ruins. Then transfer to Munakata and check in at the Royal Hotel Munakata. Dinner will be buffet style at the hotel.

Day 6

Today is the last day of riding, a full day of 6 hours. You will start by visiting the Munakata Grand Shrine by horseback. This is one of three shrines devoted to the three Munakata goddesses, believed to be daughters of the goddess Amaterasu, the ancestress of the imperial family. After this unforgettable experience, you will transfer to Genkainada beach for beach riding. At the end of the ride, return to the hotel to enjoy a warm bath and farewell dinner at a local restaurant for Yakiniku, Japanese style BBQ.

Day 7

Get ready to bid Kyushu farewell as you transfer with your guide via hotel shuttle to Hakata train station for further travel around Japan, or back to Fukuoka airport.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and subject to change at the guides' discretion due to weather or other unpredictable circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Other dates may be set for groups of 6 or more.

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Preferred Trip Dates

Samurai Ride
May 21, 2024
January 1, 1970
January 1, 1970

Group Information

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Do you have questions about this ride itinerary? Do you want to make sure that this it is the right ride for you? Or are you ready to book? Please call or email our experienced and friendly ride consultants for more detailed information. With first-hand knowledge of the exciting tours we offer, the ride consultants at Equitours look forward to answering any questions you might have

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The Samurai Ride was such a great experience for us. We especially loved the guide, her father, and their entire operation at Kokopelli. Their operation was so well run and you could easily tell how much they each love what they do. We also enjoyed the second stable, though it was... Read more  

Forster, 2019