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Japanese Traditional Mounted Archery Yabusame

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The meeting location is Niihari Station on the JR Mito Line, about 2 hours from downtown Tokyo. The Yabusame park staff will meet you at the station half an hour before your experience starts. The host will give you detailed instruction how to get to the Niihari Station once the booking is confirmed.


Important Information

The activity will be held rain or shine. The activity will be cancelled in cases of severe weather.


What you need to bring

Comfortable clothes for exercise.


Meet your host :
IBARAKI Pro Guide Org.
  • 日本語 (Fluent)
  • English (Fluent)

I’m a Toshio who is English-speaking guide-interpreter and in charge of the representative of IBARAKI Guide-Interpreter Association.

Our org consists of 32 guide-interpreters who speak English, Chinese, German, Korean and Spanish. We can guide you everywhere around IBARAKI and the vicinities.

I used to be a designer of power boiler and air pollution control system.

Also, I’m a horse lover. I have a grade 2 license of National Riding Club Association of Japan both for showjumping and dressage.
I’ve enjoyed outdoor horseback riding in the vicinity of Bucharest, Romania and Hokkaido, Japan.


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Reviews (10)

  • Checklin Checklin

    A great memorable day

    I had a great day learning Yabusame. I did the three hour class as I thought it would be good to consolidate my skills and I do not regret it at all. The Kawakami family were very friendly and made me feel part of their family and Tomo speaks great English, and as others have said here, could replace the interpreter. However I was glad the interpreter came with me to take the stress off navigating the train system (which with a bit of prep time I could have managed). This was my first time and I was glad with the trainers' support to make some progress. It was very relaxed compared to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. There was only me there and I was a bit wary of being in the middle of nowhere on an active farm but that soon changed. I was asked if I wanted to rent the traditional costume but didn't have enough cash on me (hadn't yet worked out Tokyo's ATM system) but kind of thought it would have been great for the photos. They were very patient with me as I learned how to shoot the arrow and then put the action onto a horse. I had great fun and was buzzing for many days. I have traveled a lot through Japan and many times and I must say that learning Yabusame with this family is one of my highlights. I will definitely book to do this again next time I am in Japan.

  • Chris Chris

    We did the 2 hour lesson and it was an incredible experience! The staff there were really friendly and even though neither of us had any experience riding we felt comfortable enough to shoot the bow while the horse was running and had a great time! The only downside was that the interpreter was a bit unnecessary on our trip as one of the guys at the place speaks good English and he was the one who explained everything to us, our interpreter basically just held the camera for us so it felt like a needless expense. On another day when he wasn't working though I'm sure the interpreter would be helpful.

  • Jomkwan Jomkwan

    The Lesson :
    My lesson was 2 hours long. The class atmosphere was quite causal and relax almost like being taught by family or a friend of grandpa. The class was taught by master, and assisted by 2 people sensei and Tomo-san. Tomo-san was helping with translation and correcting the forms, while sensei was giving tips and tricks. At first we started with practicing archery afterward we moved to horse riding and then to shooting arrows from speeding horse. It was no easy task when combined but it was very fun and exciting experience. I do wish to try again sometime.

    The trip to Niihari :
    2 hours is a basic estimation for traveling to Niihari from Tokyo. However I recommend to travel a hour earlier because the trains out side of Tokyo do not run as frequent. It could took half a hour for transit. I was half a hour late because of the waiting for the train. Nonetheless the scenery from the train is quite nice.

    Conclusion :
    -Great escape from city!
    -Fantastic adventure
    -Lovely people + horses
    -Rare opportunity

  • Ashley Ashley

    An afternoon well-spent

    Highly recommended !
    Although horse riding was a little out of my comfort zone, still I found this experience amazing.The staff in the horse park was very skillful,and made it an enjoyable lesson that beginners could easily catch on. Mina san,my interpreter,was also very helpful and great company.
    I would totally try Yabusame again sometime in the future.

  • Neil Neil

    The best experience ever!!

    It is said that the Samurai embody the spirit of Japan. But the Samurai was not principally a swordsman (or woman,) contrary to to commonly perceived impressions, rather they were mounted archers. Furthermore archery has a long link to spiritual tradition in Japan dating back to before the magical archery rituals of the Heian Period recounted in the Diary of Sei Shonagon, and continued in the mounted archery contests of Yabusame still regularly performed in Japanese shrines including at the Tokugawa Shrine at Nikko. Yabusame can therefore be thought of, in a way, as perhaps the nearest thing one can get to the Spirit of Japan. This experience provides a gentle and supportive introduction to a sport that few Japanese people will have ever tried themselves. My daughter has some riding experience, but I really none. Tomohiro-san and the team were absolutely superb! We spent an hour learning about how to handle and use the Japanese bow and then on to basic horsemanship. Excellent safety measures including an inflatable jacket- airbag are provided. These horses are real and very high! Finally a try at the Yabusame course itself! Hands-free from the reins, firing the bow as you pass the target. My daughter galloped the course and hit the target once, I cantered and just missed!! We had the very good fortune to have exposure to really all the best of Japan on our trip including visiting a Living National Treasure swordsmith. I mention this simply to emphasise that the Yabusame experience was without doubt the most outstanding and excellent thing that we did in three weeks. I cannot recommend it more highly. The ladies of the staff were so kind and Tomohiro-san excellent. I assure you that you will have one of the best experiences of your life.

  • Neil Neil

    The best experience ever!!

    It is said that the Samurai embody the spirit of Japan. But the Samurai was not principally a swordsman (or woman,) contrary to to commonly perceived impressions, rather they were mounted archers. Furthermore archery has a long link to spiritual tradition in Japan dating back to before the magical archery rituals of the Heian Period recounted in the Diary of Sei Shonagon, and continued in the mounted archery contests of Yabusame still regularly performed in Japanese shrines including at the Tokugawa Shrine at Nikko. Yabusame can therefore be thought of, in a way, as perhaps the nearest thing one can get to the Spirit of Japan. This experience provides a gentle and supportive introduction to a sport that few Japanese people will have ever tried themselves. My daughter has some riding experience, but I really none. Tomohiro-san and the team were absolutely superb! We spent an hour learning about how to handle and use the Japanese bow and then on to basic horsemanship. Excellent safety measures including an inflatable jacket- airbag are provided. These horses are real and very high! Finally a try at the Yabusame course itself! Hands-free from the reins, firing the bow as you pass the target. My daughter galloped the course and hit the target once, I cantered and just missed!!
    We had the very good fortune to have exposure to really all the best of Japan on our trip including visiting a Living National Treasure swordsmith. I mention this simply to emphasise that the Yabusame experience was without doubt the most outstanding and excellent thing that we did in three weeks. I cannot recommend it more highly. The ladies of the staff were so kind and Tomohiro-san excellent. I assure you that you will have one of the best experiences of your life.

  • Tamara Tamara

    An exciting way to spend an afternoon in Japan

    This was an amazing experience - we first learnt Japanese archery which is a beautiful, traditional method of archery. Taught by a yabusame expert in traditional clothing, we felt like we were in a Japanese movie set. Then we practised riding the horses, first slowly, then quickly. The team at the ranch were all lovely and friendly. We enjoyed seeing all the different kinds of horses kept at the ranch and meeting the family. One of us was good at archery and the other was better at riding - the yabusame team kept us very safe and we really enjoyed ourselves.

  • Yu-Hua Yu-Hua

    Very exciting and fun experience

    This one is a special experience. Not only you get to practice shooting a long Japanese bow, but you also get to do it while riding a horse. We booked a translator to help us throughout the day. Tomohiro was great help and he made sure we were looked after, safe and comfortable. The master hunter was very experienced and gave us some great tips. Riding the horses was so much fun and exciting, but very difficult to shoot while galloping. Overall, we really enjoyed it and wish it lasted longer. Would do it again for sure if we are back in Japan. Loved every minute.

  • Yu-Hua Yu-Hua

    Very exciting and fun experience

    This one is a special experience. Not only you get to practice shooting a long Japanese bow, but you also get to do it while riding a horse. We booked a translator to help us throughout the day. Tomohiro was great help and he made sure we were looked after, safe and comfortable. The master hunter was very experienced and gave us some great tips. Riding the horses was so much fun and exciting, but very difficult to shoot while galloping. Overall, we really enjoyed it and wish it lasted longer. Would do it again for sure if we are back in Japan. Loved every minute.

  • Jessica Jessica

    Thank you so much for offering this experience!