Fukuoka Now’s Nick & Emiko discover a unique beach activity not far from Fukuoka City.
It was by chance while on a walk along the beach we spotted what thought were a few large dogs (it’s a long beach and they were far away). But as we got closer it was clear they weren’t hounds but real live horses galloping down the beach. Once we caught up with them we found out it was a special outing for riders from the Kuju, Oita based Kokopelli Horseback Riding ranch. Apparently the snow gets too high in the mountains during the winter to ride, so they make expeditions to warmer parts of Kyushu, including our favorite beach in Itoshima. Blown away by the sight of these beautiful beasts on the sand by the blue sea we quickly booked ourselves on a ride.
Kokopelli is run by the super friendly and knowledgable Mr. Miyamoto. It’s clear how much he loves the horses and how they love him back. These horses are well taken care of. Most of them are retired or even abandoned mounts, now enjoying a second life as trail riding horses. The horse I rode was 15 years old and another is apparently over twenty. Well trained, well kept and loved, they are ideal for inexperienced riders including children.
The outings to Itoshima’s beaches and elsewhere are popular with Kokopelli’s regular clients and may not be the best place for novices to start. But if you have any experience in a western saddle, an amazing experience awaits! Full details including rates and introductions to all the horses are on the Kokopelli website.
4048 Kuju, Kuju-machi, Takeda City, Oita
(If you decide to book, please mention you saw this report on Fukuoka Now)