The “Mountain Horse Project” is organized by the residents of the Okada neighborhood in Matsumoto. This project aims to educate and inspire the community about nature and the environment through various activities. Local residents and visitors alike are welcome to share in all the events. Meet local residents and experience real country life in Japan at Yamato Ranch!
Yamato, a former champion
Originally from Hokkaido Prefecture, Yamato was a successful race horse who participated in many races, winning many medals and awards throughout his illustrious career.
Yamato just celebrated his 16th birthday this year (which is middle aged in horse years). For many years Yamato has been accompanied by his ever-faithful sidekick Kotaro. They are BFFs!
A ranch that brings smiles to people of all ages
Now retired from racing, Yamato enjoys his time bringing happiness to people from all around, especially children. Yamato is more than happy to carry kids on his back for easy rides around the hills of the Okada neighborhood.
For kids who may be too intimidated by Yamato’s tall stature, his smaller buddy Kotaro is also available for rides! This friendly duo, make up one of the most popular attractions in town for local families!
Join in the festivities and mingle with the local residents
Yanagisawa Ringyo puts on a large festival at Yamato Ranch twice a year. During one of these festivals many small shows and events are presented.
If you’re a lover of traditional Japanese music, small Shamisen concerts and Taiko drumming shows are featured throughout the day. The Taiko shows are usually accompanied by a group of charming dance performers.
For local “foodies” many small stalls await discovery, with many foods prepared in the traditional way, such as rice steamed inside bamboo, satsumaimo (sweet patatoes) and mochi cake toasted over an open grill.
In addition to horseback rides with Yamato and Kotaro, kids can enjoy many other games and activities too, including an organized treasure hunt. Or try a home-style pizza cooked in a wood fired stone oven with your choice of toppings. They are a big hit with the kids!
Respect for nature and tradition through handmade ecofriendly woodcrafts!
In addition to these Yamato Ranch festivals, another common event takes place, the “Woodcraft Market”. This event presented by Somaichi, showcases many traditional wooden arts and crafts handmade in an environmentally sustainable way.
This is an opportunity to discover this area’s many locally made products!