Have you ever heard of the term “Dosanko”? Many locals in Hokkaido might say: I am a “do-san-ko”, which means that they were born in Hokkaido. It also refers to a local breed of horse.
The Hokkaido Horse can trace it’s roots back to roughly around the 15th century when Korean fisherman brought them over then at some point it is believed Mongolian horses were somehow mixed in, noticeable by their clearly Mongolian head physique. That and the influences of the harsh winters have helped to shape today’s pedigree Hokkaido horse. Their average height is between 13 – 13.2 hands, but they’re remarkably strong for their size.
Mr Tsunoda, a “do-san-ko” himself is the owner and tour operator of the ranch. He wasn’t always a rancher though. He was a full time office worker in Kyoto for 15 years before he decided to follow his passion for horses and open a ranch just near Kushiro city. On the tour he will show you around the beautiful Kushiro marshland which covers an area of 268.61 square kilometres. On the tour you’ll have a chance to see a lot of wildlife including: foxes, tanukis and if you’re really lucky some red-crowned cranes.
You don’t have to be an experienced rider. The tour suits the newbie (like myself) also. The ranch also doubles as a hotel. So after your tour you can enjoy a beverage on the patio and soak up the sounds of nature.
It was a fantastic experience and I highly recommend you go and give it a try. Be sure to ask for an ice pack after your ride, you may get a little sore (^^)
For more information check out their website: http://dosanko-farm.com/ or you can email Mr Tsunoda: firstname.lastname@example.org