Mimamori Hachimaru Ranch is located in a woodland somewhat removed from the ocean and surrounded by rich forest. This is not just your average ranch that offers horse riding experiences. By showcasing the special character of the horses, this place offers visitors the opportunity for self-reflection and to think about their relationship with nature.
“Horses are not pets that will easily be at your disposal, and they will not move unless you communicate with them. I want children to learn how to express themselves, and by doing so, learn to communicate with people, animals, and nature,” says Yukiko Hachimaru, a horse coaching instructor.
A variety of programs at Hachimaru Ranch take advantage of the unique woodland environment of the ranch, and include programs where participants take care of the horses and learn to communicate with them using not only the horse’s reins but physical movement of their body. There are also programs where participants can connect with nature by using trees from the forest to make crafts and cut logs. There are rules to follow here, but there is no schedule that says, “please start doing this now.” Hachimaru Ranch values children's desire to do activities on their own and aims to give them the time to think for themselves and focus on what they like.
Ken Hachimaru says, "Our role is to offer children a space without intervention.
“It’s important to create an environment where children can interact directly with the horses and nature, with as little adult interference as possible. I suppose you could say it’s a time where there is nothing in particular being demanded of you. When you follow your own interests and try to do the things that you’re interested in, you will encounter the core of your identity. I would be happy if the experiences here could facilitate such encounters.”