If spending the day in a beautiful forest park shooting arrows at targets appeals, you will enjoy a trip to the International Archery Land in Saiki-ku, Hatsukaichi. The facility is open year-round, located in a small town just over an hour’s drive from Hiroshima city center.
On a recent visit, we enjoyed a sunny winter’s day at the facility which was in contrast to the summer’s rainy day of my first visit, but as long as you are prepared with good shoes and waterproofs it can be enjoyable in any weather. The staff are very welcoming and skilled at getting everyone set up with the right sized arrows and gear. They also do an introductory lesson, teaching the basics at the main target area before you head off into the forest course.
It’s impressive that Archery Land is open almost every day of the year – so whether you want to get your Katniss on in the depths of winter shooting in the snow, or tramp through in rain gear on a soggy summer day, the facilities are open to you. The facilities can be busy on weekends, so it’s a good idea to make a reservation for groups. It is a popular facility for Archers from all over the Chugoku area and often visited by school club members.
This is a very sustainable facility. This nature-based experience has very low-impact on the environment. Bring your thermos or water bottle to refill at the facility. They are also very supportive of a wide variety of people in the community. In fact, I discovered that when the staff attended an international archery event in Las Vegas in 2018, they also spent some time visiting schools for disabled children. They already have staff who speak English as well as a good English website. Additionally, they are working hard to improve their facilities and instruction to members of society with disabilities. Everyone should feel very welcomed here.
It’s possible to enjoy the facilities in all weather conditions. On my first visit, it was raining quite hard by the time we were ready to go into the forest, but luckily we were prepared with rain gear and keen to try some archery in the wild, we ventured in. Rubber boots are likely a good idea at any time of year. Mosquitos may be a problem in summer as well. In spring, the cherry trees are in bloom adding extra romance to target practice and a stroll in the forest.
Once in the forest, we did the short loop course of the 12 targets, which took us almost two hours giving everyone time to shoot and going around at a leisurely pace. The five of us took turns shooting at each target, an exchange of supportive and encouraging comments followed before we collected our arrows and ambled on to the next target. It’s up to you how long to spend on the course, it could easily be done in under an hour if you’re keen. Arrive early in the day if you want to avoid any waits at the targets or on the trail. It’s also up to you whether you want to keep score or not, score charts are available for use in the shop. The forest trails are well maintained and we saw groups of volunteers tidying up the paths and streams when we visited.
We had some awesome sharpshooters in the group, but as for me, I seemed to be getting worse as time went on and got a bit tired. Note to self: pack a thermos of strong coffee and some good chocolate next time. Luckily, we didn’t lose any arrows despite some poorly executed shots falling short and ending up in the quick-flowing stream below. Luckily, our group’s sharpshooters were also quick-of-foot saving us from being light-of-wallet saving us the fee to replace lost or broken arrows.
I would heartily recommend a day (or half-day) of archery at this range to anyone looking to enjoy one of Hiroshima’s best nature-based activities. We felt it was good value for money, especially considering the excellent English speaking staff at the facility. Don’t forget to check the weather and pack appropriately for a few hours out in the elements. Also, if you bring a thermos or water bottle, it is possible to fill up on hot tea, coffee or water before heading onto the course. Proper archer-hobbyists also share the target range, so you are welcome to come with your own gear if you have it. There are Japanese noodles (udon) and other light foods available in the shop or on the terrace and BBQ sets can be booked ahead of time.
- Always walk in one direction along the forest path (doubling back on the trail is dangerous as other archers may be shooting at the targets behind you).
- Make sure to wait until everyone near you has finished shooting before the all-clear signal is made and everyone goes to retrieve their arrows from the targets.
Field Course/Target Course (No time limit)
- *¥4000 (¥3500 Junior High School and under) – *check the website for the latest prices*
Archery Experience (1 hour)
- ¥2500 (¥1800 Junior High School and under)
Field Archery and BBQ Set (reservations required)
- ¥5000 (¥4000 Junior High School and under)
- The BBQ Set includes onigiri rice balls, chicken, beef, river fish & vegetables.
All courses include a basic instruction safety lesson at the beginning
Opening Hours: 09:00-18:00 every day of the year except December 28-January 3
Address: 500 Tsuda, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima-ken 738-0222
Address in Japanese: 〒738-0222 広島県廿日市市津田５００
Take Route 2 to Jigozen, just east of Miyajima. Then follow Route 30 as far as the Saiki-ku branch of the Hatsukaichi City Office where you take a right to reach Archery Land.
Check out Onizaru’s Video of a day at Archery Land