One of the coolest things to do in Tokyo, is to take a look at what’s on at the Tokyo Racecourse. It’s not just a place for international and national horses to race, but also an events venue with a whole host of fun activities to enjoy.
After something unique to do on your Tokyo trip? This is the place for you.
– Post sponsored by Tokyo Racecourse
The Tokyo Racecourse first opened in 1933, but in 2017 had a huge facelift and the world class ‘Fuji View Grandstand’ gave the racecourse new life, and firmly positioned it as one of the most impressive racecourses around the world.
Not many racecourses can boast views of a majestic mountain, especially one as iconic as Mount Fuji.
The grandstand can hold 19,000 people, and the whole venue can hold over 100,000.
High level G1 horses race here, and the Japan Cup takes place here too. The best horses and jockeys are invited from all over the world – the atmosphere is electric!
Japan Cup G1 Big Race
The next big race to be held there is the Japan Cup G1 Big Race on November 24, 2019, from 9am till 4pm. Special novelty items will be gifted to visitors on answering a simple questionnaire and there will also be a stamp rally. Anyone who competes in the stamp rally gets a discount coupon of 1000 yen to use at any of the food stalls, or a novelty item.
What goes on at Tokyo Racecourse?
English speakers can join in with the fun with bets starting at just 100 Yen. Look out for the information centres, that’s where you’ll find the multilingual information. Ask for the translation stencil you can hold over the Japanese ticket – magic!
There are 12 races held on the course every Saturday and Sunday for 22 weeks a year.
In the morning, the races are held every 30 minutes with lunch breaks. Then, in the afternoon, every 40 minutes. The main race is usually the 11th one – that’s the one to get the most excited about.
Tokyo Racecourse isn’t just horse racing though, it’s also the one with the most family friendly entertainment and fun. Here are just a few of the things you can do at Tokyo Racecourse beyond the racing.
Things to do at Tokyo Racecourse
1. Fuji View Grandstand
Clear days mean a beautiful view of Mount Fuji, from the Fuji View Grandstand. You can sit and admire the views from the open air seating on non race days, and you can go and chill out at the restaurant area too, with some fast food.
Much easier than actually climbing Fuji, that’s for sure!
2. UMAJO SPOT
The UMAJO SPOT is for women only. It’s part of the Fuji View Grandstand, but a calmer way to watch the races away from the testosterone of the other spaces. There’s a cafe here serving seasonal desserts, cakes and muffins.
3. Find a restaurant to eat at
With over 100 restaurants, cafes and shops in the Tokyo Racecourse, it’s a feast! Choose from classic Japanese to trusty Italian, and there are plenty of take out options you can enjoy on the variety of green spaces around the course.
4. Admire the horses
Whether it’s race day or not, there are a few options for seeing the horses close up. On race days you can admire them in the paddock and parade ring, before they go out to compete.
After the race, from the Fuji View Grandstand, you can admire the horses coming back from the races in the Horse Preview.
On some days you might even be able to meet the horses at the racecourse, and even ride them. Keep an eye on the listings for the Horse Show to see the horses perform beautiful dances.
5. Enjoy the fauna
The Tokyo Racecourse has its own Japanese-style Garden. With cherry blossoms in Spring, and autumnal leaves as we see the year out, it’s a lovely spot to enjoy. See if you can spot the carp in the pond too.
6. Ride the Shinkansen
There’s a miniature Shinkansen train that does laps of the Tokyo Racecourse – gets very busy on race days though!
7. Kids play at Hiyoshigaoka Park
There’s loads for kids to do at the Tokyo Racecourse. The Hiyoshigaoka Park has an adventure playground and an inflatable balloon dome – you can get a balloon shaped like their mascot Turfy. They can also play on the jungle gym and slides at JRA-DOME. The Tokyo Racecourse is totally family friendly.
8. Take a horse carriage ride
Head to Keyaki-namiki and enjoy a relaxing carriage ride around the Tokyo Racecourse. Fancy way of seeing the place!
Entry to the Tokyo Racecourse
It costs 200 Yen to get into the Tokyo Racecourse when there’s a race on, and it’s free for anyone under 15 years old. You can go and visit for free on non-race days.
How to get to the Tokyo Racecourse
The nearest stations to Tokyo Racecourse, just a walk away, are either:
– Fuchu Keiba Seimon Mae Station on the Keio Line
– Fuchu-Honmachi Station on the JR Musashino Line or
– Nambu Line, and Koremasa Station on the Seibu Tamagawa Line
The Tokyo Racecourse want us international visitors to feel safe and welcome, and so have put up signs in English. There’s also the Racing Museum, if you want to learn more about the history of horse racing in Japan.
See, loads to do on your Tokyo trip!