Tokyo Horse Racing
Originally built in 1933, Tokyo Racecourse is located in Fuchu city and is Japan’s largest racecourse.
Entrance fee to a racecourse is 200 yen ($2 US).
Modern horseracing in Japan had its beginnings in racing events that were organized by foreign residents of Yokohama in 1862.
Japan led all countries in the total amount of money bet on horse racing in 2008, with just under 2 trillion yen wagered on ponies. Globally, Japan also breeds the fourth highest number of thoroughbreds.
All authorized racing in Japan, by law, must be conducted by the Japan Racing Association or JRA (a public enterprise established by the national government) and local governments entities.
JRA racing is mainly conducted on Saturdays and Sundays (with the exception of several days on national holidays) during October and November. There are 12 races on a racing day, beginning at around 10:00 and ending at around 16:30.
There are 10 JRA racecourses and off-track betting facilities around the country. Betting is fully automated, minimum bet is 100 yen ($1).
A grand re-opening of the Tokyo Racecourse was held in 2007 after the completion of seven years renovation work. This modern facility can now seat more than 120,000.
The main entrance has a European theme.
Inside (and outside), you will find a lot of restaurants, cafes, fast food chains and even a konbini.
This is a family oriented facility, complete with amusement rides, pony rides, playgrounds and park areas.
Outside, the world’s largest video monitor called “Turf Vision”, at 11 × 66 meters, was installed in September of 2006, displays sharp, powerful images and a wealth of information on its three High Definition screens.
The paddock area is a popular area to check out all the horses before the race.
Thrilling races take place down a 530-meter-long homestretch.
Of course, if you come in first place, you go to the Winners Circle and collect your prize and trophy.
Also, you can read the Metropolis article titled “Weekends are for Racing”. The JRA official site can be found here (available in English and French – click on the language link at the top right of the web page).