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Photo By: a.koto

A dose of adrenaline with the real fast and furious.

While sumo and judo are the sports most commonly associated with Japan, the country also has a surprisingly huge motorsport fanbase. Whether you’re into fast-paced events showcasing the newest high-spec Japanese cars, or local drift competitions, there’s no shortage of exciting races to watch.

If you’re new to the motorsport world, you may find the number of racetracks in Japan overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 race tracks to visit while you’re in Japan.

Sportsland Sugo

Miyagi Prefecture

Dirt bike fans will love Sportsland Sugo as it’s got a motocross track in addition to a road course. While it may not be the most popular racing complex in Japan, it is the biggest!

Located not too far from Sendai in the beautiful Tohoku countryside, it’s a major stop for domestic racing leagues. You can even enter an amateur go-kart race if the need for speed compels you! There aren’t many hotels around the complex so it’s best to stay in Sendai.

  • Major Events: Super GT, Super Formula, All Japan Road Race, All Japan Motocross Championship
  • Train access: The nearest station is Sendai Station. From there, you can catch a local bus or shuttle bus (available on major event days). Shuttle bus schedules are posted on the website before events.
  • Closest airport: Sendai Airport
  • By car: From Sendai Airport, the circuit is only a 30-minute drive.
  • Website: http://sportsland-sugo.co.jp/en/

Okayama International Circuit

Okayama Prefecture

Although it may not have as many high profile events these days, Okayama International Circuit is still an important stop for many domestic and amateur races. There’s something thrilling to watch on a near-monthly basis, whether you’re interested in car or bike racing.

  • Major events: Super GT, Super Formula, Super F3, All Japan Road Race
  • Train access: Take the Shinkansen to Okayama Station. From there, catch the JR Sanyo line to Yoshinaga Station and then take a taxi (about 17 minutes).
  • Shuttle bus: On certain event days, there is a shuttle bus from Yoshinaga station.
  • Website: http://www.okayama-international-circuit.jp/index.html (Japanese only)

Fuji Speedway

Shizuoka Prefecture

This racetrack’s close proximity to the iconic Mount Fuji makes it one of the most scenic motorsport tracks in the country. Once home to the F1 GP, Fuji Speedway is known as a top spot for endurance racing in Japan.

Hosting both the Fuji 6 Hours and the Asian Le Mans Series, this is the prime place to see drivers race to their absolute limits! The venue will also be used for the road cycling event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

  • Major Events: Asian Le Mans Series, Fuji 6 Hours, Super GT, Super Formula
  • Website: http://www.fsw.tv/en/index.html
  • Access: From Gotemba Station, take a taxi (about 20 minutes) to Fuji Speedway. You can get to Gotemba Station via direct highway bus from Shinjuku, Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, or Shizuoka Stations.

Twin Ring Motegi

Tochigi Prefecture

A three hour trip from central Tokyo, Twin Ring Motegi gets its name for having both an oval and road course. It used to be the site of the Indycar Japanese GP, and has even hosted a NASCAR race! The premier motorcycle racing league, Japanese MotoGP—basically the F1 for motorcycles—is also held here.

The track is home to the Honda Collection Hall, which has a killer collection of Honda bikes that motorcycle fans will go crazy over. There’s a hotel on site too, but don’t expect to find an available room during races.

  • Major Events: Moto GP, Super GT, Super Formula, All Japan Road Race
  • Access by train and bus: From Tokyo, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Utsunomiya Station. From there you can either catch a bus from the West Exit at bus stop number three (about 90 minutes) or take a taxi from the East Exit (about 60 minutes) to Twin Ring Motegi. The bus runs infrequently and is only available on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, so check the website for the timetable and alternative routes.
  • Website: https://www.twinring.jp/english/

Suzuka Circuit

Mie Prefecture

A legendary racetrack and unquestionably the most well-known, Suzuka Circuit hosts a wide range of high profile domestic and international competitions. The biggest event of the year is the Formula 1 Japan Grand Prix, where you’ll see the best of the best in both drivers and cars.

Endurance fans will love the eight-hour motorcycle and 10-hour car races. With its unique figure 8 course design and tons of history, any racing fan would do well to visit the track at least once!

  • Major events: Formula 1 Grand Prix, Suzuka 8/10 Hours, Super GT, Super Formula, All Japan Road Race
  • Access by train: As the town of Suzuka quickly fills up during events, many people opt to stay in nearby Nagoya. From Nagoya Station, take the Kintetsu Nagoya Line or Kintetsu Limited Express to Shiroko Station. From there, take the 03 Shiroko Circuit Bus bound for Suzuka Circuit (03白子サーキット線鈴 鹿サーキット行) and get off at the Suzuka Circuit bus stop.
  • Website: https://www.suzukacircuit.jp/en/


Most of these tracks are a bit far from train stations so we recommend going by car, but public transportation is possible if you exercise a little patience.

Stay tuned ?

Stay tuned in October for coverage of the 2019 Japan Formula 1 Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit!

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