Tokyo Racecourse is one of Japan’s most iconic and popular horse racing venues. Situated in Fuchu, Tokyo, the racecourse opened in 1933 and has been hosting some of the country’s biggest races ever since. In Japanese horse racing, it is referred to as the “racecourse of racecourses.” It can accommodate 223,000 people and has 13,750 seats.
The venue is particularly famous for hosting the Japan Cup – one of the world’s most prestigious horse races. First, run in 1981, the Japan Cup is a Group 1 flat racing contest for thoroughbreds three years of age and older. This race involves a run over a distance of 2400 meters and offers a massive prize fund of ¥476 million (approximately US$5.8 million). There can be a maximum of 18 horses on the turf(grass), and it is run under weight for age conditions.
Other notable races that take place at Tokyo Racecourse include the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the Yasuda Kinen. In Japan, two Tenno Sho horse races are staged each year: one in the spring and one in the fall. Tenno translates to “Emperor of Japan.” Both events are International Grade I competitions. The Tenno Sho (Autumn) is a Group 1 flat race open to thoroughbreds aged three years and older. It is run over a distance of 3200 meters, making it the longest Grade I race in Japan. It offers a prize fund of ¥432,000,000 (approximately US$3.2 million).
The Yasuda Kinen is a Group 1 flat race open to thoroughbreds aged three years and older. It is raced annually in June, runs over a distance of 1 mile, and offers a prize fund of ¥388,800,000 (approximately US$2.8 million). The race was included as the last stage of the Asian Mile Challenge in 2005.
In addition to these major races, Tokyo Racecourse also hosts a number of other important races throughout the year, making it one of the most popular horse racing venues in Japan. Tokyo Racecourse is worth visiting if you’re interested in watching or betting on horse racing.
When did equestrian sports start in Japan?
Beginning in the sixth century AD, when horse riders competed against one another during religious rites or festivals, horse racing (kurabeuma) was first practised in Japan. Each year, races were staged at various shrines and the Imperial Court.
How many racecourses are there in Japan?
The Japan Racing Association has 10 racetracks in Japan. The Big Four are Nakayama, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hanshin.
What are the major horse races in Tokyo?
The major races are the following:
Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1)
Japan Cup (G1)
Yasuda Kinen (G1)
Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1)
NHK Mile Cup (G1)
Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1)
Victoria Mile (G1)
February Stakes (G1)
Is horse racing a common sport in Japan?
More than 21,000 horse races are staged annually in Japan, where equestrian sports are very popular. The Japan Racing Association (JRA) is the country’s largest operator of horse racing venues. There are 10 JRA-sanctioned racetracks in Japan. The four most famous racetracks, often referred to as the “Big Four,” are Nakayama Racecourse, Tokyo Racecourse, Kyoto Racecourse, and Hanshin Racecourse. Hence, it is a common sport in Japan.
Why is horse racing so popular in Japan?
Horse racing is one of the most popular sports in Japan. It is a sport that people of all ages can enjoy, from children to the elderly. There are many reasons for its popularity, but one of the most important is that it is a sport that anyone can bet on. Even if you know nothing about horse racing, you can still have a good chance of winning if you pick the right horse. The Japan Racing Association (JRA), which invests the revenue generated from wagering into prize money for races, has made its events some of the most profitable in the world.
Horse racing is also a very exciting sport to watch. The races are often close, and there is a lot of suspense until the end. Another reason for its popularity is that it is a sport that is easy to understand. The rules are simple, and the races are short, so you don’t need to know much about horse racing to enjoy it. Finally, horse racing is a sport with a long history in Japan. It has been popular for centuries and deeply ingrained in Japanese culture.
In Japan, how many horses are there?
In 2020, there were over 73 thousand heads of horse livestock in Japan, a decline from the 2019 population of horses, which numbered 2019 heads.