Tokyo, Japan is a city that beings to mind many things. The legendary Tokyo Racecourse may have escaped your attention. It is familiar to many handicappers who love to watch and wager on horse racing in Japan. It is also one of the most beautiful and largest horse racing venues in the entire world.

Join us as we take a closer look at Tokyo Racecourse and the importance it holds to Japanese horse racing.

The History of Tokyo Racecourse

Tokyo Racecourse is located in Fuchu City. It was originally built in 1933. Today it is sometimes referred to as the Racecourse of Racecourses in Japan. The venue is home to the most important races in the country. It also hosts other events when horse racing is not in season.


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The Japan Racing Association limits and controls the major horse racing tracks in the country. The legendary Tokyo Racecourse is no exception. This control is meant to insure the success of each individual track while upholding the quality of horse racing.

The racecourse has seen a few changes during the years, but it has remained surprisingly modern. In 2000 the JRA initiated a renovation project that lasted for 7 years. A grand opening was held in 2007 to celebrate. The additions consisted of overall improvements to the property, upgrades to the racing surfaces, and repairs to existing horse care facilities.

The Tracks at Legendary Tokyo Racecourse

There are three individual tracks which make up the horse racing complex in Tokyo. These are made up of three different horse racing surfaces. All three are used during the horse racing meetings held at the track.

The largest of the tracks is the turf course which is the outermost oval. In Japan, many horse races are conducted on grass. This is similar to the racing style that is found in the UK, Europe, and Australia. Grass is the natural habitat of the horse, but in North America most race tracks focus on dirt racing.

Next at Tokyo Racecourse is the dirt track. It is slightly smaller than the turf course with a distance of 1 1/8 miles. Finally, there is a jumper course which is located on the innermost rail. This track measures 1 mile in distance with multiple jumps on the straightaways.

Why is it that the people of Japan prefer so many different types of horse racing? This is what they are used to. Horse racing in Japan has always been diverse. It is that diversity that draws the most talented trainers, jockeys, and horses to Japan where they compete in a number of prominent stakes races.

Many Famous Races Are Held at Tokyo Racecourse

There are races each day during the horse racing season at Tokyo Racecourse. The average fan turns out to see these events, but what they really want to see are the big races like the Japan Cup. Most of these stakes events are held at Tokyo Racecourse because it can support crowds of over 200,000 people. Imagine a crowd four times as large as the crowd that might assemble in Kentucky each May for the Kentucky Derby.

The Japan Cup is by far the biggest of the big races. It is much like the Breeders’ Cup World Championships that are held in the US each year. There are also other races. These include the Tokyo Yushun, Tenno Sho, the February Stakes, and the Victoria Mile.

The stakes races that are conducted at the legendary Tokyo Racecourse are graded, just like stakes races are in the United States. Graded stakes usually range from Grade 1 to Grade 3. The Grade 1 stakes are the most prestigious events.

Betting at Tokyo Racecourse

The betting that occurs on the track at the Tokyo Racecourse is of the parimutuel variety. This means that all bets go into a pool. The odds for each horse are determined by how much money has been bet into the various pools. Keeping track of all these bets is something known as a Totalisator, or Tote Board.

The way that most people throughout the world make bets on horse racing in Tokyo is to use an online horse betting sites. We recommend several that you can use for your Japanese horse racing betting. When you sign up you will receive access to handy betting tools like past performances and race replays. You can also receive free money for betting.

It is more convenient to wager on races from the legendary Tokyo Racecourse with your phone or tablet, especially if you live in another country. Even if you live in Japan it can be difficult to deal with the crowds on race day. A good place to start is AmWager, Bovada, Twinspires, Betamerica or if outside the USA, 5dimes!

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