Horse racing is a popular sport throughout all of Japan. There can be no debate that Tokyo is the center of the country’s horse racing action. The legendary Tokyo Racecourse has been in operation for almost a century. It is the home of the Japan Cup and many other prestigious races. Here is a closer look at Tokyo horse racing.

History of Horse Racing in Tokyo

Many people mistakenly believe that Tokyo horse racing did not appear until after World War II. This is not the case. The Toyko Racecourse opened in 1933. It has since come to be called the Racecourse of Racecourses in Japan. It is where all of the major races are held.


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The Tokyo Racecourse facility seats over 13,000, but it has capacity for 223,000 people. It is not just a venue for horse racing. Other popular events can be held there throughout the year, but racing remains the primary draw.

The facility includes three distinct courses for racing. There is a grass course, a dirt course, and even a jump course. The grass course is the outermost track, and it measures just over 1 ยผ miles. The dirt track is next, measuring 1 1/8 miles. Finally, there is a one-mile jump track.

Horse Racing Surfaces in Tokyo

The longstanding preference for horse racing surfaces in Tokyo is grass. A large number of races in the city are conducted on grass in accordance with tradition. This is not necessarily exclusive to Japan. There are many other places in the world where grass horse racing is the standard. France and Australia are just two examples.

Contrast this with the United States where dirt racing has always been the preference. In the US grass racing has almost been reduced to a novelty at many race tracks. Indeed, there are some race tracks in America that still do not have a grass racecourse. This is strange to many fans of the sport, especially those that understand grass is a horse’s natural habitat.

This is not to say that dirt racing in Tokyo has not found its place or gained a foothold. There are many big races at Tokyo Racecourse which are ran on the dirt. It could be that Japan’s lack of a thoroughbred breeding program was the cause for dirt racing to lag behind. It has only been since the 1980s that Japan began to vigorously expand its own horse breeding with the addition of studs like the legendary Sunday Silence.

Why Tokyo is a Popular Horse Racing Location

Tokyo is one of the cities in Japan that has a population large enough to support a busy horse racing season at Tokyo Racecourse. In fact, Tokyo is one of the most populous cities in the entire world. Some 13,000,000 people inhabit the financial and governmental center of Japan. That’s a large number when you realize that Tokyo was originally a fishing village.

Even though there is a large number of people in the city, there is still only one major race track. This is by design. The Japan Racing Association oversees racing in Tokyo and other Japanese locations to make sure that racing is conducted according to a set of established standards. The JRA determines the weights that horses carry in races, the stakes races that can be held, and even how betting on horse racing is managed. The organization also keeps its number of tracks very small. This helps to drive up attendance, it also helps the individual racecourses to thrive.

Betting on Horse Racing in Tokyo

The best way for bettors to make wagers on Tokyo horse racing is through an online horse betting sites. There are now many racebooks all over the world which allow bets to be made on Tokyo Racecourse and other tracks in Japan.

What are the advantages of using an online racebook? Well, for most people convenience is at the top of the list. Many people do not have the opportunity to travel to Japan to witness live racing in Tokyo. The next best thing is to watch and wager from your living room with a computer or mobile device.

The advances in modern technology have made live streams of Tokyo horse racing wonderful to watch. There have also been improvements to betting systems and how bets are processed. You can wager right into the same betting pools that are offered at Tokyo Racecourse when you use one of our recommended online racebooks.

How to Get Free Tokyo Horse Racing Betting Money

Another reason that people love online racebooks for Tokyo horse racing is that these racebooks sometimes offer new account holders bonus cash. The free money usually comes in the form of a matching deposit bonus.

You will see that we have recommended racebooks that offer such a horse betting bonuses. Claim yours today and you could be betting the horse races in Tokyo with your bonus cash. That can be helpful if you are new to the Japanese racing circuit and know little about its horses, jockeys, and trainers. We recomed you check outย  AmWager and also Bovada in addition to others we list on the site.

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