Let’s All Go to the Keiba-jo! Where to See Horse Racing Near Nagoya

ByBert Wishart
Apr 30, 2024

Let’s All Go to the Keiba-jo! Where to See Horse Racing Near Nagoya

Though it has much changed over the centuries, keiba [horse racing] in Japan is not merely a sport; it’s a cultural phenomenon deeply ingrained in the nation’s fabric. With a history going back to the 8th centruy, when its role was of a more religious bent, horse racing remains today an integral part of sporting life.

Japan has something of an unusual relationship with gambling. Casinos are banned, as are most forms of sports betting. However, some activities, such as the lottery, are permitted, and pachinko players hop through a loophole letting them ‘sell’ the prizes they win. The other form of acceptable gambling is in the ‘Public Sports’ of  which horse racing is the most celebrated.

At the heart of Japan’s horse racing scene are its world-class keiba-jo [racetracks], each meticulously designed to offer a thrilling experience for both spectators and participants alike. Here, near to Nagoya, there are two such theaters for sporting endeavour: the Chuky0 Racecourse and the Kasamatsu Keiba.

Chukyo Racecourse

Located in Toyoake, Chukyu Racecourse is Aichi’s predominant keibajo. Built in 1953, it is unusual amongst the Japan Racing Association (JRA) courses as it is independantly owned, and thus freer of the JRA. With a total capacity of 58,400, there are 8,795 seats providing comfortable viewing spots from which to cheer on your favorite horses. For those looking to elevate their experience, private boxes are available for reservation, while there are also a variety of dining options, including sushi, curry and soba. In addition, there are even play area facilities for children, so it is a fun day out for all of the family.

Where: Shikita-1225 Magomecho, Toyoake (map)
Website: jra.go.jp

Kasamatsu Racecourse

Kasamatsu Keibajo may be smaller in scale compared to the national racecourses, but it exudes its own unique charm and character. The facilities at Kasamatsu Keiba are designed to offer convenience and comfort to visitors. The main grandstand provides a selection of seating options, allowing spectators to choose their preferred vantage point for viewing the races. Being a local race course, it is a relatively short course flat race, meaning that corners are tighter and banked, increasing the tension as the riders take the final bend.

Where: 12 Wakabacho, Kasamatsu, Hashima District, Gifu (map)
Website: kasamatsu-keiba.com

Image: by via flickr.com [CC By SA 2.0 DEED]
Image: by via flickr.com [CC By SA 2.0 DEED]

About the author

Bert Wishart editor

Novelist, copywriter and graduate from the most prestigious university in Sunderland, Bert whiles away his precious time on this Earth by writing about popular culture, travel, food and pretty much anything else that is likely to win him the Pulitzer he desperately craves.

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