Thursday, November 9, 2017

#Tokyo Entertainment ♪ Family Entertainment at Japan's Largest Racecourse 🐴 The Racecourses of Racecourses in Japanese Horse Racing πŸ‡

Japan's Racecourse
- Tokyo Racecourse



Horse Racing throughout Culture and History 
Witnessing the competition of these muscular and powerful horses
racing against one another
is many adults favorite thing to do on their free time.

Although the acknowledgment of horse races (or derby) itself
is more and more widespread,
few people know its history. 


Horse racing started in the UK,
but in 1540,

 the racecourses seem to be built like the ones you see today.
Horse racing was particularly popular in Europe,
but it made its way to Asia in 1842 when horse racing was held in Singapore,
then in Japan's very own Yokohama around 1860.
(Just over 150 years ago!)



Anyone Can Have a Good Time
- Japan's Racecourse -

Apparently as the years passed,
horse racing has undergone unique evolution and change in Japan. 

 Taking the idea of a place where adults bet money,
they made the racecourse more of a place people of all ages 

can enjoy themselves through a variety of alternative attractions. 


Tokyo Racecourse (東京竢馬場)
1-1 Hiyoshicho, Fuchu, Tokyo 183-0024
Day of week race is held: Every Sat. and Sun. 
Business hours: Sat and Sun  9am - 5pm




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Contents 

Get there Easily by Train from the Heart of the City
Heaps of Experiences and Amusements,
as If It Were a Theme Park

A Wide Variety of Restaurants 
Simple and Fun way to Enjoy the Races 


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 Get there Easily by Train from the Heart of the City
There are racecourses in 10 different locations all over Japan,
and this specific one, Tokyo Racecourse,

 can me reached by train from Tokyo.
Due to the characteristics of racecourses,
a wide opened area is needed,

many tend to think that any racecourse 
would have to be way out of the city,
thus difficult to get to!

However, that's not the case here.
The racecourse has its own train station.
so travelers native and foreign
can get to it easier.



Furthermore,
the races are almost every weekend,
so you aren't easily restricted from going
and having a good time!
There are plenty of things to do there
besides betting on horses,
so going during the weekend can be really fun.


*JRA Racing Calendar HERE!

Once you leave the station, 
you will see the walkway that leads you directly to the entrance,
there are also the entry ticket boxes. 
The entrance was pretty crowded with people that came pretty early.


πŸšƒGo by trainπŸ‡
Keio Line 
Fuchukeiba-seimommae Station  2min walk

Keio Line
Higashi-fuchu Station  10 min walk

JR Musashino Line, Nambu Line
Fuchuhommachi Station ⇒ 5 min walk

Seibu Tamagawa Line
Koremasa Station  10 min walk


There of course is available parking though!The scale size of the parking lot is also a surprise.
 
*Parking: 2000 yen 



Entree Ticket
It's only 200 yen (roughly 2 bucks) to get in!!
On top of that,
kinds up to 15 years old are free!!
Once you get your ticket(s),
head to the main gate and give them your ticket.



Chuo Information Center
What is the "Betting Card", 
that everyone says you need from the Information Center desk? 

Here, as one would imagine,
a lot of information and guides are provided

 for both Japanese and foreign visitors. 
What's most important is you can get a Better Card cheat sheet!


Many foreigners come to the racecourse wanting to test their luck,
but don't quite know how.
For that reason, they made a Betting Card file sheet to lay over the ticket
to help you place your bet!

*What is a betting ticket?

Pick and vote for the horse that takes your eye!
If the horse you chose wins,
you get your money with this ticket!




 Heaps of Experiences and Amusements, 
as If It Were a Theme Park
You can experience all sorts of things with horses raised here!
It becomes perfectly clear why they call 
the Tokyo Racecourse a "recreational facility".
What's more is all of this stuff that's available is free. 
We'll let you know all the things one can do here! 
Things You Can Do at Tokyo Racecourse
Get Close to the Horses
Place: Riding Center


Go Ride Some Horses!
Even if you're not a jockey, you can ride a horse!

We were surprised there were no stirrups,
however it was fine because
there are staff members to support you during the ride.

You are also able to get a quick picture for memories purposes! 

Place: Riding Center
*Not operating during bad weather


Chariot Ride
Take a relaxing carriage ride along the native Japanese zelkova serrata
 covered path inside the racecourse.

We loved the classic style of the coach and
were able to get a lot of commemorative pictures.


Place: Row of Zelkova Serrata Trees (γ‚±γƒ€γ‚­δΈ¦ζœ¨)
Not operating during bad weather

 
Greenery Area inside the Racecourse
This green space is built inside the course where the horses run!

Here are lots of facilities for children and families to hang out comfortably
and have a good time.

It's easy to forget you're at a horse racecourse
when you look around at all the people laying around on the grass
and kids playing.


There are plenty of stalls selling yummy food too!
A lot of people seemed to buy from here
since you can get all kinds of Japanese food
and go relax at your spot, no problem.




 A Wide Variety of Restaurants 
The whole "horse racing experience"
is not limited to only watching horses. 

Tokyo Racecourse combines various facilities, 
but its food is surprisingly exceptional,
and apparently there are many people that would say the same.

 

Scrumptious food!
Tonkatsu (deep fried pork)
There are a lot of restaurants at the racecourse to choose from,
but we decided on tonkatsu!
In Japanese, 
the pronunciation "katsu" in tonkatsu
is the same as the word "katsu",
that means "victory"!

So by eating tonkatsu,
it's like taking in that extra good luck to win big!


The quality of the food totally surpasses
your regular mall or department food court by far!

We're glad we were able to go to the race track
and eat Japanese food!


UMAJO

(Particularly popular among children!)

Of course, 
there are cafes where you can relax and enjoy something more like
such as tea, coffee, and desserts.

Especially here where the cafe is decorated with horses
to fit the racecourse theme!

When we look at these cute horse items,
we're thrown off guard when we then see these
cool racing horses running at 60km/h (37mph)!


There are many other places within the facility like here.

LOADS of places where you can grab a quick bite.
Places like yakisoba and beer shops, bakeries, and fast food stores.



 Simple and Fun way to Enjoy the Races 

If you came to the racecourse,
you've gotta check out the races!
We got the scoop on how to enjoy the races in Japan
without having to actually touch the horses.


How to Enjoy the Races

See the Horses in a Paddock
If you're gonna bet some of your money,
you should first check them out and then choose a horse right? 

That's why we recommend you first
 going to a place called the paddock first.

The paddock, built behind the main course
 and the building with the audience seats, 
is a space where you can meet horses 
participating in the races in advance.

Fifteen minutes before the race starts, 
you can decide which horse to bet on 
by watching the race horse here in the paddock.

One interesting point is that the standards 
for choosing a horse is different for each person.
Even with the already famous horses,
 the way to choose is walking the horse around the paddock,
keeping an eye out for their body structure,

 such as their their big bottoms, etc. 
Especially it is the most commonly known horses Let me tell you about your viewpoint.

Good Information to Know - How to View the Horses
Generally, 
the horse torso is short and has a strong body build.
However it's said that longer, stronger horses make the best ones for racing.


We actually followed that advice,
and the horse we bet on won 1st place!!


 Purchasing a Betting Ticket

1. Fill Out the Mark Card
Once you've decided which horse you'd like to bet on,
next you need to buy a betting ticket.
"Baken" (a betting ticket at a horse race)
is an abbreviation of Katsuma ballot ticket,
which refers to a voucher for predicting a winning horse.
Then when you win, you can receive a refund.

(Of course, when you lose, this betting ticket just becomes a piece of paper.)



There are various kinds of betting tickets.

① Wins: Predict who will come in first.
② Place: Predict who will win at least 3rd place
(since the hit rate is higher than the short win, the winning rate is low).
③ Quinetta: Pick two horses (what place doesn't matter)

④ Exacta: Predict 2 horses and their placing
⑤ Quin. Place: Regardless of the ranking,
predicting two horses that will fall within 3rd place

⑥ Bracket Quin: Put 2 horses into 1 group
(Horse #1,2 in Group 1, horse #3,4 in Group 2,

⑦ Trio: Predict 3 animals to enter 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place
(order doesn't matter).

⑧ Trifecta: Predict 3 animals to win 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place
*order matters*
(since the chances are high, the winning rate is too!).


Filling out a betting card is just like you're filling out a lottery form.
Since the card is in Japanese,
we got an English sheet from the information center.


Example: When buying a win ticket
1. Choose the place where the horse race is (in this case Tokyo).
2. Select the race number (there are 12 races a day).
3. Choose "Win"
4. In the 1st Bet, choose the number of the horse you choose to win.
5. In the right "Amount" column, select the bet amount along with the unit.
6. Put it in the horse betting ticket machine.


In the horse race newspaper,
race information such as the horses information,
winning horse forecast, etc.
can be seen and you will see so many people looking at this.
However,
this time we got advice from coworkers that are familiar with horse racing, and they judge based on the body condition of the horse, etc., 

so we chose a horse different from the predicted winning horse
that was in the horse race newspaper.



2. Automatic Ticket Issuing Machine
Put the finished paper on the ticket machine.

How to use the automatic ticket machine
① Insert money
② Insert the filled out card
③ Check the screen to make sure it's filled out correctly
④ Press the "checkout" button on the upper right
⑤ Receive your betting ticket!

Be sure to keep your ticket safe until the end of the race
because you will need it as a confirmation in case you win!



3. The Main Point to Horse Racing

- Watching the Race -
Now that you've got your ticket,
it's time to enjoy the show!


The atmosphere inside the racecourse is pretty lively,
however when the trumpets play 

notifying everyone that the race is about to begin,
the stadium becomes quite 

and everyone's gaze goes to the same place.

A gate where the racehorse dash off from will be set up,
and guiding horses bringing in the race horses to the course soon fallow.

The tension that spreads across
the whole racecourse before the race is crazy.

START!!
Once the race begins, the quiet racecourse soon becomes filled 
with the crowd's powerful cheers.
It felt different from the type of supportive cheering
you would normally hear at a general sports competition.



The sound of the horses using their muscles to dash off,
pounding into the ground,
galloping get louder and louder

with the dynamic background of the crowds cheers...
if only there was an expression for such a thing....


On the verge of reaching the goal! The most exciting moment!

As a combination of sighs and cheers happen around us,
we ran to the front of the crowd in complete and utter joy!

Because the races are often a close call so as soon as the race is over,
the replay appears on a huge screen.


And the results....
OH MY GOD! FIRST PLACE!!!!


WE COULDN'T BELIEVE IT OURSELVES!!
Seriously?!
The horse we bet on won?!
Now it's time to claim our moneyπŸ’Έ


 You get your money via an automatic machine
and it's surprisingly easy to cash in your winning ticket.
First you insert the ticket.

The reimbursement price applied and the rate applied 
will come up on the screen.


Once you check the amount, press the green button,
AND YOU GET YOUR MONEY!!




A Place You Can Enjoy Indoors
- The West Hall -

This area is just like a movie theater, and it is called the "West Hall".
Since the outdoor audience seats also have a roof,
extra measures against rain has been taken,
but you can also enjoy the horse races with indoors and have more room.
 

 Here too it is just as possible to enjoy the crowds' cheers
and the show as watching from outside



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A Full Day's Excitement Never Ends
- Tokyo Racecourse -


Tokyo Racecourse opens from 9am, 
until 5 pm.
When trying to put our whole experience 

at the Tokyo Racecourse in one phrase,
it might have to be,
"A place where the excitement never dies"!
.

On overseas trips, 
going to a racecourse as a place to visit may be difficult.
However,
 

now that we've been to a race at Tokyo Racecourse directly,
we believe we discovered a new side of enjoying Japan.


It's possible to enjoy nature while sightseeing downtown Tokyo
when you're in Japan,

but once you experience the enthusiasm at a Japanese horse race
,
you'll be glad you came!
 We fully recommend checking it out!



Tokyo Racecourse (東京竢馬場)
1-1 Hiyoshicho, Fuchu, Tokyo 183-0024
Day of week race is held: Every Sat. and Sun. 
Business hours: Sat and Sun  9am - 5pm