The Formula 1 Grand Prix is a series of worldwide races where the best drivers use some of the fastest and most powerful F1 cars to determine who deserves the champion title.
The Japanese Grand Prix, held in Mie Prefecture, is considered amongst drivers and fans as the most exciting race because it is the last in the season, meaning that it determines the Grand Champion and acts as the season’s ultimate race. Adding to this excitement is Suzuka’s notoriously challenging circuit.
The Japanese Grand Prix’s place at the end of the racing season has led to a series of showdowns between the competition’s front-runner racers. Some of these equalizing races have included famous rivalries such as Allaine Prost vs. Aryton Senna and Michael Schumacher vs. Jacques Villeneuve.
The Suzuka Circuit is a demanding and technical track with a unique layout that challenges drivers and is loved by fans. Over three days, ten teams compete in practice races, time trials and the final grand race. It’s a thrilling experience for die-hards and casual spectators alike, and here’s how you can see it yourself.
What is the Suzuka Circuit?
The Suzuka International Racing Course (or Suzuka Circuit) is located in Ino, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, and is operated by Honda. It was initially a Honda testing course.
The race track is very different from other courses. Its figure-8 layout has many curves in the track’s first half, forcing drivers to focus on technique, timing and strategy. The track’s second half features many long stretches, perfect for overtaking maneuvers. The tricky bends add a whole new element of speculation to the event, as drivers will risk extra speed in the first half at the risk of spinning out.
Added to this is that the race’s start is elevated 30 meters above the rest of the track, creating flow and momentum that drivers love and fans go wild for. This has led to the Suzuka Circuit being regarded as one of the most popular and enjoyable to watch racetracks worldwide.
The easiest way to reach the Suzuka Circuit is by train or bus. It takes three hours from Tokyo via the JR Tokaido Shinkansen line or Kintetsu railway. It takes about two hours from Kyoto and Osaka. The closest station is Suzuka Circuit Ino station on the Ise Railway Ise line. There is a 20-minute walk from the station.
From Nagoya’s Shiroko station, a shuttle bus frequently runs to the circuit and takes about 40 minutes. During the F1 Japanese Grand Prix, the bus operates on a dedicated lane.
Consider purchasing the Kintetsu Railway five-day pass if you’re traveling from Kansai. It offers unlimited travel around Kansai (and Mie) for just ￥3,700. Shinkansen (bullet train tickets can cost anywhere from ¥9,500 to ¥20,000.
- Nearest station: Suzuka Circuit Ino station
- From Tokyo: 3 hours
- From Kyoto: 2 hours
- From Osaka: 2 hours and 20 minutes
- From Nagoya: 40 minutes
The Japanese Grand Prix is a three-day event, typically held in Autumn, but tickets go on sale as early as s. pring. All advance tickets are three-day passes. Grandstand seats can run anywhere from ¥19,000 to ¥120,000, with VIP tickets priced at ¥500,000. Prices will vary depending on which grandstand and package you choose.
The lower-priced grandstands generally have a limited view of the race course but will have giant screens for spectators, so no action is missed. When purchasing tickets, consult the circuit map to pick the angle you’ll enjoy the most. I recommend stand O, situated on one of the track’s long straights, just after the Suzuka Circuit’s risky S curves. Many drivers attempt overtakes at breakneck speed, which is incredible to see in person.
Tickets sell out quickly, usually within days after going on sale, so act quickly. Check the Suzuka Circuit’s official FAQ for more information.
Tickets can be purchased from:
Have you been to the Japanese Grand Prix? What was it like? Let us know in the comments!