Modern horse racing in Japan has its roots in the times when foreign residents of Yokohama, mainly the British, arranged racing events. The year was 1862, a year after Japan transitioned from the feudal system to the Meiji restoration, and foreigners residing in Yokohama introduced the country to western-style horse racing.
Hence the first western-style horse race was arranged by the Yokohama Race Committee and took place at the Yokohama Nitta racetrack.
Today the Japan Racing Association and National Association of Racing, along with the respective regional bodies, conduct all forms of authorised horse racing in Japan. These governing bodies conduct almost 21,000 races in a year.
Owing to the popularity of horse racing in the country, Japan is home to many renowned racecourses. One of these is the Kawasaki Racecourse. It is located in Kawasaki, the famous industrial city in the Kanagawa Region in Japan.
Here is a brief insight into the history and the facilities of the Kawasaki Racecourse.
History of Kawasaki Racecourse
The Kawasaki Racecourse was built in 1906. It is owned by the Kawasaki Racing Association, Kanagawa Prefecture, and partly by the KRA (Kawasaki Racing Association).
The racecourse hosts the renowned Kawasaki Kinen race, which is a domestic grade one thoroughbred race for horses aged four years and older. The 2,100m race is conducted on a dirt track and is considered a preparative race for the Dubai World Cup.
The Kawasaki Racecourse is also famous for the Super King Night Race, which commenced in 1995. It is one of the four racecourses in Japan that conduct night races.
Kawasaki Racecourse facilities
The Kawasaki Racecourse is a remarkable recreational facility where people like to visit with their families to enjoy horse racing. There is a playground for the children to play in and an open lawn where you can relax and unwind. There is also an indoor playing area and a barbecue area, making the place perfect for a family picnic. All in all, it is a good entertainment facility.
The Kawasaki Racecourse has a dirt racetrack, which measures races that range from 900 m to 2,100m. The length of the straight stretch is 300m, with a width of 25m. There are two gates, and races usually begin from gate 1.
Spectators can view races comfortably from the two stands on the sides. The facility features a paddock and accompanying facilities, which have been efficiently built to integrate them within the facility. There is a grassy seating area inside the racecourse. The property also features a gallery, which has been built to commemorate the memory of Takemi Sasaki, a former jockey who had the record of scoring 7151 wins.
Overall, the Kawasaki racecourse is smaller in size compared to other racecourses around the country. However, one feature that sets it apart from the other facilities is the Dream Vision. It is a large screen located at the site, which is deployed to monitor the races and display the horses in the paddock before they come to the racetrack to compete.
You can sit in the large green field at the racecourse and enjoy a picnic while you watch the horses in action on the Dream Vision. Even if you do not want to wager on horses, you can enjoy watching the horses run from a close range like many other racing enthusiasts who enjoy the expansive views and cheer for their favourite runner.
You will also find many foods stands on the racecourse. So whether you want a local snack or want to enjoy a beer, you know where to look. There is also a Chinese restaurant below the second stand from where you can get delectable Chinese cuisine.
Races at the Kawasaki Racecourse
The Kawasaki Racecourse hosts the Kawasaki Kinen in January, a Grade 1 2100m dirt track race for horses aged 4 years and older. Another Japanese Grade 1 Race that the racecourse features is the Zen Nippon Nisai Yushun, a 1600m race for two-year-old thoroughbreds.
In February, the Empress Hai race takes place at the racecourse. It is a grade II 2100m race for fillies aged 4 years and older. In June, you can catch the Kanto Oaks at the Kawasaki Racecourse, a grade II 2100m race reserved for three-year-old fillies.
In July, the racecourse hosts the Sparkling Lady Cup, a 1600m grade III racing event reserved for fillies aged 3 and older.
How can I get to the Kawasaki Racecourse?
The racecourse is located 15 minutes from the Kawasaki station and 12 minutes from the Keihin Electric Express Railway Kawasaki Station. On race days, you can take a free shuttle bus that picks you up from bus stop no. 13 off the Kawasaki station’s east exit.
What is the entrance fee to the racecourse?
The admission fee to the Kawasaki Racecourse is 100yen.
Who was the winner of the Kawasaki Kinen in 2022?
The winner of the Kawasaki Kinen in 2022 was Chuwa Wizard, who also won the race in 2020.