. suzuka city and suzuka circuit suzukaland japan guide .jp
Where we headed this time?
suzuka city and suzuka circuit suzukaland japan
Venue Physical Address: Suzuka International Racetrack 7992 Ino-Cho Susuka-Shi, Mie-Ken 5100295 - Map with Hotels nearby (the circuit is the green patch just 3 km south west of the red x on the map.)
Got Directions to Suzuka Circuit?
By road, Suzuka is approximately 400km from Tokyo and 50km from Nagoya.
From Tokyo, take the Tomei Expressway and leave at the Suzuka Interchange. From here, the circuit will be clearly sign-posted. Alternatively, take the Meihan Road and leave at the Kameyama Interchange. Follow signs to National Route 1 and the circuit will be signed.
Hotels Accommodations nearby Suzuka Japan?
There are several wonderful hotels within walking distance of the front gates of the circuit, like the hotels at Hockenheim or at the Nürburgringring are booked a year, if not years, in advance, by regular race visitors and those who know Racing Schedules in advance of regular schmoes.
FYI: Japanese hotels are divided into several categories:
Business Hotels: Like western Motels, often located near train stations.
International Hotels: English is spoken but the rates are extreme. You’ll also pay extra to use the pool, gym etc. Rates start around $220 per night.
Ryokan: Tourist hotels, averaging $120 per night, but usually including large meals for travelers and hot spa facilities.
Minshuku: Family run Inns. Inexpensive but you’ll sleep on a mat on the floor and only eat in a dining room at very set times.
> What are the nearest major international airports to Suzuka Circuit Japan?
(NGO) Nagoya International Airport :
(about 50KMs South East)
Find Hotels near Nagoya International Airport
Find Nagoya International Airport (NGO) website
(KIX) Osaka Kensai International Airport :
(150km east of Suzuka. The airport is on it's own island!)
Find Hotels near KIX Osaka Kensai Airport
Find Osaka - Kansai Airport (KIX) Website
(NRT) Tokyo Narita :
(320 KMS away -serves most international incoming/outgoing flights to from Japan)
Find Hotels near New Tokyo Narita International Airport NRT
See also my guide to Tokyo Hotels & find hotels in all Cities in Japan
Find Tokyo International Narita Airport (NRT) Website
The trip from Tokyo to Nagoya, (still 1hr + away from Suzuka) by bullet train (Tokaido Shinkansen), takes 1 hr. 45 min. (3hrs 30mins by regular train) and costs around 12,000JPY each way with a small discount for return tickets, unless you have a Rail pass (see below)
Find Hotels near international Airports
Shop for the cheapest airfare to NGO Nagoya, KIX Osaka Kensai or NRT Narita Airport for your trip to Suzuka and the Suzukaland Circuit / Themepark with my online travel store or get your flight tickets from the Airline online and save. See my listing of Airlines of the World Links.
Where's the Map of Suzuka City Japan?
> Check out this Suzuka Circuit satellite and road map Click on enlarged map "hybrid" tab for exceptional areal photography of the Suzuka Circuit and nearby Suzuka City Japan. Alternating home of the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix.
Got a trackmap? see link above for track layout of Suzuka circuit
> Is there camping at the track?
There exists camping by the track too, only a 5-minute walk, and many Japanese fans take advantage of the facilities. The best location is a fully featured campsite at the circuit. This campsite is already fully booked for October race weekend by March. Note, though, that very few foreigners, if any, have ever stayed in this camping site, the price is very high, and the administrators, concerned that they are unprepared for international bookings have kindly asked me not to publish contact info here. As a note though, the camping includes a shuttle bus to the circuit, which is "on call" via a telephone at the campsite entrance. Like everything in Japan, it is the "high life" version of camping out.
Another camping possibility is in what is called the Motoya in Cho Suzuka Young People Forest tel: +81 (0) 593-782946. Access to this is easiest from Car Park 3, however, this parking lot is full of people by Thursday night, who upon showing their race ticket are given access to the parking lot and who sleep in their cars during the weekend. Technically this is not allowed but... There is a cost of around 3,000JPY yen for parking during the entire weekend. Problem is that you cannot move your car without losing your place, so people take their spot and use the circuit train to get to downtown Suzuka, or to Nagoya. Bringing cardboard is suggested, to tape to your windows to cover the light and to drown out some of the noise and light of the revelers who party all night. There is no rental of camping equipment available. The Park around the track has washing facilities but they are outdoors and public, not private.
Driving & Parking
Driving Tips: In Japan you will drive on the left side of the road with right hand steering, as in Australia and Britain. Japan uses metric measures(1 KM = 0.6 Miles) Traffic can be incredible on race day (with long delays). You’ll need an international drivers’ permit (issued by your local auto club aaa in the u.s ($25) or aa in the u.k.) and a current drivers’ license from home. Note, again, all street signs are in Japanese, so a guide may be required if you really want to drive.
Parking I know parking is copious at the venue and that people even sleep in cars during race weekends, although it can get noisy (but that's par for the course). I don't know how much or if it is first come first served. I know that organizers recommend public transport as the lots fill quickly and that the train station is a good walk from the circuit entrance. If you know more,
Local Public Transit
By train, the nearest station to the Suzuka Circuit is Shiroko, which is a 20-minute walk or a 15-minutes bus ride from the track. An express train from Nagoya to Shiroko takes around 40 minutes.
Japanese Trains stop running at 11pm. Here's a place to find Japanese Train Schedules
If at all possible make the acquaintance of a local who can guide you. Street signs are not in English, customs foreign to your own are not immediately perceptable. Get a Japan Rail Pass (available only to foreign visitors) and save a fortune in train costs. These can be purchased OUTSIDE Japan from your local Japan Air Office (U.S. TOLL FREE 1-800-525-3663).
Entertainment / Stuff to see:
Suzuka City, a former castle town founded on the east coast of ise bay. Architecture has always defined it, as has it's trading. In Japan it is an honor to be called an 'ise trader.' The Castle is the center of things to see in the city. See also:
suzuka municipal museum of archeology
national historical remains of ise kokubunji temple
Aizen-do Hall of Jizoin Temple tel: +81 (0) 59-596-0330
Nearby nagoya (42kms/22Mis) too has a 16th C castle is topped with two 3-meter high fish type creatures made of 18k gold and much of it is still original apart from the 5-storey 'keep', which was reconstructed in the late 50s. Located 5 minutes walk from Shiyakusho subway Station. tel: +81 (0) 52-231-1700. Still thriving there are the japanese traditions of Noh and Kabuki theatre, Japanese dance, tea and incense ceremonies, haiku, and flower arrangement, skills with roots in the 1600s.
Make sure to visit the nagoya/boston museum of fine arts, a venture between the two cities that allows great works from the Boston Museum to be shown in Japan. tel: +81 (0) 52-684-0786 for details of events.
The prefecture of Mie, where Suzuka is located, contains one of the most important shrines in Japan and one of the world's great buildings, the Ise Shrine. Dating from the 1stC, the shrine is often at the center of religious and cultural events.
There are many opportunities for good eating in Suzuka City and Nagoya and at the circuit/thempark a huge restaurant facility that caters for food choices from all over the world. One very attractive feature of restaurants in Japan is that they often have very life-like plastic reproductions of their meals. This makes ordering easy when there’s a language barrier. All kinds of food are available, from Mexican to standard American fast food, but beware that while some of the best French and Italian cuisine in the world is provided here, such specialist high level dining in Japan can be very expensive. You will be, after all, at the home of Iron Chef! Of course there are regular less expensive restaurants too. Local Asshi beer (and of course Saki - Rice wine) also come highly recommended.
The large Bell City Mall lies in the heart of Suzuka City. You'll be amazed.
Other revhead Activites Nearby
ALSO IN JAPAN:
> Twin Ring Motegi Circuit
> Sugo Circuit
> Fuji Circuit (Alternate Japanese F1 Grand Prix Venues) (Dates/Schedules) Find Hotels near Fuji Circuit
Speedway Official Website: suzukacircuit.com
> Local Map:
> Weather Forecast: Nagoya Weather from weather.com
> Local Newspaper:
> Tourism Websites:
> Got tips?
Of Interest to Tourists / International Travelers
... Curency: Japanese Yen (JPY) - Oanda Exchange Rate Converter
... Any bank during business hours will exchange your currency, or in hotel lobbies, eg. Hotel Greenpark Suzuka 4-15-20 Shiroko, Suzuka City. tel: +81 (0) 593-883211. Note to use an ATM you may incur an international withdrawal fee from your home bank. Ask before leaving home.
...Tipping: Tipping is not expected in taxis, hotels or restaurants. The prices often reflect the quality of service you may expect and all efforts are made by the people of this proud and noble nation to meet, if not totally overreach, any expectations they set themselves and others expect of them.
...Sales Tax: Sales tax in Japan is 5% of purchases.
> Time Zone:
> Telephone Info:
... You’ll need a phone card that uses pulses, which expire faster the further you call. To call any of the numbers listed on this site or on the suzuka pages, leave out the (0) if calling from outside of Japan.
In Japan, to contact an overseas operator who speaks English call (toll free) 005-3519.
... Emergency Numbers: POLICE: All areas emergency - Dial 110. Suzuka Police Station 3-26-18 Kanbe, Suzuka City, tel: +81 (0) 593-82-1325. For FIRE HELP CALL: 119
... Japanese International dialing code is + ???
> Local Liquor Laws: Legal drinking age (for consumption and purchase of alcohol in Japan is 20. This is the same for smoking.
> Places of Worship: Suzuka Catholic Church 3-17-5 Kambe, Suzuka City. tel: +81 (0) 593-82-0540
United Church of Christ in Japan, Suzuka 414-1 Minamitsuchiba, Nomachi, Suzuka City tel: +81 (0) 593-86-1868
Several churches hold English services in Nagoya, if interested, and I’ll happily email you a list.
> ac/dc? 110v/50 cycle AC current or 100v/60 cycle current. Foreign visitors may need to bring an adapter and check to see that their appliances are compatible.
Did you know?
Any place with a motor racing Bell Deer for a mascot has to be a fun place to visit. Meet Belldy, Suzuka City's trademark. (Image used with kind permission of the Suzuka City Governement.)
> Suzuka has a long tradition of crafts, this includes amazing works with ink stick and paper cutting/stenciling. Some of the more refined Dot pattern cutting can have up to 100 holes cut into an area of paper just 1cm squared! (see pic) Certain suzuka city master craftsmen have been designated japanese national treasures. You can see this traditional crafts on display and sale all over the City, but the historical masterpieces of the craft, from the Edo Period (1660-1867) to the present day, are displayed at the suzuka traditional arts hall, established for the purpose of introducing Ise Katagami and Suzuka Sumilink to the world and to preserve this traditional knowledge. tel: +81 (0) 593-86-7511. One form of this craft is called "isekatagami," the begining of the word, "ise", of course, refers to this region of Japan.
Japanese Do and Don't
> #1 item on the agenda. Do get a JAPAN RAIL PASS for Tourists, which for around 40USD, lets you train over most of Japan (with some restrictions) for an entire week for less than the cost of one return ticket. These are only available OUTSIDE Japan from your local Japan Air Office (U.S. TOLL FREE 1-800-525-3663).
> Do take a moment and look at the vending machines at Japanese Railway stations, you’ll find a curious Coca-Cola product sold there: Hot and iced coffee in cans! It really is tasty too. Whether these products chilled or hot depends on the season. If the fall, when the race is held, is a cold one, you’ll find the coffee is hot.
> The Japanese word for foreigner, that would be me, is Gaijin. Which to try to pass on the connotation as used in this language, means "white ghost," not simply stranger or outsider.
> If you are fortunate enough to eat at a Japanese person’s house (you're in for a treat because given the invitation you’ll be treated like royalty). Before eating, say: Itadakimasu (Thank you) to the person who cooked. This person will then say: Dozo, meshiagare. (Please go ahead). Then you eat. After dinner you say, Gochisousama (That was delicious). To which the cook will say, Douitashimashite (Thank you). Take a little notepaper and physically read from it if you have to. They’ll laugh and think it’s cute, and be delighted. Console yourself that cute is better than ungrateful!
> If a Japanese person gives you a gift, ask if it is okay to open it. They will want you to, of course, but the tradition is to ask permission. In fact, ask permission to do anything, as a rule, this way you stand less chance to offend or seem brash.
> The Japanese consider it an insult to blow their noses in public. They will rather sniffle. So don’t be amazed. You’ll never, ever, see a Japanese person blowing their nose. If the urge overcomes you, it’s a good idea to respect this, leave the room, and find a private place.
> Don’t be surprised to see salad offered with your breakfast, to find that the Japanese have never heard of California rolls, and that the only place for Soy or Teriyaki sauce is in the kitchen while cooking. Neither are condiments, as we treat them in the west.
> Never promise your friends at home that you’ll get them a kimono (Japanese ceremonial ladies robe) while in Japan. The cost of these is phenomenal. Worth it if you consider the incredible detail etc but very expensive. Starting price is around $300USD, and that’s only for the robe, which won’t stay on without a sash and several other accessories, which are also silk and very very expensive. Promise a grandprixcities™ shirt instead!
> Do expect to take your shoes off whenever you enter a home or in certain other circumstances.
> If doing business, have one side of your business card printed in Japanese. When given a card by someone take a good long look at it read every word, repeat their title aloud and show you are impressed with the achievement of their rank. Remember, in Japan every position is hard earned and well deserved. Also remember that a business card is so important in Japan that for many business people, forgetting to bring their card, is more embarrassing than forgetting to wear their clothes!
> "Business dinner" means "drinking spree", usually Saki (rice wine), you will not be allowed to leave until, you, you host, and his (usually male) other guests have consumed half the year's local production of the traditional beverage.
> Japanese. Although many Japanese people in business, and students, speak English very well, this is the exception and not the rule. Be prepared to repeat yourself many times and reword what you are saying, eventually you’ll come across English words that have made it into Japanese day to day language.
A FEW NOTES ABOUT SUZUKALAND CIRCUIT AND SUZUKA JAPAN
Who races there / events?
> Formula 1 World Championship Dates Japanese grand prix (perhaps 2009 see motorsport dates )
> World Endurance Motorcycle Racing - 12 hours of Suzuka
> Formula Nipon
. Check above links for current upcoming event dates
2009 and 2010 sees Suzuka return to the hectic pace of hosting a Formula One Grand Prix (it's place was taken by a rejuvinated Fuji Circuit in '07 and '08), On this page find my race fan's travel guide to Suzuka City, Suzuka Japan. Location of the famous Suzuka Circuit, which began life as a test track for Honda motorcycles & cars and developed not only into an challenging technical track for top line motorsports including F1, but also into a theme park for the car crazy in all of us - suzukaland motopia - you may have noticed the ferris wheel in pictures and tv broadcasts of the track. Suzuka is a city of both autoracing & japanese cultural history. Well worth a visit. Here's the travel info you'll need.
Godspeed on all your racing vacations, Cvetko Ostroznik
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Australian Formula One Grand Prix Weekend Pics
Stood on the grid
click pic for Albert Park Melbourne Motorsport Travel Guide
Met a few folks on the way...
which of these two fellows will get your vote this year, Michael Schumacher or Juan Pablo Montoya? Me, for one, I'm undecided...
The Michelin Man
Minardi F1 team Principal Paul Stoddart. I asked him if he'd hire me to do public relations for the team. "Not in that shirt!", he replied. Read the interview
meeting formula one world champion and living racing legend Sir Jack Brabham! A thrill indeed. The vehicles displayed...
vodaphone grid girls. They took a picture of me for their vtx site, I took one of them for grandprixcities™.