Lamborghinis lined up for a parade

Suzuka Circuit is a world-class motorsports venue in Japan and a must visit for motorsports fans. While the Formula One Grand Prix race is undoubtedly the biggest event held at Suzuka, there are also a number of other major races held at the international racing course. In addition to these, amusement rides aimed at children make for an exciting and entertaining day out with the family.

The beauty of Suzuka Circuit is its convenient location between the major cities of Nagoya and Osaka, and its accessibility by public transportation. This means that a visit can be done as an easy daytrip from either city. Potential itineraries could include starting from Nagoya, visiting Suzuka and then carrying on towards Osaka - or vice versa - or heading down towards the Ise Shrines, Japan's most sacred shrines, on the Shima Peninsula. For my maiden visit to Suzuka, I stayed in Nagoya from where the circuit can be reach in about an hour.

Entrance to Suzuka Circuit

There are major events held almost every month at Suzuka typically over the weekend and attending one to see the action and hear the sound of motorsports would make for a unique addition to a holiday in Japan.

Upcoming races unique to Suzuka Circuit for 2018 include the "Suzuka 8 Hours" motorcycle race (July 26-29), the "Suzuka 10 Hours" featuring GT3 cars (August 24-26), and the annual Formula One Grand Prix (October 5-7). Tickets to the races can be bought in advance online or on the day itself. However, note that tickets for the more popular races may be sold out in advance, and it is advisable to check before going.

Grandstand and paddock flanking the racetrack
Formula One Grand Prix
Tearing down the circuit
Race of Asia cars in the paddock
Suzuka 8 hours
Image of Suzuka 10 Hours

During a race event, visitors will be able to hear the event before seeing the motor vehicles, as was the case for me. I could hear the sounds of the various engines tearing down the track before entering the venue which added more excitement and anticipation to seeing the event. Depending on the event, seating may be reserved or unreserved.

RICHARD MILLE SUZUKA Sound of ENGINE

I made sure to walk around part of the track, checking out the different areas and taking in the views. One of the nice things was walking around the paddock area which is closed off during certain events like the Formula One race, but was open to the public today. Entry to the area requires an additional fee but allows visitors to get up close and see some team activity in action.

Grandstand straight
Watching the cars fly by
First and Second corners
Looking at the main area
Peeping into the paddock area

I was also pleasantly surprised to see the place filled with families which felt slightly unusual for a motorsports venue, but a testament to the wide-ranging, family-friendly facilities available at the Suzuka Circuit. The circuit's amusement park has plenty of hands-on rides for children which seemed more engaging compared to the usual amusement park rides. There were small, battery-powered motorcycles for the kids and a model circuit where visitors could "drive" a race car amongst other interesting rides. The amusement area is also a good distraction for those who need a break from watching motorsports.

Other attractions that round up the facilities at Suzuka Circuit are restaurants and food stands offering a wide variety of well-loved Japanese foods where hungry stomachs can find comfort. There are also a number of vending machines around the racetrack which are godsend if you visit on a hot day. For those who plan to visit in the coming summer months, note that the seating around the racetrack is typically unsheltered and exposed to the elements, and preventive steps should be taken to avoid heatstroke or dehydration.

Looking at the amusement park area from above
Adventure land rides
Duel GP is one of the most popular and newest rides here
Floating balloons and a mini racetrack
Motorbiking for little kids

Access

The Suzuka Circuit can be easily accessed by public transportation from Nagoya or Osaka. Kintetsu Railway connects the two cities to Shiroko Station (40 minutes from Nagoya or 100 minutes from Osaka) from where there are typically two buses per hour to the circuit (20 minutes). Note that additional, direct buses are available during major events like the Formula One Grand Prix.

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