“Keiba” is the Japanese word people use to refer to horse racing. And the night races of Tokyo Derby (starting from 2pm) are known as the Twinkle night races. Drop by the brightly lit Tokyo City Keiba (TCK), also known as Oi Racecourse, to see the horses race. Wonder at the lean, toned muscles stretch and pull as they flash by in mere seconds. It’s a thrilling event and absolutely worth the ¥100 entry ticket! Furthermore, you can enter TCK for free by presenting your passport to admissions staff at the front gate!
This attraction is closed until April 5th, as part of a nationwide drive to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19 disease).
As gambling in general is prohibited in Japan, you won’t be finding a casino around town. However, the TCK allows patrons to place bets, as horse racing is one of a handful of betting activities approved by the government. The minimum bet at TCK is only ¥100! So for another shiny silver coin, anyone over 20 years old is eligible to place a bet.
Even if you don’t bet, you can still go for the special atmosphere of a night racecourse or simply go to watch the lean four-legged charges race to the finish line for their chance at victory. It’s a great chance to bring the family along too, as children under 15 years old get in for free. TCK is well equipped to cater such crowds, as it offers free Wi-Fi and also has on-site restaurants that sell snacks and full meals to visitors. On some nights, the TCK also holds a special illumination show, whereby the track is lit up at night in brilliant displays of colour.
TCK is the first racetrack to bring afternoon horse racing to the Japanese masses. Hence, a good number of attendees to the races are Tokyo’s city workers who come after they have finished at the office. Evening horse races are generally held between March and December, with the main race fixtures occurring every thirty minutes and finishing around 9pm each night.
The L-Wing is the main hub of the Tokyo City Keiba and Oi Racecourse. Here you can access the Paddock and Racecourse as well as betting machines, eateries, beer hall, and even exclusive Wing Rooms – reservable group seating that caters up to 11 people.
Many horse enthusiasts know that checking out the horses before the race starts is crucial to choosing a betting horse. But even new racing fans can enjoy looking at these beautiful horses and admiring their walk, coat, and disposition.
As race day goes on and you feel yourself getting hungry there are plenty of places to fill up; or if food isn’t what you’re after then visit the huge beer hall where you can drink a cold one and enjoy watching the races at the same time.
The closest station to TCK is Tokyo Monorail’s “Oikeibajo-mae Station.” It is around 8 minutes from Tokyo Monorail’s starting station, “Hamamatsucho Station (Monorail Hamamatsucho).” You can also reach TCK from Haneda Airport’s International Terminal in about 10 minutes.
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