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3 Ways to Get to The Japanese Grand Prix

Logan Fung
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Whether you are headed straight to Suzuka or traveling Japan before the race, these are the top three ways to get to the Japanese GP

Before we get started! Planning also includes buying tickets to the actual race! Check out our seating guide so you can best choose where to sit.

AND when you’re ready, head over to P1 Travel to see what’s available!

Where is the Suzuka International Circuit located?

The Japanese Grand Prix is held at the iconic Suzuka International Circuit located in Ino, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan. The circuit was initially used as a test track but after a redesign and revamp of certain parts, it was added back to the Formula 1 Calendar in 1987. The circuit is home to the only Grade 1 ‘figure eight’ layout, making it a favorite for the teams and drivers.

In comparison to other tracks, the Suzuka Circuit is considered fairly easy to reach but there are some logistical things to note in order to make sure that your race weekend is seamless!

First, hardly anybody actually stays within Suzuka for the race weekend. It is a really small town and there aren’t too many accommodation options available. The closest city is Nagoya, and this is where most people choose to stay. While this is the most popular place to reside during the race weekend, some people choose to commute from Osaka or Tokyo.

The most popular train station that is closest to Suzuka is the Shiroko train station. The station is located a 15 minute drive away from the circuit, and on the race weekend, there are shuttle buses provided by the circuit to take you right to the track. Once you reach the circuit entrance, you will have to purchase the ticket for the shuttle bus. To clarify, you don’t pay when you board the bus, you pay when you arrive at the circuit. 

There is an option to pay with a Suica card or pay in cash. When paying with cash, you have the option to purchase return tickets for the entire weekend. 

Shuttle Bus Price Breakdown (paying in cash)

Adult One-way: ¥450 ($2.88 USD)

Adult Return: ¥900 ($5.75 USD)

Adult 3-day return: ¥2,700 ($17.25 USD)

Child One-way: ¥230 ($1.47 USD)

Child Return: ¥460 ($2.94 USD)

Child 3-day return: ¥1,380 ($8.82 USD)

Japanese GP Shuttle Bus ticket prices & information
Japanese GP Shuttle Bus ticket prices & information

Where can you take out cash / other payment options?

  • Almost all of the 7/11 ATMS work with foreign cards and the ATM fee was not too expensive. This is the best option if you have to take out more cash when traveling through Japan.
  • Tourists can purchase IC cards which are rechargeable cards used to pay fares at different shops, restaurants, and on public transportation throughout Japan.
    • There are ten different cards available to purchase and each one is used for different regions or transit lines in Japan.
    • The Welcome Suica card is the best option for foreign tourists. Special cards are valid for four weeks and don’t have a deposit fee, but there are no refunds allowed.
    • You can purchase these at the Narita Airport, Tokyo Station, Shinagawa Station, Shibuya Station, Shinjuku Station, Ikebukuro Station, and Ueno Station.

Now that you know what to expect when arriving in Suzuka, this comprehensive guide will delve into the best and easiest ways for you to actually reach the Suzuka International Circuit!

#1. Traveling from Nagoya

Nagoya is the biggest city that is close to Suzuka. There are a number of different accommodation options, and transport from Nagoya to Suzuka is straightforward. 

There are many ways to reach Nagoya Station but it is dependent on where you are staying. Most people take the metro lines to get to the main station but taxicabs and buses are also available. Plan your trip here by checking the metro stops closest to you.

The Nagoya station itself was slightly confusing to navigate and can be daunting to someone who has never experienced transportation in a foreign country. 

In order to get to the circuit from Nagoya station, you have to take the Kintetsu line (Kintetsu-Nagoya Station) to Shiroko Station and either book tickets for the Limited Express train or take the local train. I was quite confused about where to go when I arrived at the station, but during the race weekend it was easy to follow the merch-clad people to the ticket booth.

Kintetsu-Nagoya Station
Kintetsu-Nagoya Station

One thing I wish I knew before heading to the circuit was that most people pre-book their trains to avoid any lines or confusion before heading to the track. After realizing this on Friday, I made sure to pre book my trains online for Saturday and Sunday. In the end, I was grateful that I booked my trains when I did because the seats were filling up quickly and the availability was so limited which would have made it difficult to arrive at the circuit at a reasonable time.

Keep in mind, when you pre-book your limited express train, you will still have to purchase the base fare at the station. When booking online, it is possible to change the time of the train ticket up to three times (for example, if you want to stay at the circuit later than you expected, you can change your ticket to a later train). 

Price Breakdowns

Base Fare (local train price): ¥1,000 ($7 USD) - one-way

Limited Express Train Ticket (standard): ¥920 ($6 USD) - one-way

When purchasing, you can pay with cash or credit card. There are options to purchase return trip tickets which makes it very convenient, so you don’t have to worry about buying tickets after a long day at the circuit. You can check the fare prices from other stations here.

It took about one hour to reach the circuit via the Limited Express Train whereas taking the local train took about an 1.5 -2 hours. Despite the Limited Express Train being slightly more expensive, it was so worth it to save time getting to and from the circuit. 

#2. Traveling from Osaka

If you choose to make the commute from Osaka to the Suzuka circuit, you must keep in mind that you’ll need to factor in more time for travel during the race weekend. The quickest and easiest way to reach Suzuka would be to take the Shinkansen bullet train from Osaka station to Nagoya station. The train only takes 50 minutes from Osaka to Nagoya which is very convenient, but keep in mind that during the race weekend, all public transportation becomes much busier with people commuting to and from the circuit. 

I would recommend booking this in advance to ensure that you have a ticket reserved. The bullet train costs roughly ¥2300 - 8000 ($15 - $50 USD) depending on whether or not you book a ticket that has reserved seating. I never bought the tickets with a reserved seat because they were significantly more expensive, and there are cars designated for ticket holders that didn’t reserve a seat. Essentially you will have a guaranteed seat, it may just be beside somebody random and might not be as comfortable as the ones in the reserved seating sections. 

Klook is an easy and reliable website that is perfect for pre-booking your tickets online. The other option would be to purchase your tickets directly at the station one or two days before you need them. Because the travel time takes longer, it is definitely worth booking a return trip ticket to save time on the trip home. 

Another thing to note is checking where your accommodation is in relation to Osaka Station. In most cases, you will most likely have to take the metro or a taxi cab. It is important to factor in that timing when scheduling your travel day to the circuit. Check the metro stops closest to you here.

Once you arrive at Nagoya Station, you’ll have to get on either the limited express train or the local train to the circuit. Again, I would recommend that you book this in advance to alleviate the stress of waiting in the lines to purchase the tickets on arrival

#3. Traveling from Tokyo

Fans at Suzuka from Tokyo
Fans at Suzuka from Tokyo

Traveling from Tokyo definitely takes the most time. The Shinkansen train from Tokyo station to Nagoya station takes an hour and a half and costs a little bit more in comparison to the train prices from Osaka to Nagoya.

Since the Tokyo travel time takes longer, I would definitely recommend checking the train times from Tokyo to Nagoya and booking your tickets in advance again. Klook is the best website if you are hoping to book your tickets online and prices range from ¥17,000 - 20,000 ($100-130 USD).

Since Tokyo is such a large city, you should definitely plan how you will get to Tokyo Station because you could be staying further away from it than you realize. Another thing to take into account would be that the streets are very busy, so in some cases, taking a taxi may actually take longer than the metro. You can check the closest metro stop to you here.

After arriving in Nagoya, you will have to take the Limited Express train or the local train to reach the circuit. You can pre book this or purchase it at the station directly. Don’t forget that you also have to take a 15 minute shuttle bus to reach the track!

Although it is still easy getting to the circuit from Tokyo, it definitely takes much longer and might not be worth it for the race weekend. Many of the events start in the morning and a three hour journey would really cut into the time at the track.

If you are traveling to Japan for the Suzuka Grand Prix, it makes the most sense to stay in Nagoya for the duration of the race weekend. It takes the least amount of time to reach the circuit and is easily the most cost effective option. 

Looking for places to stay in Japan? Check out some of the accommodation options we have listed here

Want more information about the race directly from other fans? Join the community discussion on the app!

If you are looking to purchase tickets for the next Japanese Grand Prix, check out P1 Travel as they have the best seats and prices for all of the grandstands and seating options.

For more information on all things Formula 1, download FanAmp so you don’t miss out on any upcoming events!

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