Top 5 Race Circuits in Western Japan

  • Last time, we brought to you the top 5 race circuits in Eastern Japan, with a list of tracks you might get a chance to visit if you’re in the Tokyo area. Some of these race courses may take a full day to get to from the Kanto area, but for you real racing junkies visiting Japan, here are the top 5 race circuits in the Kansai area!

    5. Central Circuit


    We start the list with a track located in Hyogo Prefecture. Hyogo may be known for the Great Hanshin earthquake which devastated the area with magnitude 7.2 tremor. Luckily, Central Circuit opened its doors to the public in September of 1996, just after the big tremor hit the surrounding area. The 2.8 km course features a vast combination of tight corners and double apex sweepers. Only 90 minutes from the heart of Osaka, western race fans have no problem stepping foot onthis relatively new venue.

    Central Circuit

    4. Asan Circuit


    Put it simply, Asan Circuit is the only racecourse located in the Shikoku area. Opened in 1987, the track may only be 1 km long, but offers drivers with tight corners to really test their skills to the limit. It’s a popular spot for locals as there is an event going on almost every weekend. This twisty stretch of tarmac is also open to 2-wheelers as well so if cars aren’t your thing, don’t hesitate to put your motorbiking skills to the test. If you do get to visit this circuit, don’t forget to enjoy the local foods because the fresh fish is just fantastic.

    Asan Circuit

    3. Okayama International Circuit

    As the name suggests, the track is located in Okayama Prefecture and is truly an international race circuit. It has been host to global racing series such as the Formula V6 Asia series and the FIA World Touring Car Championship. With a total of 13 corners, a full lap around this stretch of asphalt will last 3.7 km. Major domestic race series held here include Super GT, MFJ Superbike, and Super Taikyu.

    Okayama International Circuit

    You wouldn’t think that such a major circuit would be located in Oita Prefecture, but Auto Polis has continued to draw spectators through races such as Super GT, Super Formula, MFJ Superbike, and Super Taikyu. Opened in 1990, the race track meets a high standard in terms of its facilities. As it is only a few kilometers away from Mount Aso, the drive to the circuit is just as exciting as actually driving on the track. Surrounded by vast fields of green and mountain tops, you’d be sure to breathe the freshest oxygen this earth has on offer right after filling your lungs with burned gasoline and rubber at the race track.

    Auto Polis International Racing Course

    1. Suzuka International Circuit


    Suzuka needs no introduction, it is one of the most popular race tracks in the world. Located in the City of Suzuka in Mie Prefecture, this town lives, breathes and literally eats off of the popularity and success of the international race course. Honda owns this 5.8 km long Grand Prix course which has been host to Formula 1, WTCC, Super GT, Super Formula just to name a few. You will attempt to go through a total of 17 turns going after the lap record of 1:31.540, held by Kimi Raikkonen in the McLaren MP4-20 in 2005. It was originally designed as a test track by Honda in 1962 by Dutchman John “Hans” Hugenholtz, and is one of the few circuits in the world to offer a “figure 8” layout. It’s a 3 to 4 hour trip out to Suzuka Circuit from Tokyo, but if a big race is in town, it is totally worth it.

    Suzuka International Circuit

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