Last Updated on March 5, 2024

Suzuka has been the backdrop for some of Formula 1’s most unforgettable moments. From Senna and Prost’s intense rivalry in the late ’80s to Michael Schumacher’s title-clinching triumphs, each turn of Suzuka tells a story.

Japanese F1 guide

When and Where

  • Dates: 5th to 7th April 2024
  • Venue: Suzuka International Racing Circuit, Japan

The Japanese F1 was recently extended to at least 2029 with a new contract so this race is here to stay at least for the next few years.

The Circuit – Suzuka International Racing Course

The Japanese Grand Prix made its debut in Formula 1 in the late 1970s and quickly became a cornerstone of the F1 championship, first taking place at the Fuji Speedway circuit.

After a 10-year gap, the Japanese F1 was then re-added to the schedule and now takes place at the Suzuka International Race Course, a popular venue with its challenging figure-of-eight layout.

Suzuka International Race Course map
Will Pittenger, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Getting to the Circuit

From Nagoya

  1. By Train:
    • Take the Kintetsu Nagoya Line from Nagoya Station to Tsu Station.
    • Transfer to the JR Kisei Main Line (limited express) and get off at Shiroko Station.
    • From Shiroko Station, take a local bus or taxi to Suzuka Circuit.
  2. By Car:
    • Suzuka is accessible by car via the Ise Expressway. The Suzuka Circuit is well-signposted, and parking facilities are available.

From Osaka

  1. By Train:
    • Take the JR Yamatoji Line from Osaka Station to JR Nagoya Station.
    • Then take the Kintetsu Nagoya Line to Tsu Station.
    • From Tsu Station, transfer to the JR Kisei Main Line (limited express) to Shiroko Station.
    • Take a local bus or taxi to Suzuka Circuit from Shiroko Station.
  2. By Car:
    • Suzuka is accessible by car via the Higashi-Meihan Expressway. Follow signs for Suzuka Circuit.

From Tokyo

  1. By Train:
    • To get from Tokyo Station to Nagoya Station, take the Tokaido Shinkansen.
    • Transfer to the Kintetsu Nagoya Line to Tsu Station.
    • From Tsu Station, transfer to the JR Kisei Main Line (limited express) to Shiroko Station.
    • Then take a shuttle or local bus to the circuit.
  2. By Car:
    • Suzuka is accessible by car via the Tomei Expressway. Follow signs for Suzuka Circuit.

Suzaka Circuit Corners and Where to Sit

Choosing the right seat at Suzuka Circuit for a Formula 1 race depends on your preferences for viewing angles, budget, and the overall race experience. Here are some popular grandstands and areas to consider:

1. Main Grandstand (Grandstand A)

Located opposite the pit straight, the Main Grandstand offers a fantastic view of the start/finish line, the team garages, and the podium.

You’ll witness the excitement of the race’s beginning and end.

2. Grandstand B (First Corner – Inside)

Positioned on the inside of the first corner, this grandstand provides a close-up view of the cars navigating the challenging Turn 1.

You’ll witness intense braking and acceleration as the race kicks off.

3. Grandstand C (First Corner – Outside)

Situated on the outside of the first corner, Grandstand C offers a different perspective of the opening maneuvers, allowing you to see the cars approaching and tackling Turn 1.

4. Grandstand D (Hairpin)

Located at the famous Suzuka Circuit Hairpin, Grandstand D offers a unique vantage point to see the cars slow down and navigate a tight turn.

This area often witnesses overtaking opportunities.

5. Grandstand E (Degner Curve)

Positioned near the Degner Curve, Grandstand E provides a view of the cars navigating this challenging section of the circuit.

It offers a good perspective on driver skill and control.

6. Grandstand T (130R)

Situated near the high-speed 130R corner, Grandstand T allows you to witness the cars at high speed, providing an exhilarating view of one of the fastest sections of the track.

7. Grandstand V2 (Casino Triangle)

Located near the Casino Triangle section, Grandstand V2 provides a view of the cars navigating a series of tight corners, creating potential overtaking opportunities.

8. Unreserved Areas

Suzuka Circuit also has unreserved areas where you can bring your own seating or stand.

These areas may offer more flexibility but may not provide the same elevated views as the grandstands.

When selecting your seat, consider factors such as the type of view you prefer (start/finish line, overtaking opportunities, technical corners), your budget, and the overall atmosphere you want to experience.

Experiencing Japanese Culture

Attractions

You might want to consider visiting nearby attractions like the historic Ise Grand Shrine, the bustling city of Osaka, or taking a trip to Kyoto to immerse yourself in traditional Japanese architecture and gardens.

In the vicinity of the Suzuka International Racing Course, there are several attractions worth exploring.

1. Suzuka Circuit Theme Park

Experience the thrill of motorsports beyond the racetrack at the Suzuka Circuit Theme Park.

  • Make sure to try out the racing simulators, and exhibits showcasing the history of Suzuka.
  • Official website here

2. Suzuka Flower Park

Enjoy the natural beauty of Suzuka at the Suzuka Flower Park.

The park showcases a variety of flowers throughout the year and offers a serene environment for a leisurely stroll.

3. Ise Grand Shrine

Explore the nearby city of Ise for a brief journey to the renowned Ise Grand Shrine, a pivotal Shinto shrine in Japan.

Immerse yourself in its tranquil ambiance and admire its captivating architecture, marking it as an essential cultural destination.

4. Suzuka Forest Garden

Explore Suzuka Forest Garden, a nature park featuring walking trails, scenic views, and seasonal attractions.

Quick FAQs on Visiting the Japanese F1

Here are some common questions people often ask us and that might also help you in planning your trip to Japan for the F1:

1. How do I purchase tickets for the Japanese Grand Prix?

Tickets for the Japanese Grand Prix can be purchased through official Formula 1 ticket providers, the Suzuka Circuit website, or authorized ticket vendors.

It goes without saying though that F1 is extremely popular these days and as a result, tickets sell out early, especially for the cheaper tickets. So book as early as you can.

2. How do I get to Suzuka Circuit from Tokyo or Osaka?

See our report above under the section Getting to the Circuit.

In short, though, you can reach the Suzuka Circuit by train, with the nearest stations being Tsu Station and Shiroko Station.

Alternatively, driving to the circuit is also an option, and there are expressways connecting major cities to Suzuka.

If you are going to do a bit of traveling in Japan before or after the race, then do consider a Japan Rail Pass.

3. What stand should I get tickets for at the Suzuka Circuit?

Popular grandstands include:

  • Main Grandstand for a view of the starting grid and the finish line
  • Grandstand D at the Hairpin for potential overtaking
  • and Grandstand T near the high-speed 130R corner.

4. Are there general admission or unreserved seating areas at Suzuka Circuit?

Yes, Suzuka Circuit typically has unreserved seating areas where you can bring your own seating.

These areas do offer flexibility but may not provide the same elevated views as grandstands.

5. What is it like at the Japanese Grand Prix?

We have been to quite a few F1 grand prix in different countries and each provides a unique and different experience.

The atmosphere is often electric with passionate fans, especially in areas like the Suzuka Esses and the Main Grandstand. Japanese fans can be extremely enthusiastic and really into F1.

6. Are there any cultural or tourist attractions near Suzuka?

Yes, Suzuka is close to attractions like the Ise Grand Shrine, Yokkaichi Dome, and the Suzuka Forest Garden.

Visitors can also explore nearby cities like Nagoya and Osaka for cultural experiences.

7. How can I meet the drivers or attend autograph sessions?

Access to drivers and autograph sessions may vary.

Some events offer fan interactions or autograph sessions, and special passes or experiences may be available for purchase.

Your best option is to take a look at the Paddock Club tickets for the Japanese F1.

8. Do I have to stay in Suzuuka or can I stay in another city?

You can find accommodation in Suzuka City, Nagoya, or Yokkaichi, but do book accommodations well in advance, if attending the race weekend.

Where to Stay for the Suzuku F1

As mentioned in the last question above, you can try to find somewhere near Suzuka or Nagoya, or Yokkaichi.

 

Traveling around the world to watch & experience sports, I tend to always use the same resources for booking trips. These are the ones I use most frequently and that I find to have great customer support and competitive prices.

  • Flights – are also now offered by booking.com and as I love the brand this is my first port of call now for flights.
  • Booking.com – The best site I have found for hotel and accommodation bookings.
  • Safety Wing Travel Insurance – I love Saftey Wing as they cover everything I need to be covered and they have a simple-to-use site, and again, I have found their customer service very good, when I needed to ask questions.
  • Get Your Guide – is an excellent site as a one-stop shop for booking attractions, local tours, activities, and excursions. Great customer service and an easy-to-use site.
  • Hostelworld – Book backpacker hostel rooms around the world with Hostel World.
  • Sports Event Tickets – Tickets for all sporting events