2023 Japanese Grand Prix – Getting Around Guide
A favourite among drivers and fans alike, Suzuka is one of the most picturesque and challenging circuits on the Formula 1® calendar. Start planning your trip to fascinating Japan and get ready to soak up the unique trackside atmosphere at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix.
- Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY). Japan remains a largely cash-based society, though larger chains and major hotels do accept electronic payments. You should also be aware that not all Japanese ATMS will accept foreign cards. Tipping is not necessary in Japan.
- Language: Japanese can be a challenge for foreign visitors as English is not widely spoken. We recommend trying to learn a few phrases and also having an app such as Google Translate on your smartphone to translate restaurant menus and signs.
- Time Zone: UTC/GMT + 9 hours
- In an Emergency: Dial 110 for police and 119 for fire and ambulance.
- Power Sockets: Type A and B, the same as the USA and China. You may also need to use a voltage adaptor for certain appliances, as Japan uses lower voltage than in other parts of the world.
- Weather: The Japanese Grand Prix takes place in late September during autumn/fall. Temperatures average a high of 22°C (72°F) and a low of 12°C (54°F). It can be warm and sunny, but there’s also a high chance of rainfall.
Arrival & Getting Around
Flights to Japan
The closest international airport to the Suzuka Circuit is Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO), which serves the nearby city of Nagoya and offers domestic, regional and long-haul connections. Popular direct routes from NGO include Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt. Alternatively, you may fly into one of Tokyo's larger hub airports; Tokyo's Narita Airport (NRT) and Osaka's Kansai Airport (KIX) have a wider selection of international flights. You can then take a domestic flight, bullet train or bus to Suzuka.
Where to stay for the Japanese Grand Prix
With a very limited stock of accommodation close to the circuit, we recommend staying in the largest nearby city of Nagoya. Suzuka can be easily reached by train from Nagoya, which has a good selection of accommodation to suit all budgets and offers plenty of tourist activities, as well as restaurants and nightlife. F1® Experiences offers a selection of the best hotels in Nagoya for the Japanese Grand Prix.
How to get to Suzuka Circuit?
The Suzuka Circuit is located in a semi-rural, industrial area of the Mie Prefecture. With limited local accommodation options, you are much better off staying in nearby Nagoya or the larger city of Osaka and commuting to the track each day using the train. To limit your daily commute time, we recommend staying near the main train station in Nagoya or Osaka.
Although there are several trains traveling to Suzuka, the best connection from both Nagoya and Osaka is the direct Kintetsu train to Shiroko Station (rather than Suzuka Circuit Inou Station). From Shiroko Station, follow the signs in English for the shuttle buses, which take around 15 minutes to cover the 5 km to Suzuka Circuit. If you are traveling to the circuit for the whole race weekend, we recommend buying the 5-day Kintetsu Rail Pass, which will cover all your trips throughout the weekend:
- Trains from Nagoya Station: The one-way trip takes just under an hour and there are regular services on Grand Prix™ weekend. Direct “Suzuka Grand Prix” trains also run from Nagoya to Suzuka Circuit Inou Station on Grand Prix weekend, but they are more expensive and seats need to be reserved at least one day in advance; you’ll also have to walk around 30 minutes from the station to the circuit.
- Trains from Osaka-Namba Station: There are two hourly limited express train services to Shiroko Station. One is direct and the other requires a transfer at the Tsu Station. You will need to purchase and reserve your seat at least a day before you plan to travel. This ride takes approximately 100 minutes and you can use the Kintetsu Rail Pass.
What to do & see in Japan
Whether you’ve decided to stay in Nagoya or elsewhere, here are some of the best cities to visit and things to do during your trip to the Japanese Grand Prix:
Nagoya: Just 65 km from Suzuka, Japan’s third-largest city is a great base for your Grand Prix weekend. Highlights include the 400-year-old Osu Shopping District, Nagoya Castle, Legoland Japan and the Nagashima Resort, a huge amusement park. The port area of the city has also seen huge redevelopment in recent years and is now home to a leisure district with an aquarium, amusement park, museums and green spaces. For a birds-eye view of the city, head to Nagoya’s tallest building, Midland Square, for the open-air Sky Promenade viewing deck on the 46th floor.
Osaka: Although a little further from Suzuka than Nagoya, Japan’s second-largest metropolitan area is also worth considering as your base for the Japanese Grand Prix if you don’t mind travelling more than 2 hours in each direction. The ancient port and merchant city of Osaka is a food lovers’ paradise; popular dishes include sukiyaki (hot pot stew), takoyaki (baby octopus dumplings) and hakozushi (sushi served in a bamboo box). Top attractions in Osaka include the floating garden observatory at the top of the Umeda Sky Building, Universal Studios Japan theme park and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.
Tokyo: No Japanese travel itinerary is complete without visiting Tokyo, the capital city and the world’s most populous metropolis. No matter what you are into – shopping, culture, history, nightlife – Tokyo has it all in spades. Some of the most popular bucket list activities in Tokyo include an early-morning visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market, watching a professional sumo match, playing a game or two of Pachinko and singing karaoke.
Kyoto: Experience traditional Japanese culture in the former imperial capital of Kyoto, less than 100 km west of Suzuka. With over 1,000 temples and 400 shrines, Kyoto has one of the largest collections of Unesco World Heritage sites in the world. Must-sees include the Nanzen-ji Temple and the Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine. Other highlights include Nijo Castle, the Gion Geisha district and Kameyama-koen Park, where you can encounter wild monkeys.
Toyota: The city of Toyota, home to one of the world’s leading car manufacturers, is less than 100 km from Suzuka. Here you can visit the Toyota Kaikan Museum, which showcases the maker’s newest models and also take a free tour of the massive manufacturing plant. You can also visit the Toyota Techno Museum in Nagoya, which traces the origins of Toyota from its humble beginnings as a maker of textile machinery. Finally, the Toyota Automobile Museum outside Nagoya is a car lover’s paradise, featuring hundreds of Japanese, European and American cars from the late 1800s to the 1960s.