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Suzuka

Find out more about the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, including race information and a destination guide for a visit to Mie Prefecture

Japanese Grand Prix Guide
© XPB Images

Key figures

Date: 5-7 October 2018
Number of laps: 53
Circuit length: 5.807 km
Race distance: 307.573 km
Lap record: 1:29.599
Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 2006

One of F1’s classic tracks, Suzuka has been the scene of dramatic title showdowns, sensational fightbacks and more recently, tragedy. A fast, sweeping circuit - and the only figure of eight track on the calendar - Suzuka’s first sector is often cited by many drivers as the best sequence of corners in F1. The fast, downhill right-handed Turn 1 immediately leads into another right handed Turn 2 before the stunning Esses section - a narrow left, right, left, right at high speed - before climbing uphill through the fast left-handed Dunlop curve. Two of the most challenging corners on the track follow at Degner, before the track cuts under itself. After the hairpin, a fast run towards the Spoon curve follows before dipping downhill and back up to the fast 130R as the track crosses itself again, leading into the final chicane which offers overtaking opportunities.

DESTINATION GUIDE

Japan is an amazing country to explore, with history and futuristic thinking existing side-by-side. Suzuka itself is a small town where the circuit is the main draw. The circuit does include an amusement park called Motopia - which caters for all ages - as well as karting, a hotel, restaurant and even the Kur Garden spa facility.

Nearby Yokkaichi offers more in the way of hotel and dining options, while the major cities of Nagoya and Osaka are both reachable in 90 minutes from the circuit. Osaka’s history comes in the form of places such as the world heritage site of Koyasan, a Buddhist Temple, and the Osaka Castle with its adjoining park, while by contrast the lively street of Dotonbori is full of neon signs and is perfect to visit at night.

Osaka is also home to more tourist attractions such as Universal Studios Japan and the Shinsaibashi shopping area. For a view of the city skyline, head to the Kuchi Teien Observatory.

Like Osaka, Nagoya has traditional sights to explore such as the Atsuta Jingu Shrine and Nagoya Castle, but it is the more modern options which are worth checking out. The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology will give background to the history of the Japanese brand (and former F1 team, don’t forget), and if trains are your thing, the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park - some 30 minutes outside Nagoya - is definitely worth a visit.

Of course, when in Japan, the simple accomplishments are just as fun, so to be sure to take in a sushi restaurant, try some sake and give karaoke a try in one of the many establishments available.

GETTING THERE

Suzuka is located between Nagoya and Osaka on the south coast of Japan in Mie Prefecture, with Kyoto also a 90-minute drive to the north west.

Shuttle buses for fans run from Shiroko station on the coast - about a 20 minute drive away - while it is also a walk of around half an hour from Suzuka Circuit station.

Flying into one the Tokyo airports will leave a trip of around three and a half hours once reaching Tokyo Station to board the Shinkansen (bullet train), requiring a change at Nagoya onto the local Kintetsu Line trains to Shiroko or Suzuka Circuit. The same directions work from Nagoya’s Chebu Centrair International Airport, just requiring the Meitetsu Line to Nagoya station from the airport.

From Kansai International Airport in Osaka, the Nankai Line to Namba Osaka Station then requires a change to take the Kintetsu Line towards Nagoya, again alighting at Shiroko.