Kyoto Racecourse (京都競馬場)

Kyoto Racecourse is a racecourse located in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. The organizer of racing as well as the administrator of this racecourse is the Japan Racing Association. This racecourse is commonly known as Yodo (or Yodo Racecourse) because of the name of its nearest railway station. It was built at the present location on December 1, 1925.

Kyoto Racecourse started operation on December 1.

Stables were moved from the racecourse to the newly constructed Ritto Training Center.

The pocket of the second corner was extended by about 200 meters. The turf course of 1,800 meters (outer course) and 1,600 meters (inner course) came into use from the third race meeting (corresponded to the fourth meeting in usual years).

The Heian cavalry started to use the Kyoto Racecourse as the base of its activities (until 1997).

The renovation of the stand (later became Big Swan) as well as the alteration of the racecourse were completed.

The horse races of seventh and eighth day of the first race meeting, which were scheduled on January 21 and 22, were cancelled due to the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. Nikkei Shinshun Hai (Nikkei New Year Cup) was postponed to January 28 (the first day of the second meeting). The horse races of seventh and eighth day of the first race meeting, which were cancelled previously, were held on June 3 (Hankyu Hai) and June 4 (Takarazuka Kinen) as rehabilitation racing.

As the Hanshin Racecourse was damaged, eight race meetings (64 days) were held in the year.

On February 10, the fifth day of the second race meeting, 10R and 11R were held using the dirt track because of an accumulation of snow.

On the same day, 9R Violet Stakes was conducted under the condition where the position of horses couldn't be confirmed, due to a snow storm that began immediately before the start, until they came to a point about 200 meters before the goal.

The new stand named Big Swan was completed.

On January 7, the third day of first race meeting, 10R to 12R were cancelled due to snow. Special races were postponed to the following week.

On January 20, the seventh day of the first race meeting, 6R and subsequent races were cancelled due to heavy snow. These races were held on January 22 after selling betting tickets once again.

Large-sized Turf Vision, and so on were installed.

On February 3, the second day of the second race meeting, steeplechase was cancelled due to fallen snow. Also, the starting time of 1R was put off by an hour and 5R and 7R were held on the dirt course instead of turf course.

On February 9, the third day of the second race meeting, 3R and subsequent races were cancelled because it started to snow after the finish of 2R. These races were held on February 11 after selling betting tickets once again.

On February 24, the eighth day of the second race meeting, the steeplechase was cancelled due to fallen snow. Also, the starting time of 1R was put off by 25 minutes and 5R, 6R, 9R, 10R and 11R were held on the dirt instead of the turf course.

The construction work of the No.2 gate was completed and it came into use on February 28 when Park-WINZ (an event to use the racecourse as an off-course betting shop for the races held at other racecourses) was held.
It was named 'Station Gate.'
Also, No.1 gate was named 'Shinzan Gate.'

There are two turf courses, the inner course and the outer course. Yodo no saka' (Yodo slope) situated at the third corner of the outer course is famous for 3.9 meters of difference in height. Horses running the Tenno Sho (spring) and the Kikuka Sho (autumn) surmount this slope twice. These days, many jockeys use a spurt on the downward slope from the third corner to the fourth corner since the straight is even.

The radius of the curve from the third to the fourth corner of the outer turf course changes from 109.0 meters to 376.0 meters, to 456.0 meters, then to 100.0 meters. Other characteristics of the course are the angular corners and the false straight (similar to the false strait of Hippodrome de Longchamp) situated between the corners (though Tokyo Racecourse and Hanshin Racecourse have similar characteristics, theirs are not so extreme as those of Kyoto Racecourse). Thanks to the above characteristics, the so-called 'makuri' (a kind of jockey's technique) is effective since the loss of distance is relatively small even though a jokey takes the outer route. Besides, the fourth corner is the most angular one among the turf courses of the JRA racecourses, and the inside part of the course is interrupted by confluence with the inner turf course. Since many jockeys use a spurt taking advantage of the downward slope, a scene where a herd of horses is broken is often seen.

The course for steeplechase splits into two at the point between the backstretch and the third corner. On the course for grand steeplechase, there exist a big hedge of 1.5-meter-high and 2.9-meter-wide (except for a water jump, this is the widest one used for JRA's jumping over steeplechase) and a banquette of 80-centimeter-high and 15.9-meter-wide.
(banquette: A stand for jumping up and jumping down, also called 'the Triple Jump' or 'Big Swan,' but the latter is seldom used after the same name was adopted as the nickname for the addition of the stand)

Summary of the course
Turf course: The length of the inner course is 1,782.8 meters and that of the straight is 328.4 meters. The length of the outer course is 1,894.3 meters and that of the straight is 403.7 meters. The number of starting gates is 18 (16 in the case of the outer 2,000 meters course, both figures represent those of A course).

Dirt course: Its length is 1,607.6 meters, the straight is 329.1 meters and the number of stating gates is 16 (14 in the case of 1,000 meters race).

Steeplechase course: Its length is 1,414 meters in the case of ordinary steeplechase and 1,400 meters in the case of great steeplechase. The number of starting gates is 14.

Distance of races
Turf, inner course: *1,100 meters, 1,200 meters, 1,400 meters, 1,600 meters, 2,000 meters
Turf, outer course: 1,400 meters, 1,600 meters, 1,800 meters, *2,000 meters, 2,200 meters, 2,400 meters, 3,000 meters, 3,200meters
Dirt: *1,000 meters, *1,100 meters, 1,200 meters, 1,400 meters, 1,800 meters, 1,900 meters, *2,600 meters
Steeplechase, turf: 3,170 meters (from inner course to outer course), *3,180 meters (two round of outer course), 3,930 meters (grand steeplechase)
Steeplechase, dirt: 2,910 meters, 3,170 meters, 3,760 meters (during the first and second race meeting of Kyoto racing, the distances are 2,930 meters, 3,190 meters and 3,790 meters respectively because movable fences are placed between the first and second corner as well as near the third corner).

Races shown with an * mark are not held at present.

Turf course races of 1,400 meters and 1,600 meters for two-year-old (three-year-old) new horses, maiden horses and horses whose earning money is below 5 million yen are held using the inner course and other races are held using the outer course.

Dirt course races of 1,900 meters and 2,600 meters used to be held only when the turf course was snowed up in winter, but a dirt course race of 1,900 meters has been held regularly since 2009.

The entrance gate

There are two gates, the Shinzan Gate (former No.1 Gate) and the Station Gate (former No.2 Gate).

Station Gate is two-storey and the second floor is expected to be linked to the station by the pedestrian bridge when the Yodo Station of the Keihan Main Line is elevated in the autumn of 2009.

On the first floor of Station Gate, ticket gates, ticket counters for ordinary seats, those for reserved seats (today's ticket of lounge seat), weekday pay-off counters, a multi-purpose restroom, and a Tafi Shop (available only after entering) are situated.

On the second floor of the Station Gate, ticket gates, ticket counters for ordinary seats (expected to be in use from the autumn of 2009), and for reserved seats (today's ticket of A-grade reserved seat), a multi-purpose restroom and elevators are situated.

Only persons using A-grade reserved seats are allowed to pass through during the period of third race meeting of 2009.

Tickets for reserved seats for Park-WINZ are on sale on the first floor of Station Gate.

Big Swan

This stand was completed in 1999.

Reserved seats are available.

i-Seat (seventh floor of the stand, 243 seats for non-smokers, 3,000 yen, to be booked by phone and paid by JRA Card) from October 11, 2008. Previously, these seats were used as Gondola seats. i-seats are available on a first-come basis on the day of Park-WINZ (1,000 yen).

Box seats (sixth floor of the stand, 272 seats for non-smokers, 2,000 yen, to be booked by phone and paid by JRA Card)
Lounge seats (sixth floor of the stand, 480 seats for non-smokers, 1,000 yen, available on first-come basis on the day)
Lounge seats (fifth floor of the stand, 496 seats for smokers, 444 seats for non-smokers 1,000 yen, available on first-come basis on the day)
Other than the above, facilities such as Shigunetto Hall (third and fourth floor), Memorial Road (third floor), horserace i-Spot (second floor), fast food plaza, kids room, and fan club (first floor) are also available.

Betting tickets can be purchased and refunded at the 107 counter (paddock side) from 9:00 to 17:00 (sales starts at 9:30 at other counters).

Grand Swan

Completed in 1980. After the renovation conducted in 1994, glass was installed in front of the horse owners' seats and the reserved seat zone.

A variety of reserved seats are available as shown below.

Special A-grade reserved seats (fifth floor of the stand, 650 seats for non-smokers, 3,000 yen, available on first-come basis on the day)
A-grade reserved seats (fifth floor of the stand, 624 seats for non-smokers, 2,500 yen, 204 seats are available on first-come basis on the day, booking by phone and payment by JRA Card is required for the other 420 seats)
A-grade reserved seats (on the sixth floor of stadium, 686 seats for smokers, 2,500 yen, 432 seats are available on first-come basis on the day, booking by phone and payment by JRA Card is required for 254 seats)

As the sale of tickets of special A-grade reserved seats start prior to the opening of the gate (provided that the sale is suspended 30 minutes before opening time, people can enter the Grand Swan earlier than the actual opening time of gate. However, they are not allowed to leave the zone of special A-grade reserved seats until the gate opens.

The price of A-grade reserved seats was lowered on October 11, 2008 from 3,000 yen to the current price.

Displays and others

Following the Tokyo Racecourse, Kyoto Racecourse announced that it would replace its Turf Vision, which are set on the side of goal (No. 1 device) and on the side of fourth corner (No. 2 device), with the ones equipped with high-definition displays and multiple displays (only No. 1 device). Aiming to complete it in time for the October 2007 race, the installation work continued for about ten months at the cost of 2,280 million yen. The contractor was Toshiba Lighting and Technology Corporation. A sneak preview was held on October 1 and new devices were put into operation on October 6. The outdoor display set at paddock was also replaced.
(This one was manufactured by Mitsubishi Electronic Corporation)

The size of Turf Vision at the goal side is 691.2 square meters, 10.8 meters by 64.0 meters, and is three times the size of the previous one. Its size exceeds 'Botokun' of Suminoe Boat Race Course, and it is one of the world's largest Turf Visions with multiple displays next to the one at the Tokyo Racecourse. As the distance from the screen to the stand is shorter than that of the Tokyo Racecourse, JRA is advertizing as "world's most exciting." Spectators can enjoy digital high-definition images and obtain a variety of information provided by a maximum of three screens.

Hong Man Choi, a Korean K-1 fighter, was used for the memorial poster of its completion. A catchphrase 'Tate 5 Hong Man Choi, Yoko 29 Hong Man Choi' (5 Hon Man Choi in height, 29 Hon Man Choi in width) was used for this poster. Also, a unit named 'Turf bijon' (literally, beauties of Turf Vision) was organized aiming to create more appeal for the new Turf Vision. The members were Reiko OKABE, Kyoko FUJIKAWA, and Nana ROKUSHA.

Smoking corners were set up and three automatic telling machines (ATM) came into operation on September 29. While the ATM at Hanshin Racecourse belongs to the Resona Bank, the ATM at this race Course is owned by E-net Co., Ltd. Therefore, attention is required that fees could be charged on account deposits and withdrawals of many banks.

Mini-FM inside the racecourse

Each radio station is broadcasted inside the racecourse using mini-FM. Frequencies of each radio station are as follows.

76.0 MHz: 1st Channel of Radio Nikkei
77.5 MHz: 2nd Channel of Radio Nikkei
78.5 MHz: Green Channel WEST
79.0 MHz: Radio Kansai (Saturday), Mainichi Broadcasting System (Sunday)
79.5MHz: Radio Osaka (relay of racing is broadcasted only on Sunday)

Parking space

A parking space for about 8,000 cars is available. A parking fee of 2,000 yen is charged for the days Kyoto racing is held and 1,000 yen for the days Park-Winz is held. The parking fee is discounted by 500 yen for cars that enter the parking space by 10 a.m. Motorbikes (including motorcycles) can use bicycle-parking space free of charge.


About five minutes on foot either from the Yodo Station of the Keihan Main Line of Keihan Electric Railway (bound for the Demachiyanagi Station) or the Keihan-Yodo bus stop of Uji-yodo line of Keihan City Bus or Keihan-Uji Bus and Kumiyama Notteko Bus. Rapid Express trains specially stop at the Yodo Station on the days on which racing is held (they don't stop on the day of Park-WINZ). In addition, special bus service (Yodo Racecourse Line) is provided by Keihan Bus Company from the Yamazaki Station (Kyoto Prefecture) of the Tokaido Main Line (JR Kyoto Line) as well as the Minase Station of the Hankyu Kyoto Main Line (the fare is 260 yen for each way).

Around the end of 2010, Yodo station is expected to be moved to the place near the entrance of Kyoto Racecourse and be elevated. When the time table of the Keihan Line was revised on April 16, 2006, construction work to move the down platform of the Yodo Station (for the trains bound for the Yodoyabashi Station and Nakanoshima Station) to a temporary platform was conducted from the midnight of April 15 to the early morning of April 16 as the preliminary step for the above. The ticket gates for down trains were also moved toward the Kyoto side by about 300 meters.

4 km from the Oyamazaki Interchange of the Meishin Expressway. 2 km from the Kumiyama-Yodo Interchange of the Keiji Bypass.

Time of race meetings
Five meetings, the total number of days is 40, are held per year, namely January to February (two meetings), April to May (one meeting), October to November (two meetings).

When racing is not held, the racecourse is used for 'Park-WINZ.'

Major races

Tenno Sho (emperor's cup) (spring)
Shuka Sho (literally, autumn flower cup)
Queen ElizabethⅡ Commemorative Cup
Mile Championship

Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger)

Nikkei Shinshun Hai (Nikkei New Years Cup)
Kyoto Kinen
Kyoto Shinbun Hai (Kyoto Shinbun Cup)
Kyoto Daishoten
Swan Stakes

Daily Hai Nisai Stakes (Daily Cup 2-year-old Stakes)

Kyoto Kinpai
Shinzan Kinen
Heian Stakes
Kyoto Hinba Stakes
Silk Road Stakes
Kisaragi Sho
Antares Stakes
Keihan Hai

Fantasy Stakes

Kyoto High Jump

Kyoto Jump Stakes

Principal lead ponies

Horses on the active list
Ibukimanpawa (2005 -)
Maisorusaundo (2008 -)
Mainerudesupotto (2003 -)
Mainerumonsuta (2002 -)

Retired horses
Joroaringu (? - 1999)
Tsurumarutsuyoshi (2002 - 2007)
Namuramononofu (? - 1998)

Kyoto Racecourse Fan Club

It is an organization that was established in October 2002 operated by JRA. Member cards are issued to members, and each time they come to the racecourse, they can amass points which can be exchanged for prizes. It was renamed 'Swan Members' as of April 22, 2006.


The statue of Shinzan
Shinzan, the second Triple Crown horse in the history of Japanese racing, belonged to Bungo TAKEDA's stable at the Kyoto Racecourse. In commemoration of its five crowns (Triple Crown, Tenno Sho, Arima Kinen), Shinzan's bronze statue and horseshoes are being exhibited. In memory of Shinzan, a race named GIII Shinzan Kinen is held in every January.

The Raisushawa monument
The Raisushawa monument, for a horse that won the Kikuka Sho in 1992, the Tenno Sho (spring) in 1993 and in 1995 and died while running the Takarazuka Kinen that was held at the Kyoto Racecourse in 1995, is located beside the Bato Kannon (horse-headed Kannon).

The paddock is circular-shaped and trees are being planted in the center. However, these trees often interfere with live telecast.

Around the paddock, broadcasting rooms are allocated, starting from the northeast, to ITV paddock broadcasting, Radio Nikkei, NHK, Radio Osaka, Nippon Broadcasting System, Mainichi Broadcasting System, Kyoto Broadcasting System, Kansai Telecasting Corporation and Green Channel.

A pond situated in the center of riding grounds
It is considered that the pond situated in the center of the riding grounds is the remains of Ogura-ike Pond, which existed in the surrounding area of the Kyoto Racecourse in the past. Biological survey on organisms in the pond was conducted by Kyoto Prefecture in 1999.

The record-high pay-off in place betting
Deiatodorimu, a horse which ranked 15th among 16 horses in the sale of betting tickets, took third place in the third race of January 11, 2009
The pay-off for this horse's betting ticket was 122.8 times the wager (hitting tickets: 764, tickets sold: 413,806, support rate: 0.18%) and renewed the record of JRA after 28 years and 2 moths. Incidentally, the former record (116.6 times) was also marked at the Kyoto Racecourse.

Principal events

Yodo Summer Live'
Held in the middle or late August every year during the period when racing is held at local racecourses. At various places at the racecourse, such as the paddock, winners' circle and the green plaza etc., fair stall events, the showing of animation and special effects films for children and the screening of animation films (in the case of 2005, live coverage of professional baseball game of Hanshin Tigers) are held.

This was called the 'Yodo Summer Carnival' and fireworks show using 3,000 fireworks held until 2005. However, a fireworks show has not been held since then due to a security problem arising from the increase of visitors.

A group of image girls formed in 2005, a year marking the 80th anniversary of the Kyoto Racecourse, aiming to boost the appeal of the fourth and fifth meetings of Kyoto racing. The group consisted of four girls, Yuko TAKAHASHI, Maiko YOSHIDA, Chisa NAKAYAMA and Maki KAJIMOTO, and two of them appeared for each day. All of four girls appeared on the day of the 66th Kikuka Sho.

Jockeys' Seats'
Jockeys' Seats are reserved seats with special benefits that are named after jockeys. Tickets go on sale for a limited time.

2006: Yuichi FUKUNAGA seat (November 4), Yasunari IWATA seat (November 11), Katsumi ANDO seat (November 18), Shinji FUJITA seat (November 25)
2007: Kenichi IKEZOE seat (October 6), Koichi TSUNODA seat (October 13), Kunihiko WATANABE (October 20), Yutaka TAKE seat (November 3), Shigefumi KUMAZAWA seat (November 10), Koshiro TAKE seat (November 17)
2008: Hiroyuki UEMURA seat (April 26), Shinichiro AKIYAMA seat (May 3), Shinji KAWASHIMA seat (May 10), Makoto NISHITANI seat (May 17), Yuichi KITAMURA seat (October 18), Yuga KAWADA seat (October 25), Yasunari IWATA seat (November 1), Shun HAMANAKA seat (November 8), Shogo KIKUCHI seat (November 15)
2009: Yuji IIDA seat (April 25), Tetsuya KOBAYASHI seat (May 2), Katsumi ANDO seat (May 9), Jun TAKADA seat (May 16)
Keiba Kentei' (horse racing certification examination)
Keiba Kentei is a certification examination on the knowledge of horse racing, and it has been held since 2006 during periods when Kyoto racing is being held. The top 15 test-takers are certified as keiba meijin (master of horse racing), and those who achieved distinguished results are certified as keiba shihan (grand master of horse racing). Certified persons are awarded 'the certificate' and other benefits.

The examination was held five times in 2006, namely the first exam (June 17), the second exam (July 2), the third exam (October 14), the fourth exam (October 29) and keiba kentei grand prix 2006 (November 26).

The examination was held four times in 2007, namely the first exam (April 21), the second exam (October 7), the third exam (November 4) and keiba kentei grand prix 2007 (November 18).

Kyoto Racecourse Athletic Meet

Kyoto Racecourse Athletic Meet is an event that started in 2008. Organized by the Kyoto Broadcasting System Company Limited, a local private broadcasting company.

People run on the racecourse on which horses run at other times. This athletic meet is held in earnest with fanfare before the start of the race.

Some people who participate in the race running up the stairs of the JR Kyoto Station Building in February also participate in this athletic meet.

Japan Autumn International Girls' (JAIG)
This group performed in the fifth meeting of Kyoto racing in 2008. Out of 12 applicants, six persons, Maki FUJII, Yukina INUKAI, Emi MORII, Ayumi FUKUHARA, Sakurako SOWA and Saya AOI, were selected through popular voting conducted during the period when the fourth race meeting of Kyoto was held.

Principal horse trainers

Horses had been trained at the Kyoto Racecourse until Ritto Training Center was established in 1969.

Shuji ITO
Michio UEDA
Hiroya ONEDA
Hachiro TANI
Shigeharu NAITO

Record time

†: Standard time


Inner or outer of turf course mean the inner course or outer course of the steeplechase course.

All steeplechases that use the dirt course for the homestretch use the outer course.

[Original Japanese]