Down in deep deep south Kyoto (prefecture) is the Kyoto Racecourse.
It is a large facility that holds 120,000 with seating for 28,000.
And it is a brilliant day out.
Races are held throughout the year, and you can get right up to the rail to watch the action.
Betting is made easier if you can read Japanese and have a racing form/sports newspaper, but there are attendants who will help you fill out the betting slips and work the machines.
For those who do not read Japanese, here is an English guide to betting.
Race Days 2013
April 20, 21, 27, 28
May 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26
October 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 26, 27
November 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24
The racecourse is on the Keihan line between Kyoto and Osaka. Yodo is the stop in front of the racecourse. Entry is 200 yen.
For hard-core cyclists, it is along the Kyoto to Osaka cycling route. It will take about one hour to 90 minutes one way from Kyoto. There is a map below.
Hours: Wednesday hours 9:00 am–5:00 pm
Kyoto Racecourse Map
View Cycling Kyoto to Osaka in a larger map
Tags Japan Touring Kyoto Cycle Japanese