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Ban’ei Horse Racing
The Ban’ei horse races (Ban’ei Tokachi) in Obihiro city, Hokkaido, are the only of their kind in the world where you can watch races between draft horses all throughout the year. The races are only held on weekends and holidays but within the racing grounds, one can also find a petting zoo and horse museum which are super popular with kids, as well as markets directly selling fresh products from local farms and restaurants in the connected facility, Tokachi Mura (village) offering local Tokachi cooking which uses these local ingredients. Even if you don’t see the races, there's plenty of attractions to keep you busy here.
- 13 Nishi 9-chome Jominami, Obihiro-shi, Hokkaido
- Contact No.
- 8-minute taxi ride from the JR Obihiro Station
- Opening Hours / Holidays
- Open all year round (Races held only on weekends and Mondays)
*Please check the official website for race schedules and other such details
Tokachi Mura hours: Summer (4/29-) 10:00-19:00, Winter (11/1-) 10:00-18:00
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 90 minutes
- Admission fee
- Admission Fee: 100 yen (15 and under are free)
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
The only Ban’ei racing grounds in the world
Ban’ei racing was started when local farmers began races between working draft horses during festivals. This is the only Ban’ei racing in the world where you can watch the work horses race over a hilly track pulling heavy iron sleds at high speeds all year round!
Go behind the scenes of the Ban’ei racing track
“Backyard Tours” are held on days during the races allowing people to head behind the scenes and check out saddling stalls and barns that were once used in earlier races. These areas aren’t usually open to the public, so take advantage of the opportunity if you visit on race days and see what’s inside.
Enjoy meeting the animals at the petting zoo
Here is a Fureai Dobutsu-en (petting zoo) allowing you to touch and meet animals such as draft horses, ponies, and rabbits, etc. You can also ride some of the horses, so why not come by and make some precious memories of your trip.
Get your fill of the local Tokachi specialties at Tokachi Mura
In Tokachi Mura, there are direct markets selling locally farmed produce and stock farm products as well as restaurants and cafes offering delicious Tokachi meals made from these fresh local products. There is also a select shop next to the cafe offering original Ban’ei Tokachi racing goods, so by all means drop by and see what’s inside.