• October 21st, 2014
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[Obihiro Banei Horse Racing] Only Horse Racing Style in World

Obihiro Banei Horse Racing

Obihiro Banei Horse Racing (帯広ばんえい競馬) is the only horse racing style in the world. Horses with a sled rival each other in power and speed. The horses have a good battle in Obihiro Horse Race Track located in the center of Obihiro city. The horse racing is often held in Saturday, Sunday and Monday through the year except April, and opening hours is different depending on seasons, and a night horse racing (ナイター開催), a twilight horse racing (薄暮開催), a daytime horse racing (デイ開催) are held. Illumination can be enjoyed in the night horse racing. The top grade horse racing is Banei Memorial (ばんえい記念) at the end of the fiscal year, and the last big horse racing is like Arima Memorial (有馬記念) of Japan Racing Association. Admission is JPY 100. A parking lot is free of charge.

Obihiro Horse Race Track
Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
Obihiro Horse Race Track Is Lit up
Obihiro Banei Horse Racing

Movie of Banei Memorial

While about 1 ton-weight of plodding workhorses pull sleds with 460 - 1,000 kg weight competingly, they will aim for victory to climb over 2 slopes along 200 m in total length. A state that huge horses like Kokuo (黒王号), a famous horse appears in popular Manga Hokuto-no-Ken (北斗の拳), gallop is really powerful. For winning the first place, Strategic pacing themselves is necessary for jockeys to work best with the horses. They will get completely exhausted on the slopes if they run at galloping speed at the beginning, but they can not catch up with other horses if they keep their power too much. The getting in sync with each other is a good time to show off jockey's skills.

Jockey Drives Horse
Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
Horse Takes a Short Breath
Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
Obihiro Horse Race Track in Snow
Obihiro Banei Horse Racing

Backyard Tour (バックヤードツアー) and Morning Training Tour (朝調教ツアー) are held, and the back side of the horse racing can be enjoyed as well as the horse racing, too.

Movie of Guided Backyard Tour

Movie of Guided Morning Training Tour

A highway bus "Potato Liner (ポテトライナー)" runs between the Obihiro and the Sapporo, and a express bus "North Liner-go (ノースライナー号)" runs between the Obihiro and Asahikawa. Besides, Rent-a-car can be rented around Obihiro Station and Obihiro Airport.

    List of Means of Transportation

    Highway buses run between Obihiro and Sapporo or Asahikawa. Refer to following the means of the transportation in the Obihiro. As for car rental comparison websites, you can compare vehicle rental prices on Tabi-Plaza Rental Car Reservation (旅ぷらざレンタカー予約), Jalan Rental Car (じゃらんレンタカー) and Rakutem Travel Rental Car (楽天トラベルレンタカー).

    Chuo Bus(中央バス) From Sapporo to Obihiro
    Chuo Bus(中央バス) From Obihiro to Sapporo
    Takushoku Bus(拓殖バス) From Asahikawa to Obihiro
    Takushoku Bus(拓殖バス) From Obihiro to Asahikawa
    Nippon Rent-a-car(ニッポンレンタカー) Their offices are near the Obihiro Station and the Obihiro Airport.
    Times Car Rental(タイムズカーレンタル) Their offices are near the Obihiro Station and the Obihiro Airport.
    Toyota Rental Lease(トヨタレンタリース) Their offices are near the Obihiro Station and the Obihiro Airport.
    Nissan Rent-a-car(日産レンタカー) Their offices are near the Obihiro Station and the Obihiro Airport.
    Orix Rent-a-car(オリックスレンタカー) Their offices are near the Obihiro Station and the Obihiro Airport.
    Station Rent-a-car(駅レンタカー) Their office is near the Obihiro Station.
    Nico Nico Rent-a-car(ニコニコレンタカー) Their offices are in Nishi 5-jo, Nishi 18-jo and Odori Steet.


    Obihiro (帯広) that about 170,000 people live is the 6th largest commercial city in Hokkaido, and is one of regional hub cities of the Eastern Hokkaido area. It has flourished as the center of the Tokachi district. The Obihiro is also a stockyard for agricultural products in whole Tokachi district, and Potato, Beet, Wheat and Chinese Yam are famous as a local product. As for a climate, it is hot that temperature rises to nearly 30 degrees in a summer, and it is cold that temperature falls to nearly -20 degrees in a winter. It has a large temperature gap, but it has less snow relatively in the Hokkaido. Therefore skating is popular in the winter. Mr. Hiroyasu Shimizu, an olympic gold medalist, come from the Obihiro, and there is much competition population of the skating. Read More

    Open Spacea in front of Obihiro Station

    Look of Obihiro Horse Race Track

    Obihiro Horse Race Track holds a maximum of 14,000 people, and was built in 1932. It looks old, and the race track is viewed on a stand. There are a racecourse, a paddock, the stand, a small zoo, Horse Museum (馬の資料館) and Tokachimura Farm Fresh Market (とかちむら) at the site, and dihses and drinks such as curry ramen, pork rice bowl, roasted pork are sold at the stand, too.


    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
    Horse Museum
    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
    Horse Museum
    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
    Starting Point
    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
    Finish Point
    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
    Paddock. Jockey Sometimes Rides Astride Horse in Paddock
    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
    Betting Booth at Stand
    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing

    The Obihiro Banei Horse Racing is a gamble to pick a winning horse, and it is good to enjoy the gamble. It is good to enjoy the powerful racing without buying the betting ticket. Unlike other horse racing compete in the speed in all parts of the world, the race is very slow. It is interesting that audiences can support the horses with the jockeys while their moving according to the proceeding race.

    Horses Started All at Once
    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
    View from Back
    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
    Horses Climb over Slope
    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
    All Is Well That Pace Themselves Well
    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing
    Jockey Gets Fired up
    Obihiro Banei Horse Racing

    Atmosphere of Obihiro Banei Horse Racing Can Be Watched on Youtube

    Movie of Obihiro Banei Horse Racing

    Admission fee Adult: JPY 100. Children under 15 years old: Free of charge
    Parking lot Free parking is provided (1100 Cars)
    Business hours Almost summer season 13:00-21:00
    Almost winter season 12:00-19:00 * Please check the running time for details.
    Regular closing day Almost Thursday, Friday, Wednesday, Tuesday * Please check the racing date for details.
    Telephone number +81-155-34-0825
    Home page Home page is here
    Mapcode 124 622 219*76

    List of Accommodations

    Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Obihiro. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.

      Onsen Hotel Boston(ホテルボストン)
      Midorigaoka Onsen Sauna Business Hotel(みどりヶ丘温泉 サウナビジネスホテル)
      Obihirominami Onsen Hotel Konan(帯広南温泉 ホテル光南)
      Tokachi Gardens Hotel(十勝ガーデンズ ホテル)
      Business Hotel Plum Field(ビジネスホテル プラムフィールド)
      Casa Inn Hotel Obihiro(カーサーイン ホテル帯広)
      Hotel Yamako(ホテルやまこ)
      Toyoko Inn Hokkaido Tokachi Obihiro Ekimae(東横インとかち・帯広駅前)
      Hotel Tokachi Inn(ホテル十勝イン)
      Hotel AreaOne Obihiro(ホテルエリアワン帯広)
      Dormy Inn Obihiro(ドーミーイン帯広)
      Hotel Route-Inn Obihiro Ekimae(ホテルルートイン帯広駅前)
      Hotel Paco Obihiro 3(ホテルパコ帯広3)
      Obihiro Grand Hotel(帯広グランドホテル)
      JR Inn Obihiro(JRイン帯広)
      Hotel Nupka(ホテルヌプカ)
      Richmond Hotel Obihiro Ekimae(リッチモンドホテル帯広駅前)
      Fukui Hotel(ふく井ホテル)
      Hotel Grand Terrace Obihiro(ホテルグランテラス帯広)
      Natural Hot Spring Premier Hotel CABIN Obihiro(天然温泉プレミア ホテル-CABIN-帯広)
      Hotel Nikko Northland Obihiro(ホテル日航 ノースランド帯広)
      APA Hotel Obihiro Ekimae(アパホテル)
      Hotel Musashi(ホテルムサシ)
      Comfort Hotel Obihiro(コンフォートホテル帯広)
      Hotel Paco Obihiro 2(ホテルパコ帯広2)
      Hotel New Obihiro(ホテルニューオビヒロ)
      Hotel Sun Park(ホテルサンパーク)
      Hokkaido Hotel(北海道ホテル)
      Business Hotel Grandy(ビジネスホテル グランディ)
      Hotel Arm Obihirominami(ホテルアルム オビヒロミナミ)
      Obihiro Yachiyo Youth Hostel(帯広八千代 ユースホステル)
      Taisho Crab House(大正カニの家)
      Iwanai Nature Forest(岩内自然の森)
      Snow Peak Tokachi Poroshiri Camp Field(スノーピーク十勝ポロシリキャンプフィールド)

      A page of Obihiro is here


      By the way, Club Tourism (クラブツーリズム), a Japanese tour travel agency, provides various types of tours such as day trip tours or ordinary tours. In the case of bus tours, tourists do not drive their cars themselves, so they can savor alcohol. Choosen tourist attractions are national parks such as Rishiri and Rebun, Shiretoko, and popular tourist places such as Furano and Biei, and some activities such as hiking and fruit picking are also enjoyed depending on seasons. If you are interested in tour trips, you should visit the club tourism's website for details.



      1. good! hokkaido! says:

        Hi, Sai san,
        Probably from 7 October to 8 October.

      2. sai says:

        When is this year’s (2017) とかちばん馬まつり?

      3. good! hokkaido! says:

        Hi Shirl san,
        Welcome to Hokkaido!
        Maybe Banei-horse racing is held on weekends from July to Aug because it was held in 2016.


        Blue boxes are racing days.

      4. Shirl says:

        Hi there. I am planning for next summer trip to Hokkaido. I would like to know if Banei-horse racing in Obihiro usually on Sat / Sun in July-Aug? Thanks!

      5. good! hokkaido! says:

        Hi, Fiona Henry san.
        Thank you for your comment and welcome to Hokkaido.

        The races will be held in 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27 February(2月).

        Have a nice trip!

      6. Fiona Henry says:

        Would it be feasible to see a race in February 2017. We would be travelling around Hokkaido by train. We only speak English.

      7. good! hokkaido! says:

        Hi Nadja,
        Welcome to Hokkaido!
        Thanks for praising my article.

        As for the racing calendar, racing schedules in July, 2016 are as follows.

        The racing schedules in August, 2016 are as follows.

        Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday from left.
        Green squares are days (July 31, July 30 and August 1) at the races.
        開門13:00 is opening gate at 13:00 pm.
        第1R14:40 is starting the first race at 14:40 pm.
        第11R20:45 is starting the 11th race (final race) at 20:45 pm.

        Have fun!

      8. Nadja says:

        Thank you for the great article!

        I am a huge horse fan and a rider for all of my life now. Since I am coming to Hokkaido soon, I would like to know: When exactly (date and time) are Banei races in Obihiro between 27.07. and 02.08.? It would be a real pleasure to visit one of these races and I don’t want to miss this opportunity.

        Thank you very much for your help!

      9. good! hokkaido! says:

        You are welcome.
        Except Obihiro Banei Race Track, Hokkaido has 3 race tracks, Sapporo Race Track, Hakodate Race Track, Monbetsu Race Track that thoroughbred horses run. Obihiro Banei Race Track is an only race track that imported percheron horses run in Hokkaido and the world. Those horses do not seem to be Dosanko.

      10. Makan Angin says:

        I see, so it really different with the ordinary horse racing in other countries. But somehow looks fun. Like surfing with your horse!

        I’ve seen like this in Youtube before (I forget the video link), but race held in winter with thick snow. The cart also smaller than this. So is there any other horse racing in Hokkaido, beside Obihiro?

        Anyway, in Twitter above (account chanlee) said Banei is breed horse native to Japan. So does it mean the horses are dosanko or imported?

        Thanks for sharing a great article!

        “It’s not just about the destination, but the journey”


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