The best ways to get to Suzuka for the 2021 Japanese Grand Prix on October 7-10, including detailed information on trains from Nagoya to Suzuka Circuit.
Please Note: This post will be updated with current travel information closer to the 2021 Japanese Grand Prix.
We recommend staying in Nagoya, the closest major city to the Suzuka circuit. The 60km distance can be covered by train in around 1 hour. Most intercontinental flights land at Tokyo’s Narita airport (NRT) or Osaka’s Kansai airport (KIX). From Tokyo, there are domestic flights to Nagoya’s airport, Chubu (NGO). Alternatively, you can make your way to Nagoya from both Tokyo or Osaka via high speed train or bus.
- Several airlines fly from the United States to Tokyo. Most return airfares from $800-1500 USD.
- Direct flights from LA to Tokyo or Osaka take around 12 hours. Delta, United Airlines and Japan Airlines serve these routes.
- From New York, you can fly to Tokyo or Osaka from Newark, JFK or La Guardia. There are no direct flights; travel time is at least 15.5 hours.
- Vancouver to Tokyo: Air Canada has a 10-hour direct flight to Tokyo from $1100 CAD.
- Tokyo and Osaka are about an 11 hour direct flight away from most major European hubs
- From Paris, Air France and ANA fly direct to Tokyo or Osaka from €1,000 return
- Lufthansa flies direct from Frankfurt to Tokyo and Osaka from €800 return. Alternatively, Qatar offers return flights under €700 with a stop in Doha.
- BA, Virgin Atlantic and ANA have direct flights from London, but fares are expensive. Alternatively, Turkish Airlines has flights from London with a stop in Istanbul from as low as £500
- Sydney is the only Australian city offering direct flights to Japan (9.5 hours), otherwise expect a layover somewhere in Asia and a travel time of 14-15 hours
- Qantas, Virgin and Cathay Pacific have the best connections, including direct flights and short layovers in Singapore or Hong Kong. Return flights from $800-1400 AUD.
- AirAsia offers some one of the lowest fares from Melbourne or Perth to Tokyo and Osaka. Travel time is around 15 hours with a layover in KL. Prices from $650 AUD return.
How to get to Nagoya
- Domestic Flights: for as low as US$130, you can take a one-hour domestic flight from Tokyo to Nagoya’s Chubu International Airport. The Tokyo-Nagoya route is offered by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways several times per day. There are no direct flights from Osaka to Nagoya.
- Trains: Tokyo and Nagoya are connected by the JR Tokaido Shinkansen. Travel times are dependent on the type of train you choose; 100 minutes on Nozomi trains, 110 minutes on Hikari trains and 3 hours on Kodama trains. For a single trip, expect to pay from approximately $85 USD. The Japan Rail Pass is valid on the Hikari and Kodama trains.
- Buses: A one way bus trip from Tokyo to Nagoya takes 5-6 hours and cost around $25 USD with Willer Express.
How to get to Suzuka Circuit
The Suzuka circuit is located in Inou, Suzuka City, which is in the Mie Prefecture, about 30 miles (50km) south of Nagoya. It’s an isolated, mainly industrial area where companies like circuit owner Honda have their factories. The best way to get to the track is to take the train. At first glance, it can appear that there is a confusing number of connections and operators for trains. In reality though, if you ask for help in getting to Suzuka Circuit, the ticket staff at the train station should be able to help get you on to the right train. The best train to take from either Nagoya or Osaka to Suzuka is the Kintetsu train to Shiroko station. This is not the nearest station to the circuit (that would be the Suzuka Circuit Inou Station), but you won’t have to make any transfers and there’s English signage at Shiroko station to help you find the shuttle buses to the circuit.
Kintetsu Railways to Suzuka Circuit
The Kintetsu Railways trains offer services from both Nagoya and Osaka to Shiroko Station, which is the nearest station on this line to the Suzuka Circuit. From Shiroko, you’ll need to follow the signs to the shuttle buses, which take around 15 minutes to get you to the circuit and costs $9 USD return. The buses run fairly regularly on Grand Prix weekend (Friday-Sunday). You can pay for your ride on these trains using the Kintetsu Rail Pass.
From Nagoya station, the journey to the Shiroko Station will set you back around $14 USD for the limited express train (tokkyu) or $6.60 USD for the express train (kyuko). A one-way trip on these trains takes 40-50 minutes and there are regular services on Grand Prix weekend. The five-day pass for around $40 is the best option if you are traveling to Suzuka for the whole weekend.
From Osaka-Namba station, there are two hourly limited express train services to the Shiroko Station. One is a direct train between the two stations, while the other will require you to transfer at the Tsu Station. You will need to purchase and reserve your seat at least a day before you plan to travel. This ride takes approximately 100 minutes and cost approximately $50 USD for a return ticket, which you can pay by using the Kintetsu Rail Pass. Note: We don’t recommend taking the slower express train service from the Osaka-Namba station. A one-way ticket is just US$14.50, but but you will need to endure a 2.5-hour train ride with two transfers along the way.
Japan Railways & Ise Tetsudo to Suzuka Circuit
This is the less preferred option as the connections are more complicated and you have a longer walk of around 30 minutes from the train station to the circuit. A single journey between Nagoya Station and Suzuka Circuit Inou Station takes around 60-90 minutes and costs around US$9. There are several services which can get you to the Suzuka Circuit station, some of which will require a transfer (if in doubt, ask!) There are also regular express trains on Grand Prix weekend tagged as “Suzuka Grand Prix” which run non-stop between Nagoya Station and Suzuka Circuit Inou Station. Travel time is shorter (under an hour), but the price is higher at approximately US$20 each way. You need to reserve your seat on these trains at least a day in advance to be sure of a seat.
Note: You can use the Japan Rail Pass but it will only partially cover the cost of your train ride as some of the trip is on another operator’s line. This means you need to pay the remaining fare i.e. US$2.50 one way for the normal service trains or US$5 one way for the limited express trains.
“I used the Kintetsu rail pass for travelers to get to the circuit from Nagoya. This is valid for unlimited rides over 5 days around Nagoya and other cities, and costs around $40 USD. You can buy this from the special Kintetsu ticket area at Nagoya station, and there are English speaking tourist guides there to help you. The trip from Nagoya to Suzuka takes about 45 mins. You get off at Shiroko train station, then follow the signs outside the station to the circuit shuttle bus. Buy the return daily ticket (cost approx. $9 USD) to save you queuing at the end of the day. The shuttle takes around 15 minutes to get to the track.” Read Richard’s trip report.
Taxis in Japan
Taxis in Japan are easily available, safe and relatively inexpensive with fares starting from US$6. Taxis are also one of the few options available after midnight when trains and buses have stopped running. While taxi fares are metered, most taxi drivers give you an estimated fare; if the meter runs over the estimate, the taxi driver will stop the meter and refuses any extra fare. Always have the address of your destination written in Japanese so that your taxi driver will be able to take you to where you want to go without any miscommunication.
Car Hire in Japan
Foreigners are generally advised against hiring cars in Japan. Even if you are used to driving on the left like the Japanese, there is a good chance you will get lost! When there are road signs, they are in Japanese kanji script. There’s also traffic congestion and tolls to deal with. If you are determined to hire a car and explore more of the region around Suzuka, don’t forget you will need to possess a valid international driving permit, as well as your license.