Horse racing is one type of government-controlled professional competitive sport for which gambling is allowed in Japan. Since it’s government-managed, you can safely and assuredly enjoy watching and betting on horse races. Hyogo Prefecture is home to several racecourses, but this time we will be introducing “Sonoda Racecourse”!

Sonoda Racecourse is in an easily-accessible location, about a 5-minute ride on the free bus from Hanky Railway’s Sonoda Station. You can reach Sonoda Station in about 24 minutes from Kobe-Sannomiya Station, located in the heart of Hyogo Prefecture. You can also reach it in about 30 minutes from Osaka International Airport (Itami Airport) by monorail and train.

Horse races are typically held from 10am until 5pm on weekdays (3-4 days per week). During the summer they also host night-time races, so it makes for a great nighttime sightseeing stop!

See official website for race dates and times
URL(Japanese):http://www.sonoda-himeji.jp/schedule/

Additionally, one of the highlights of Sonoda Racecourse is that the spectator stands are located so close to the racetrack! You can enjoy the intensity of the final stretch of the race up close as the horses approach the finish line!

Furthermore, Sonoda Racecourse also features other facilities, like restaurants serving local delicacies, areas where you can take a seat in a comfy chair and watch the races, and souvenir shops! It doubles as both a racecourse and a leisure facility!

Sonoda Racecourse On-Site Facilities
URL(English):http://www.sonoda-himeji.jp/language/en/access/

Why not consider stopping by a less conventional facility like this in addition to your classic sightseeing locations like urban shopping areas and rural hot springs?

Address2-1-1 Tano, Amagasaki City, Hyogo
AccessTake the free bus from the bus stop, located about 50 meters northwest, at Hankyu Railway’s Sonoda Station. Bus will arrive in about 5 minutes. Bus runs all day on race days starting at 9:45am.

<Author's Introduction>
Katerina
Coming from Ukraine, she can also use Japanese, English, French, and Russian. Making good use of her linguistic abilities, she has traveled to over 40 countries so far. As a navigator on this site, she shares the attractions of Hyogo Prefecture.