suzuka | japanese grand prix
Circuit Experience: 9.5
City Action: 5
X Factor: 9
Total | 23.5
Best Overall: Circuit Experience
CIRCUIT EXPERIENCE: 9.5
Suzuka Circuit may be located off the beaten path, but organizers overdeliver with activities that keep the whole family engaged throughout the weekend. Catch a view of Formula 1’s only figure-eight track from the top of the Ferris wheel, enjoy live entertainment at the GP Square, and sample the delectable local flavors from a fleet of food vendors (they’re hard to top). Particular demand through the first sector lends itself to an exciting start for both drivers and fans. And the fans at Suzuka take the excitement to a new level.
CITY ACTION: 5
Being a small coastal town, Suzuka lacks in extracurricular action and hotel options. Most visitors make the hour drive from Nagoya — a major manufacturing city and the birthplace of Toyota. While fanaticism runs high at the circuit, once you leave it’s more about soaking up the wonderful Japanese culture. A visit to Tokyo and ride on the bullet train are musts. Exploring the surroundings is a bucket-list item for many, but those after off-site Grand Prix festivities should look elsewhere.
X Factor: 9
Japanese superfans. Only at the Suzuka Circuit will you find this level of elaborate sign-making and costumery. Here, fandom is an art form, and if you aren’t decked out in (mostly homemade) Formula 1 merchandise, you’re in the minority. You’ll see everything from brightly decorated driver signs to mascot-style head-to-toe costumes. This zeal defies generation, and it’s absolutely contagious.