Fast Facts

Principal organisations: Japan Racing Association and National Association of Racing
Racecourses: 25 (10 JRA, 15 NAR)
Registered thoroughbred foals in 2019: 7,387
Thoroughbred racehorses in training: 24,849 (11,546 JRA, 13,303 NAR)
Most famous race: Japan Cup, run in November
Learn more:
Horse Racing in Japan
JRA/NRA Statistics
“Global Impact: The Rise of the Japanese Thoroughbred” video

Japan Racing Facilities and Breeding Areas map

Bloodhorse Training Centre (BTC)

The BTC provides a one-year training programme for work riders.

Japan Bloodhorse Breeders’ Association (JBBA)

JBBA offers a one-year training programme for stud hands.

JRA Racing School

JRA provides a three-year training programme for jockeys and a six-month programme for grooms. These programmes are prerequisites for anyone who wishes to work as a JRA jockey or groom.

NAR Racing School

The NAR Racing School offers a two-year training programme for jockeys.

Hokkaido Shizunai Agricultural High School

Established in 1978 by Hokkaido prefecture, it is the only agricultural high school in Japan that has a thoroughbred breeding programme. Students get to participate in the process from breeding, to foaling, to sales. Read this article about a special horse students raised and sold at auction.

National Riding Club Association of Japan

The association offers certification for riding as well as pony riding certification for junior high school pupils and younger children. One of the aims of the JRA-funded organisation is to promote riding as a recreational activity.

Jockey Babies – JRA's Pony Racing

Children aged 10-13 compete in pony racing trials in eight areas, with the final held at Tokyo Racecourse. Participants have gone on to become local and international jockeys.

E-books for kids and racing beginners

These learner-friendly online materials provide equine and racing beginners with easy-to-understand information. They include Japanese manga-style educational stories which appeal to younger generations.

KidZania Koshien – Horse Park

This family entertainment centre has a JRA-sponsored interactive horse park where children can experience the various tasks involved in looking after and riding horses. Activities include riding simulators, interacting with a lifelike robotic horse and daily horse care.


This JRA promotion aims to increase the interest in and knowledge of horseracing for women. It includes racecourse seminars, cafes and various events. Learn more about UMAJO in this case study about community engagement initiatives at Japan’s racecourses.


Bokujob provides support for job seekers in the thoroughbred industry.