So today was the day, the start of the event we have built our holiday around, the Japanese Grand Prix. At the start of the week, rain was predicted, but the day dawned sunny and bright and stayed that way. it was 29C at the track and the only use of umbrellas was for shade.
There are special trains put on from Nagoya to Suzuka, about an hour away. We found the platform and waited as it filled with more and more fans. Inside Japan had sorted out all the seat booking for us, making the journey a little easier than squeezing into the unreserved carriages.
At the station, just follow the fans.
The circuit was easy to find and really, really busy – although it’ll be busier on race day. There were loads of stalls for merchandise and food,making it really fan friendly. (although I’m not sure what this is!)
One immediate thing struck us – the cigarette advertising, It’s not allowed in Europe, but here, it’s everywhere. A big stand and sponsoring the smoking areas. Oh yes, the strange control of smoking means you can only smoke in designated areas – including specific indoor rooms. Not wandering around outside.
They also had a Ferris Wheel, free if you were at the race. A quick whirl gave some great views of the track!
There were plenty of fans making signs for drivers at the first ever craft corner we had seen at a race!
Some more behaviour differences was this one of staking out a section around the circuit, taping the mat down. Most were under stands, so protection from sun or rain. The mats were left there, I’m guessing ready for the next day
And for some reason, a woman in a brides dress carrying a bouquet was driven round the circuit. No idea why!
We have brilliant seats – at T1/T2, prefect for the race.
As Friday you’re allowed to wander around, we also did that, to see the rest of the track. Well, Sofia did. I had a last minute chance for a Paddock Club ticket from Marussia and watched practice 2 from there
The trip home was just as easy, the queue was orderly and organised and we managed to be positioned so we got right on the train into a seat!
Finally this evening, we met up with a friend, who had found a tiny little restuarant for Okonomikaki and fried noodles. Absolutely delicious.
And that was today! Except for my sign of the day. A pointer for a Lat Rine