Horse racing course in Tokyo, Japan, seeks inbound inspiration from international students

With the Rugby World Cup 2019 in full swing and a Summer Olympic Games 2020 on the horizon, organizations and companies across the host Japan continue to seek ways to extend their appeal to the increasing number of foreign tourists visiting their country.

In Shinagawa Ward of Tokyo, horse racing course Oi Keibajo is not strang to pioneering new ways to reach to new audiences. 

Also known as Tokyo City Keiba, the venue was the first in Japan to offer a schedule of night-time races with their popular Twinkle Races program that began in 1986 – a move that has helped to establish Oi Keibajo becoming a post-work date spot among couples in the capital Tokyo.

Races of a similar guise have been adopted by horse racing venues across Japan since then.

However, Oi Keibajo is not basking in its success and with the country set to host two global sporting tournaments over the next 12 months venue management is exploring new territory again, this time in their efforts to show a warm welcome to visitors from all over the world.

In August, Oi Keibajo hosted a workshop during which the Japanese staff of the venue teamed up with international students studying in a university of Yokohama, near Tokyo, to promote the venue to younger foreigners.

Around 25 international students from the National University of Yokohama and faculty members attended the workshop on August 2.  All the students were enrolled in Yokohama Creative-City Studies (YCCS) Program focusing on facilitation and leadership to produce future global leaders.

During the workshop the Japanese racecourse staff and students worked together in groups in order to come up with, film, and star in a commercial promoting the venue.

Some groups took inspiration for their videos from Oi Keibajo’s various attractions like exhibits, illuminations, and restaurants while others pointed to the proximity of the venue to Haneda Airport. One video returned to the theme of a date whichended in a marriage proposal as part of the story.