JRA Ritto Training Center

I finally visited the JRA Ritto Training Center on Sunday. It was very interesting. I highly recommend this free tour, especially if you like horses.

JRA offers free tours on Sundays 1 pm – 2:30 pm and on Wed. during the early morning (5 am to 7 am or so) when you can see the horses running on the training track.

There are buses from Kusatsu Station twice an hour. Takes about 30 min. Google Map

Our tour guide drove us in a van to various places. We saw the training track, horse stables, swimming pool where the horses swim, and watched the horses being washed. We even got to ride a retired race horse.

We didn’t get to see any horses running on the track though. They do that in the early morning, and you can see it during the early morning tour on Wednesdays.

Over 2,000 horses and 4,000 trainers and staff live there. Besides the track, the place looks like a huge danchi with rows of horse stables and living quarters.

Pictures:
http://photoguide.jp/pix/thumbnails.php?album=469

I’ve never seen a horse race in Japan, so now I have see a horse race.

Ritto shinkansen station debate

A hot debate still continues over the shinkansen train station in Ritto. It is the hottest topic in the Shiga community in mixi, still continuing for almost a year. There seems to be many more people opposed to the shinkansen station than supporting it.

The Shiga government did not allow Shiga citizens to vote yes or no, probably because they were afraid that they would lose. Well, the gubernatorial election in July proved that most people are opposed to it. But there are still people pushing for the station. The construction industry is very powerful in Japan. But I hope people power will be more powerful.

Here’s a good summary in English about this debate:
http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200610030091.html

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