This site uses cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. If you continue to browse, you accept the use of cookies on our site. See our privacy policy for more information.


Foreigners can also enjoy! Let’s get a close look at the thrilling “Boat Race” in which 6 boats will compete! [BOAT RACE FUKUOKA]

“BOAT RACE FUKUOKA” is conveniently located about 15 minutes walking distance from the city center, “Tenjin”. It is a government-operated sport run by Fukuoka City. The facility is fully equipped so that spectators can enjoy safely.

Feel the tremendous impact of the fierce battles of “boat racing” that run through in full speed from the start to the finish line.
Here’s how to enjoy the familiar leisure-time attraction, “Boat Race Fukuoka” for foreign people as well as beginners at boat racing.

Visit the website of “BOAT RACE FUKUOKA” and check the days that races are held before coming.
*General admission is 100 yen.
BOAT RACE FUKUOKA official website

▲BOAT RACE FUKUOKA is located very closed to Tenjin!

Let’s master the basics of boat racing!

What is boat racing like?

Six boats run in a race. The boats are color-coded so that spectators can recognize which is which at a glance.
A day-long racing session includes 12 races. Each race consists of three counterclockwise laps covering 1,800 m in total (600 m per round), where racers will go through 1st and 2nd-turn marker after passing the starting line, and will be ranked in the end.
*Turn markers are the red-and-white floating objects in the water that look like soft-serve ice cream.

Now, let’s get a Funaken (betting tickets) and join the race!

1.Choose a race and make a guess who will win.

After choosing a race to bet out of the 12 races on the day, you’ll choose a ticket type to make predictions on the boat(s) by getting information from racing entry list or monitors inside the race stadium.

<How to Bet> *Anyone under age cannot buy funaken (betting tickets)

2.Next, fill out the “Mark Card” 

After you have decided on which boat(s) to bet on, fill out the mark card. There are two kinds of mark cards, and the regular one is recommended if you are betting for the first time.

For an OMR betting card with all 24 BOAT RACE stadiums listed on it, fill in the stadium where you are placing your bet.
②Race number
Fill in the race number to bet on.
③Bet type
Fill in the type of bet you wish to make.
④1st, 2nd, 3rd
Fill in the numbers of the boats to bet on.
For Trifecta or Trio bets, fill in the boat numbers up to third place. For Exacta or Quinella bets, fill in the boat numbers up to second place.
⑤Amount of bet
Fill in the amount of your bet. To specify a number like 12, fill in 10 and 2.
⑥Units of the amount
Fill in the units of the amount of your bet. You can specify 100, 1,000, or 10,000 yen.
⑦ Cancel
If you make a mistake filling out your card, mark here to cancel the entry.

3.Buy a Funaken at a ticket machine 

Insert the money and completed mark card to the machine and press the “ticketing” button, then you’ll get a Funaken. Around the deadline, the betting window will be crowded with people so early purchase is recommended.
You can buy any Funaken from 100 yen. A multilingual support machine is available for foreign people.
▲Multilingual Support Automatic Ticketing Machine

4. Now, let’s watch the race! 

Race starts after the ticket sale is closed. Relax and enjoy the race from wherever you like.

At the signal, all six boats dash out of their pits together.
In BOAT RACE, the 1st lane has the biggest advantage.
② Warm-up
Racers have their own special skills and strategies for seizing the best course.
If a boat gets forced into the first lane, since it’s not allowed to stop its engine, lack of remaining distance to sprint to the starting line puts it at a distinct disadvantage.
Suddenly, all 6 boats begin racing at full speed toward the starting line.
Boats must cross the starting line when the needle of the giant clock is between 12 and 1 o’clock. Crossing even 1/100th of a second early is a flying start (F), and crossing after the 1-second mark is a late start (L).
The main point is to seize the lead at the start and use this advantage to control of race.
④First lap marker 1 (1st-turn marker)
Here’s the real thrill of BOAT RACE.
With the racers’ skills on full display, it’s the main highlight of BOAT RACE, and precisely where the race is often won or lost.
⑤Battle at lap marker 2(2nd-turn marker) and after
In BOAT RACE, the lead boat has the advantage, and the waves in its wake put the following boats at a disadvantage.
Still, the fierce battle for position can produce dramatic come-from-behind finishes, and the races stay close all the way to the end.
⑥Finish line
After going around Marker 2 on the 3rd lap, the boats race across the finish line, which is the same as the starting line.
In a close race, the rankings may be determined by photo finish.

▲At the open lawn area, you can rent a mat!  

▲All races are breathtaking! 


The real thrill of Boat Race is the racer’s skills in the corners!
You’ll be fascinated by the awesome water sprays and agile steering.
The 1st-turn marker on the first lap often decides the winner, so don’t miss it. The best viewing spot is from the water’s edge at the 1st-turn marker.

5.Ranking is announced!  

After the race is over, the order of finish is announced. Take a look at the monitor inside the race stadium, etc. The payout of each betting type is also announced. Now, check your Funaken!

6.If you won, go to the payout machine or counter! 

If you won, go to the payout counter! If you go to the machine, all you need to do is insert the winning Funaken and press the button, and you’ll get your money.

Boat racing is not the only fun!

A variety of events will be held on the weekends or so!  

Various events where everybody can have fun will be held inside the “Boat Race Fukuoka” stadium. It costs you only 100 yen for an admission ticket per person.

▲Check the official website of BOAT RACE FUKUOKA for the updated event information!

The stadium is fully equipped so that even ladies and children can have a good time with assured security!

Here’s information on various facilities inside “BOAT RACE FUKUOKA”!

▲Information Counter Feel free to make inquiries any time! 

▲Room for Women and Children You’ll be at peace even visiting with children! 

▲2F Free seating 

▲3F Reserved seating


  • Tenjin/Yakuin Area

[Address] 1-7-5 Nanotsu, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City

Nishitetsu Train: 15-minute walk from “Nishitetsu Fukuoka (Tenjin) Station”
Fukuoka City Subway: 10-minute walk from “Tenjin Station”
Nishitetsu Bus: 3-minute walk from “Nanotsu-guchi” or “Shimin Kaikan-mae” bus stop
Fukuoka Urban Expressway: located shortly after “Tenjin-kita off-ramp”

[Business Hours]
Gates open from 10:00 to 16:18 (until the end of ticket sales for race no.12)
*Varies depending on the race.

View details


Area Guide
Spot info
Tour info
Event info
Yatai info
Muslim Friendly Restaurant Guide
Things to Do
Recommended Routes
Exploring Fukuoka
Night time in Fukuoka
Hakata Old Town Selection
Sustainable Tourism
Charming Fukuoka
Hakata Old Town
Fukuoka Castle & Korokan
Area Guide
Events Calendar
Tourism Promotion Video
Traffic info
City Traffic Guide
Access Guide
Discount tickets
Useful info
Tourist Information Centers
Currency exchange, ATMs
Emergency Contact
Travel Etiquette
Accommodation Tax
Disaster Information