This trip to Tokyo Aya was keen to try going to some boat races and though I thought it sounded a little silly I was interested to see what it would be like. We arrived in the middle of the day on a Saturday, but the arena was maybe 1/4 full. Most of the clientele were grey haired and I don't know if that is just Japan or an indicator of who comes to bet on these races. We grabbed an info sheet and tried to figure out how to fill out a betting slip. 5 boat racers, in tiny boats, climb into their boats and do a couple laps to show off. Then they get into position and the race starts. After three times around the race is over. I was kind of expecting people to cheer or grumble, but the arena was mostly silent but for the roar of the engines.
Both times we bet we lost, about 10 dollars between the two of us, but it was a bit fun to sit and watch the races and I can see why some retirees might get into it. In addition to the races, which occur every 30 minutes or so, you can get some pretty nicely priced beer or food from a few stalls and restaurants around the arena. I could see making a day of it and maybe, maybe we will go back some day.