The inside line on Japan
Aside from being one of the most challenging circuits in the world, Suzuka is a magical place with its own amusement park, and a must-visit for passionate F1 fans.
Getting to the track is an adventure in itself. From Tokyo, you'll need to take various forms of transport, including the Shinkansen bullet train. Remember to sit on the right-hand side of the carriage and, on a clear day, 30 minutes into your journey you will see the majestic Mount Fuji.
Modern Japan has an excitingly foreign feel. A lot of the signage is in English, but away from the big cities few people speak it, so ensure you have the name of your hotel written down in Japanese. And cards don’t always work in ATM machines, so do carry cash with you. The Japanese Grand Prix will be a trip you’ll never forget. WHAT TO SEE It’s nearly 300km from the track, but if you fly into the Japanese capital of Tokyo, it's worth spending a few days there. Don’t miss the Shibuya Crossing (below), best viewed from the top floor of Starbucks. The Akihabara area has some fantastic gadget shops, while Ginza, the Knightsbridge of Tokyo, is great for fashionconscious shoppers.
The adventurous should get up early and go to watch the famous tuna auction at the Tsukiji fish market. To make it onto one of the two tours, be sure to arrive by around 3am.
If you are staying in the Suzuka area itself, visit Toba and take a trip out to Mikimoto Pearls Island. Here you can watch women free dive with knives and bags to bring up pearls from the depths. There's also a museum on site that explains the process of pearl cultivation.
Eating out is cheap, and it’s good to try the sushi, sashimi and ramen noodles or the local kare-raisu (curry). Quick-and-easy stand-up noodle bars are everywhere, and you’ll find that both hot and cold drinks are available from vending machines on the street.
Take the bullet train for an incredible view of Mount Fuji
Tokyo's iconic Shibuya Crossing is one the world’s busiest intersections