Keirin + Kirin

Seats inside, down from the bar on the finish line make for a good vantage point on a rainy Saturday arvo in Tokyo.

Just spent 2 weeks in Japan with my family, including an afternoon of local Tokyo Keirin racing.

9 riders face off over 5 laps. A rider (not a guerney) paces the race for the first 3. Yep… it’s big in Japan!

The bikes are all steel framers – geometry unchanged since around the 50’s, with toe straps. Absolutely no tech allowed. Beautiful bikes. The pagentry, regalia and cultural tie-ins remain pretty much a mystery. Don’t know what I enjoyed more – the rider kit, the racers’ officially bowing before they got on their bikes at the start line, racing in a monsoon, the chick that stood out in the rain smiling and waving a flag all day or the fella who tried to body surf the final straight in race 5.


9 Super Mario Mushrooms get a good watering.


The riders throw to the line, flag chick prepares to wave and a banana wanders with intent.


Super Mario Mushroom #9 reflects on his induced 'Champions League goal celebration' coming off the final bend in race 5. He got within a whisker of finishing - our beer went flat watching him to pull up! 2 riders were disqualified & the race 'winner's celebration' was officially cancelled out of respect. Doggi is that you? 🙂


2 thoughts on “Keirin + Kirin”

  1. This is possibly the most anthropologically interesting thing that has ever been posted on the 3fidi website

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