For most Japanese, horseracing is thought of as an unrefined, male-dominated, gambler’s pastime. That preconception has prevented horse tracks from expanding their clientele base to women, who are especially dissuaded from visiting the tracks. But Tokyo City Keiba, located in Ooi, Tokyo, is hoping to change all that.
One of four horse tracks built in central Japan in the 1950s, Tokyo City Keiba has been changing the image of the sport. In the mid-80s, the track established a nightly Twinkle Race, which was a huge success. In 2003, the track sought to expand their client base with the installation of a crowd-pleasing, dynamic lighting scheme provided by Martin Architectural lighting’s color changing projection.
In 2003, Tokyo City Keiba opened the new entertainment facility "L-Wing," with restaurants, indoor gardens, and color projection from Martin Architectural Exterior luminaries enriching the gamblers’ visit. The new entertainment and colorful atmosphere entices more women to visit the racetrack.
At dusk, L-Wing delights the crowd with color changing projection. During the Twinkle Race, L-Wing paints the paddock in soft shades projected by several Exterior lights. Delicate, discrete colors–so as not to disturb the horses and the race itself–are projected across the area, creating a spectacular view. After the main lighting scheme ends, shorter "light shows" are held every 40 minutes until all visitors have exited the track.
Eight Exterior 600 color changers are installed on each fan of the L-Wing roof, with another six located on the side of the building displaying soft graduated colors that match the structure’s design perfectly. Additionally, three Exterior 200 luminaries are installed on the third floor terrace. The Martin fixtures were supplied by Martin Japan. Lighting design was completed by Reiko Chikada Lighting Design Inc.
Today, visitors to Tokyo City Keiba can enjoy more than just a thrilling horse race. A dynamic illumination scheme has added an extra element that has made visiting the racetrack popular among a much broader clientele.