Virtuosi Racing driver Marino Sato takes us on a trip around Yokohama, Japan, where he grew up. We look at the places to visit, the sites to see, and of course, the motor racing scene.


“I am from one of the biggest cities in Japan, Yokohama. Yokohama faces the sea and is beautiful. There’s a mixture of city and mountains as well, so it isn't flashy, and it's a bit more relaxed than Tokyo. It isn't far from Tokyo either, so it's a nice place to live. I would normally go back two or three times a year and refresh.

“I usually stay for a couple of weeks, maybe a month if I am lucky, but I always see my sponsors and my supporters, who I cannot see normally, and I see my friends, who I don't see often either.”

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“There is a fairly new part of the city where they extended into, which has a lot of tall buildings, an amusement park, and lots of things to see and do. The station and the shopping mall that they built in that area are both big, so it's a cool place.

“There is a Chinatown as well, which is very touristy. I have spent so much time away from the city though, so I don't actually know that much about it anymore. The food is quite international, so there is a lot of choices.

“If you want to cover everything in a short space of time, then I would recommend visiting Tokyo, which as I said, isn’t too far. Tokyo is packed with everything that you could imagine.

“Alternatively, if you want a classier part of Japan, then you should visit Kyoto, which is a really nice place, it is an older city, with old buildings. However, for a first visit, I would always suggest Tokyo."

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“There is a track that is an hour away from my home and I go there sometimes, maybe once or twice a year. New Tokyo Circuit is where I grew up karting. The layout has changed now, so it isn't the same as when I grew up, but I have been back and it is still fun to drive.”