Rugby World CUP 2019™ to Be Held in Japan!
The Rugby World Cup is said to be one of the three biggest sport events in the world. The quadrennial world cup will be held for the first time in Japan in 2019. From September 20 to November 2, a total of 48 heated matches will take place at 12 venues in 12 cities all over Japan.
Each host city has a unique feature that offers various events during the matches, bringing additional excitement to the Cup. Fan zones will be set up, where anyone can get in for free, around the venues with live coverage of games using large-scale screens as well as a corner where visitors can try rugby-related activities. You will also enjoy how the event is staged based on local characteristics. Not only rugby fans but also people who normally don’t watch games should easily feel and experience the excitement of the RWC 2019.
We will introduce the 12 host cities and their surrounding areas, which are already picking up steam. While watching rugby, you should also enjoy visiting various places in Japan.
1. Sapporo City, HokkaidoThe northernmost host city of the RWC, where the urban area and nature integrate. Located near the venue, Sapporo Stadium, “Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill” is actually a spacious ranch where you can enjoy seasonal flowers and colored autumn leaves.
Highly recommended in Sapporo City!
Hokkaido has lots of delicious food, such as seafood and ramen. Especially, Sapporo City has many popular restaurants. Also, don’t miss delicious sweets made with fresh milk!
2. Kamaishi City, Iwate PrefectureA town facing a beautiful ocean seascape of the Pacific Ocean. The area has an iron ore mine which prospered in modern times and is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also a rugby city which produced many of Japan’s top rugby players.
Highly recommended in Kamaishi City!
The area is in the process of recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, and the only newly-constructed facility among the 12 hosting cities, “Kamaishi Unosumai Memorial Stadium,” has been completed!
3. Kumagaya City, Saitama PrefectureAlthough located next to Tokyo, Saitama has abundant nature. The Chichibu and Nagatoro areas will be in season for autumn foliage right during the Cup. River rafting while looking at autumn foliage in the valley is recommended.
Highly recommended in Kumagaya City!
The city is home to Kangi-in Temple (aka Menuma Shodenzan), with a history of more than 800 years. The main building with gorgeous ornamentations similar to that of Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine has been designated a National Treasure.
4. TokyoThe capital city Tokyo will host the opening ceremony and the opening game at Tokyo Stadium. Fuchu City, adjacent to the stadium, is a “town of rugby,” with two of Japan’s Top League teams. You can see all the excitement that should come there especially during the Cup.
Highly recommended in Tokyo!
Watching a match at a sports bar is a very Tokyo way to enjoy the Cup. If fans with drinks in one hand get together, they will get into the spirit for sure!
5. Yokohama City, Kanagawa PrefectureKanagawa Prefecture is filled with various attractions, such as popular onsen sites, historical townscapes, and marine-sports ocean. International Stadium Yokohama will host the final match.
Highly recommended in Yokohama City!
The Minato Mirai Area is famous for the beautiful nightscape with buildings and huge Ferris wheel. You are sure to have a fun time even at night after watching a match.
6. Shizuoka PrefectureShizuoka is home to Japan’s symbol, Mount Fuji, and the majestic appearance can be seen from almost anywhere in the prefecture, which is also well known for its onsen, seafood, and tea fields.
Highly recommended in Shizuoka Prefecture!
With its warm climate, the area is a treasure house of food and food ingredients. In autumn, enjoy picking various fruits, such as Japanese oranges, as well as eating fresh sashimi of sakura shrimp, which is hard-to-find anywhere and available only during its season, autumn.
7. Toyota City, Aichi PrefectureThe prefecture has many places where you can feel the samurai culture of the early modern times, including the symbol of Nagoya City, Nagoya Castle. Toyota City is home the headquarters of the world leading automobile manufacturer, Toyota Motor Corporation.
Highly recommended in Toyota City!
Regular cherry trees bloom once a year in spring, but the “Shikizakura” in the Ohara area, Toyota City, blooms once around November as well. This is the only place where you can enjoy cherry blossoms and autumn foliage together.
8. Higashi-osaka City, Osaka PrefectureOsaka is the big city in the west, as opposed to Tokyo in the east. With a unique food culture, such as dashi (soup stock)-based dishes and flour-based dishes, it is popularly called a “town of kuidaore,” which means to “eat oneself bankrupt.”
Highly recommended in Higashi-osaka City!
The venue in Osaka, Hanazono Rugby Stadium, is Japan’s first dedicated rugby ground. It is Japan’s “sacred place for rugby,” which hosts the National High School Rugby Tournament every year.
©Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau
9. Kobe City, Hyogo PrefectureA port town with a touch of Western atmosphere. If you make a little side trip, there are many places to see, such as an onsen town, Mount Rokko with lush greenery, and Nada, the biggest sake producer in Japan.
Highly recommended in Kobe City!
The brand wagyu “Kobe Beef,” has a worldwide reputation. With its fine texture and delicate sweetness, this lean meat is especially great in teppanyaki (grilled on an iron plate)!
©KOBE TOURISM BUREAU
10. Fukuoka City, Fukuoka PrefectureServing as a gateway to Asia, Fukuoka is a very international town. The area has vibrant events throughout the year, including the “Hakata Dontaku” festival, which attracts about 2.1 million visitors every year.
Highly recommended in Fukuoka City!
A number of small stalls stand in rows at night, offering delicious drinks and dishes. Because you will sit right next to strangers at a small stall, you can make friends quickly in the very friendly atmosphere.
11. Kumamoto City, Kumamoto PrefectureAs a symbol of Kumamoto Prefecture, Aso and the surrounding area is the land of nature, where you can feel the power of the famous volcano. Lots of exciting activities are offered, such as ballooning, paragliding, and horseback riding.
Highly recommended in Kumamoto City!
The restoration work of Kumamoto Castle, which was damaged by an earthquake in 2016, has been proceeding smoothly, and this Kumamoto Prefecture’s symbol will have its tower fully restored this autumn.
©Kumamoto Castle General Office
12. Oita PrefectureWith the largest number of sources of springs and the largest amount of spring water discharge, the prefecture is famous for onsen. Beppu Onsen has several spots where steam from the spring gushes out from the ground, offering an unusual landscape to enjoy watching in addition to the pleasure of immersing yourself in an onsen bath.
Highly recommended in Oita Prefecture!
“Kokonoe Yume Otsuribashi” is a suspension bridge hanging at a height of 173 meters, which is the highest among pedestrian bridges in Japan. The valley colorfully adorned with autumn foliage is just magnificent.
*The information herein is as of August 2019.