The 2019 Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan from September 20th to November 2nd. Although Japan is not historically the traditional heartland of the sport, after the Japan national team’s thrilling and famous victory over South Africa in Rugby World Cup 2015 in England, rugby saw a large surge in popularity across the country and there is hope that the Japanese team can achieve even greater feats in 2019.
The two semi-finals and the final itself will be played at the International Stadium Yokohama, and all the usual heavyweights will be hoping to be there on November 2nd.
The opening game will take place at Tokyo Stadium in Chofu City, a suburb of Tokyo. Tokyo Stadium is one of the key Rugby World Cup 2019™ venues, with two of the quarter finals and many big teams due to play there, and Tokyo is home to a number of lively sports bars which will welcome thirsty fans during the tournament.
No Side Club, in Takadanobaba, Tokyo, is a unique rugby-themed sports bar serving great food and a wide range of drinks, with rugby memorabilia on the walls and live rugby shown on big screens. Takadanobaba itself is a lively college town on the outskirts of Shinjuku, easily reached on the JR Yamanote Line. It is open daily from 5pm to 12am (closed on Mondays and the second Sunday of every month), and is a great place to wind down with a few beers in the company of like-minded rugby fans.
Over in Yokohama, Sports Bar Shiba boasts craft beers from around the world, 4K projectors and an immersive sound system making it the number one choice in town for catching the big games. It also has separate smoking areas, and is open every day from 4pm until late.
The International Stadium Yokohama is the largest stadium in Japan (with a capacity of 72,000) and will host pool matches and knockout stage, including the semi-finals and the final itself. An attractive, cosmopolitan port city with an interesting history, Yokohama boasts many attractions for visitors.
The bustling atmosphere and mouth-watering smells and tastes of Yokohama Chinatown (Chukagai) make it a must visit neighbourhood near the center of the city. The lively streets are home to all-you-can-eat restaurants, countless shops and authentic stalls selling all kinds of street food from nikuman (meat buns) and fresh coconut water to sweeter treats like crepes and shaved ice.
If all that food wasn’t enough then head to the CUPNOODLES MUSEUM YOKOHAMA in the Minato Mirai district. There you can learn about the history of instant noodles, from their humble beginnings in 1958 (including a replica of the shed where instant noodles were invented), to a timeline detailing the history of instant noodles around the world. Visitors to the museum can also partake in the opportunity to custom design and prepare their own personalized Cup Noodles, which make for a uniquely delicious souvenir.
Oita is a bustling little city in the southwest of Japan, and the stadium here will host pool matches and two quarter final matches. The island of Kyushu is a world away from the bright lights of Tokyo and Yokohama; it is a land of wild mountains and beautiful countryside, where you’re never far from a volcano or hot spring (or both!).
The Takasaki wild monkey park is located at the foot of a mountain on the northern outskirts of the city, and visitors can see and get close to some of the +1000 Japanese macaques which live there.
This geothermally active corner of Japan is probably most famous for onsen (hot spring baths), many of which have mineral enriched waters said to soothe the body and cure many ailments. The nearby resort town of Beppu boasts some of the best hot springs in the country, including mud, sand and steam baths, as well as the bubbling and colourful Jigoku ‘hells’ which are just for viewing.
Tickets for Rugby World Cup 2019™ will go on general sale from September 19th until November 12th 2018, for a first term of sales one year before the tournament begins. There will be a second term starting January 19th 2019. A total of 1.8 million tickets will be available for all 48 matches. Fans will be able to apply for tickets, with over-subscribed matches being entered into a ballot system.
Fans can now register their interest for applying for tickets at the official ticketing website in order to obtain a personal identification number. Successful ticket applicants will then be able to pay for tickets online using a credit card.
Check out the official Rugby World Cup 2019™ website and visitjapan2019 website for more information on tickets and venues.