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Useful Information for Rugby Fans for the 2019 World Stage Tournament

Rugby World Cup Japan 2019

Are you planning this trip of a lifetime to follow your supporting team in Japan 2019? We’ve put together the following information and tips to help you get the most from this historic and unique sporting tournament.

Register with us

If you’re interested in speaking to one of our team about joining us in Japan over the 6 week Rugby tournament, register with us using the form below, and we’ll be in contact with relavent Rugby News, Special Offers and a range of travel options.

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When does the 2019 rugby tournament take place?

The world cup will take place from 20th September (Fri) – 2nd November (Sat), 2019. This is a great time of year to visit Japan as it won’t be too hot and it won’t be too cold. Perfect weather for rugby players and spectators.

For more information on the expected weather, check out our Guide to the Climate & Seasons of Japan.

How many matches are being played?

In total, 48 matches will be played. This includes 40 pool matches, quarter-finals, semi-finals, a bronze-final and the final.

When and where does the final take place?

The final will take place on the 2nd November (Sat) 2019 in the Yokohama Stadium, Kanagawa. Yokohama is only a short train ride from Tokyo.

What are the team pools?

There are four pools of five teams:

Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1 and Playoff Winner.

Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1 and Repechage Winner.

Pool C: England, France, Argentina, Americas 1 and Oceania 2.

Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Oceania 1 and Americas 2.

As you can see, eight of the teams have yet to be confirmed. These will be decided by play-offs closer to the tournament. Join our mailing list and will keep you posted.


Where are the matches being played?

Rugby World Cup '19 Match Venues

The rugby matches are being played in 12 state-of-the-art stadiums right across Japan. These are:

  • Sapporo Dome
  • Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium
  • Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
  • Tokyo Stadium
  • International Stadium Yokohama
  • Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa
  • City of Toyota Stadium
  • Hanazono Rugby Stadium
  • Kobe Misaki Stadium
  • Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium
  • Kumamoto Stadium
  • Oita Stadium

Getting between venues

Bullet trains or Shinkansen are the best way to get between venue cities in Japan

Bullet trains or Shinkansen are the best way to get between venue cities in Japan

Japan has a super modern transport system and getting to the stadiums and between the venue cities is easy.

Bullet Trains

Bullet trains or Shinkansen are the best way to get between venue cities in Japan. Kick back, relax and watch the lush Japanese countryside zip past at 320 km/h. One of the great benefits of taking a train is that you arrive right in the centre of your venue city.

The Japan Rail Pass (JRP) is very cost effective way to travel by train throughout the country. It offers unlimited travel around the country for 7, 14 or 21 consecutive days and is valid on most Japan Rail trains.

Click here for more information on the Japan Rail Pass.

Where to stay

Stay in a ryokan or traditional inn during Rugby World Cup 2019 for a traditional Japanese experience.

Stay in a ryokan or traditional inn during your trip for a traditional Japanese experience.

Japan has a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and taste. If you’re looking for a traditional Japanese experience, stay in a ryokan or traditional inn. Here guests usually sleep on futons on a tatami mat floor. You can also enjoy Japanese kaiseki cuisine and rejuvenate in an onsen or hot spring.

If sleeping on a futon isn’t your thing, Japan also has lots of western-style hotels, which range from luxurious Deluxe hotels to basic Business Hotels.

For more information, check out our Guide to Accommodation in Japan.

Pre/Post-Match Entertainment

Izakaya are Japanese style pub/restaurants that can be found all over Japan.

Izakaya are Japanese style pub/restaurants that can be found all over Japan.

Japanese hospitality is second to none and the country boasts an incredible range of bars and restaurants, with options for every taste and budget. As a heads up, most restaurants and bars specialise in a specific type of food (e.g. sushi, ramen, yakitori, etc.). For a more eclectic selection of food, check out Izakaya (Japanese style pub/restaurants), which can be found all over Japan. These lively establishments serve a variety of tasty dishes and ice-cold beer.

For more information, check out our handy Guide to Eating and Drinking Out in Japan.

Cultural Activities & Outdoor Pursuits

Explore the culture and history of Japan between Rugby World Cup 2019 matches.

Explore the culture and history of Japan between Rugby World Cup 2019 matches.

There’s plenty of time between matches, so why not enrich your experience and explore the culture and history of Japan? The country is home to no less than 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including incredible castles, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. For more information on the history of Japan, check out our useful guide. Japan is also blessed with stunning wilderness and getting out of the bustling cities and into the countryside is a richly rewarding experience.

Rugby in Japan

Rugby has been played in Japan for over a century with the first recorded game taking place in Yokohama 1866. Rugby is fifth most popular team sport in Japan, with its popularity growing every year. There are currently over 125,000 registered rugby players in Japan and over 3,000 clubs.

The Home Side – ‘The Cherry Blossoms’

The Japanese national rugby team, known as the Cherry Blossoms, is currently ranked 10th in the world, having risen steadily through the ranks over the last 20 years. The team is famous for its fighting spirit and at the last World Cup in 2015, they beat South Africa 34–32 in their opening match, producing arguably the biggest shock in the history of professional rugby union. Expect to see big performances in front of the home crowd from this passionate and ambitious team.

Unique Japan Tours is a leading global Japan Travel Specialist company. Our team of Japan Travel Specialists are ready to plan an unforgettable trip for you or your clients.  All of our tours begin and end in Japan which means it doesn’t matter where you come from, we will take care of your needs once you land inside Japan. So allow us plan a unique Japan experience for your Rugby 2019 Tour.