Asakusa Batting
Stadium, Tokyo
A SPORTING CHANCE
In 2019, rugby fans have a special opportunity to tour Japan’s sporting and cultural atractions.

TOKYO

Tokyo is one of the world’s most massive and unique cities—giving rugby visitors in 2019 the enviable chance to explore all the urban landscape has to offer.

Outside of matches at Tokyo Stadium and the nearby International Stadium Yokohama, you’ll fi nd no shortage of places to refuel. Restaurants like So Tired, a New York-style Cantonese diner, exemplify the local fl air for fusing the best of Western culture with local traditions. On the seventh floor of the Shin-Marunouchi building right near the Imperial Palace, it boasts a magnifi cent view of the historic Tokyo Station.

And to keep up your sporting enthusiasm, indulge in Japan’s favourite sport, baseball, at Asakusa Batting Stadium. You and your friends can enjoy batting and pitching practice with rewards offered for perfect scores. The charmingly retro setting will make you feel like a teenager again, and you can even play classic arcade games including “Street Fighter II”.

OITA AND SAPPORO

Oita, a coastal city on the island of Kyushu, is another appealing place to visit for rugby matches in 2019. There, you can immerse yourself in history by checking out the Usuki Stone Buddhas, carved into the side of a cliff during the 12th century. Sixty-one of these enchanting and mysterious sculptures have been designated national treasures, and are now being preserved so that future generations can continue to enjoy them.

In host city Sapporo, on the northern island of Hokkaido, take time out from the excitement of rugby for a smooth, relaxing drink at the Chitosetsuru Sake Museum, owned and operated by the city’s only local sake brewery. First, try a sample from the recommended selections on offer, then choose a delicious souvenir of your visit to Japan to take home.

Usuki Stone Buddhas, Oita
Chitosetsuru Sake Museum, Sapporo

GETTING THERE

Airports in major cities worldwide have multiple flights to Tokyo each day. Domestic flights to Oita and Sapporo depart from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, taking around 90min to either destination. Travellers with extra time can take the shinkansen (bullet train), enjoying views of towns and cities amid beautiful, mountainous landscape. Japan’s transport system is the envy of the world, and getting between host cities for rugby matches is a breeze.