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Rugby Legends Visit Japan

Three former rugby greats—Justin Harrison, Émile Ntamack, and Andy Gomarsall MBE—saw some of the best that Japan has to offer. Traveling from Hokkaido to Kyushu, they sampled regional cuisine, experienced time-honored cultural traditions, and witnessed the country's natural beauty.

Andy Gomarsall MBE

・Position: Scrum half

・Team: London Wasps, Gloucester Rugby, Harlequin Football Club etc.

・RWC Highlights: He played for England when the team won Rugby World Cup 2003 and went to the finals in Rugby World Cup 2007

Émile Ntamack

・Position: Center, wing, and fullback

・Team: Stade Toulousain

・RWC Highlights: He played for France in Rugby World Cups 1995 and 1999

Justin Harrison

・Position: Lock forward

・Team: Plus500 Brumbies, the New South Wales Waratahs, Ulster Rugby, and Bath Rugby

・RWC Highlights: He played for Australia in Rugby World Cup 2003

SAPPORO, 21 SEPTEMBER 2019

Justin

SAPPORO: Exploring the North

The first destination in Justin Harrison’s Japan Sports Journey was Sapporo in Hokkaido. He visited Odori Park, a famous sightseeing spot, and the verdant Moerenuma Park, and even tried jingisukan, one of Hokkaido’s famous dishes.

IWATE, 25 SEPTEMBER 2019

Justin

Iwate Adventures

Justin visited Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, to sample delicious local food and see some rugby action. He began his trip with a visit to the city of Tono then he moved on to the city of Kamaishi.

SAITAMA, 26 SEPTEMBER 2019

Justin

The Many Sides of Saitama

Justin Harrison visited Saitama. He started off in Kawagoe, where he tried eel and went for a stroll around the Edo period buildings of Kawagoe’s historical district. Then he visited Omiya, to go to the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum and the Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Shrine.

WEST-TAMA, 30 SEPTEMBER 2019

Justin

WEST-TAMA: Another Side of Tokyo

Justin Harrison left the city center in order to see a different side of Tokyo. He engaged in sumo wrestling. In West-Tama, which is known for its natural beauty, he visited dwellings and a 300-year-old ryokan, which have been designated as important cultural assets. He also canyoned.

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FUKUOKA, 3 October 2019

Émile

Great Food and Fascinating Culture in Fukuoka

Émile Ntamack visited to the city of Fukuoka, the largest city in Kyushu area. There, he enjoyed local cuisine and visited some of the popular tourist spots, including Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine.

OITA, 5 OCTOBER 2019

Émile

A Warm Welcome to Oita

Émile visited Oita Prefecture. In Beppu, a famous hot spring town, he saw the city’s famous colorful hot springs, known as “hells,” and had the chance to cook his own food using the power of hot spring steam. Then he moved on to the village of Yufuin, where he had various unique experiences, including looking out over the village from Jyumonjibaru Observatory, taking a ride in a rickshaw and visiting a 3D “trick art” museum.

KUMAMOTO, 7 OCTOBER 2019

Émile

The Natural Splendor of Kumamoto

Émile really enjoyed Kumamoto Prefecture. While he was there, he took a cycling trip to visit the young volcano, Mt. Komezuka. He also went on an adventure truck ride that took him past Asosanjo volcano, took a hike up to the summit of Mt. Kishimadake, and went for a ride on horseback. The next day, he dropped in at Kumamoto Castle and Suizenji Jojuen.

NAGOYA, 23 SEPTEMBER 2019

Justin

The Rich Tapestry of Nagoya

Justin visited Nagoya, a city in Aichi Prefecture known as an industrial powerhouse, a fascinating historical destination. There he enjoyed a variety of cultural activities, such as visiting Nagoya Castle and the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology.

SHIZUOKA, 9 OCTOBER 2019

Émile

Nature and History Meet in Shizuoka

Émile visited Shizuoka, where he learned about the prefecture’s history and cultural significance, and experienced some of the local cuisine and natural beauty. Highlights of his trip included a visit to Sumpu Castle, dropping in at Nihondaira Hotel, and taking a stroll around the theme park of Kakegawa Kachoen.

TOKYO, 10 OCTOBER 2019

Émile

Tokyo’s Modern and Ancient Culture

Émile visited Tokyo. Firstly he visited Meiji Jingu and then took time to explore youth culture at Takeshita Street and the Kawaii Monster Cafe. Moving on, he visited Japan Olympic Museum. Later, he checked out the high-tech wonderland, Akihabara.

YOKOHAMA, 17 OCTOBER 2019

Andy

Émile

Japan’s Soul Food and a Bayside Cruise in Yokohama

Travel just a short way south of Tokyo, and you’ll find Japan’s second-largest city—Yokohama. Long known as a port town, it now offers the perfect blend of tradition and modern convenience. Andy and Émile came through Yokohama on their journey through Japan to visit a museum dedicated to one of the country’s best-known foods, take in some of the city’s sites, and sample the nightlife.

TOKYO, 19 OCTOBER 2019

Andy

Émile

Tokyo, Face to Face

As the nation’s capital, it should come as no surprise that Tokyo offers a wealth of activities. Émile went for a stroll along the streets leading towards Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. Andy then joined Émile on a yakatabune, and Andy tried out some calligraphy lessons and got lost in the Mori Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless exhibition.

KOBE, 21 OCTOBER 2019

Andy

KOBE: A City Full of Variety

Kobe is the seventh largest city in Japan, located close to Osaka Bay and the impressive Mount Rokko. Famous for Kobe beef, over 100 Chinese restaurants and a maze of onsens, Kobe is full of things to see and do, and Andy indulged in all that the vibrant city had to offer.

OSAKA, 23 OCTOBER 2019

Andy

The Ins and Outs of Osaka

Andy visited Osaka. The heart of the second-largest metropolitan area after greater Tokyo, Osaka is beloved for its hearty street food and architecture—both modern and traditional. From eating at a Michelin three-starred restaurant to talking rugby with some high school students, Andy’s time in this bustling city was varied!