Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

A guide to England’s Rugby World Cup venues in Japan

Posted on 20 January 2019 by Yuichiro Hiramitsu

The Rugby World Cup takes places in Japan come September 2019 and the venues spread throughout the country. So rugby fans will have an opportunity to visit not only Tokyo, but also cities such as Hokkaido and Oita.

And, luckily, the England team will play in cities that stretch from north to south. Here is the schedule of the event.

England play in Sapporo for their opening match and then move to Kobe. After that, they stride into the Japanese capital Tokyo and play in Yokohama, right next to Tokyo, for their last match in Pool C.

Whether they are winners or runners-up in the group stage, if they proceed to the knockout stage, they will head south and play in Oita. The games in the semi-finals, third-place playoff and final will take place either in Tokyo or Yokohama.

Each city has its own features. One, for example, is famous for seafood and another for beef. One city has many temples and another hot springs.

So, if you’re planning to visit japan, your experience gets richer if you carefully research the cities that you will explore.



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  • Precipitation; 9 days

Sapporo is located in the northern island and is very famous for nature. Therefore, food is magnificent — they have a wide variety of seafood because there are several points where the ocean currents bump into each other and the currents bring many kinds of seafood with them.

In September, Japanese salmon and scallops are in season. Apart from that, Lamb BBQ (called Genghis Khan) is also famous, not to mention sushi and seafood rice bowls.

Photo credit/Pixabay/chaos_sun

Visitors will be able to see coloured leaves in Sapporo and attend ‘Sapporo Autumn Festival,’ where they can eat the locally famous food in late September.

Sapporo is also famous for beer; indeed ‘Sapporo’ is a name of a beer brand. People who are fond of drinking beer can join the Sapporo beer brewery tour. If interested, click here.



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  • Precipitation; 9 days

Kobe is located in the middle of the main island in japan. And even in the late September, it can be hot.

Kobe is one of the prosperous cities in the Kansai area, where food made of flour is very famous, namely, Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) and Takoyaki (Octopus ball).

Moreover, they have a well-renowned beef, Kobe beef. There are many teppanyaki (hot-plate) restaurants in kobe and in the restaurants, the locally famous food and wagyu beef — or kobe beef if it’s more expensive — are served. It’s a must to go.

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Kobe has a very popular hot spring called ‘Arima Onsen.’ Also, there is a shrine called ‘Ikuta Shrine,’ where people can buy amulets known for tightening a relationship.

Kansai area — in which Kobe is located — has other famous cities such as Osaka and Kyoto and these cities have even richer cultures.

Considering the England team will have eight days until the next game, it might be a good idea to explore other cities in the area before heading back to Tokyo.



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  • Precipitation; 9 days

Tokyo is the capital of japan with a population of over ten million.

Because of the recent upsurge in Japanese culture, tourists are everywhere in Tokyo. Therefore, visitors can find English signs and menus and people in Tokyo at least try to communicate in English as long as you start talking to them first.

As for sightseeing, Tokyo has a well-known temple and shrine, which are Senso-ji and Meiji-shrine respectively. These are loaded with Japanese people and tourists, which makes the atmosphere unique.

After going to these crowded places, it’s good to visit Sinjuku-Gyoen — a big garden — and Yoyogi Park. This is Tokyo’s version of Central Park in New York — people go and just lie on the grass to relax.

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When it comes to food, this metropolitan city has a huge fish market called ‘Toyosu Market’ and around the market there are a lot of sushi restaurants to experience authentic, fresh sushi.

As the centre of Japan, it attracts everything and everyone, so travellers can find virtually any kind of cuisine. Make sure to try various types of food, instead of sticking to sushi restaurants as tempting as that may be.


Yokohama is located right next to Tokyo and it takes just over 30 minutes by local train from there. So, the weather is quite similar.

This coastal city is quite amazing if you like noodles and there is a Ramen Museum and an Instant Noodle Museum. In the Ramen Museum, customers can try a small amount of many kinds of ramen, so they can find their favourite flavour.

In addition, Yokohama has a big china town and there are many Chinese restaurants geared towards Japanese locals.

Not only the restaurants, but the atmosphere of the town is very enigmatic, so it is worth walking around.

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Yokohama also has a beautiful garden called Sankeien. If you feel like taking a rest after eating a lot, this garden might be the best place.



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  • Precipitation; 6 days

Oita is located in a southern island called Kyushu. This island has plenty of hot springs and Oita is especially famous for them. Many Japanese people go to Oita only to sample the hot springs. Out of so many, Beppu-Onsen and Yufuin-Onsen are known nationwide.

Around the hot springs you can find Ryokan — a traditional Japanese inn — where you can enjoy both hot springs and traditional Japanese cuisine.

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In Oita, Chicken tempura is popular and the local people claim to have invented it. Compared to fried chicken, it is somehow crispier.

Blowfish is also popular here, so people who like hot pot should try it with blowfish in Oita.

Featured photograph/Pixabay/12019