Admittedly we might be a little late to the party, but with the Rugby World Cup kicking off in Japan last week we have suddenly got a dose of sporting fever and can’t wait to cheer on Farrell and co. as they travel around Japan. We suppose it does help that the matches are being held in some of our favourite destinations, which means we get to talk unashamedly about samurai swords, sake and sumo for a whole six weeks.
For those wanting to know more about the destinations our England team are visiting as they play, this is your ultimate guide to Japan’s host cities…
England vs Tonga
Sunday 22nd September, 11.15am - Sapporo Dome
We already know England have emerged victorious from this match and seeing the friendly, packed crowd has reinforced just how much we want to visit the northern island of Hokkaido. Fans there at the moment will be able to enjoy September’s ‘Autumn Fest’, a celebration of local food and craft beer, while those who travel during the coming months will be able to hit the powdery slopes as this is Japan’s premier skiing and snowboarding destination.
England vs USA
Thursday 26th September, 11.45am - Kobe Misaki Stadium
England will head south for their next match, to the main island of Honshu and the city of Kobe. Here fans will surely make the most of the abundant traditional sake breweries and, of course, sample the local speciality, Kobe beef. The city is also conveniently located near to Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan which is the home of geisha culture and many of the country’s most spectacular temples and shrines.
England vs Argentina
Saturday 5th October, 9am - Tokyo Stadium
Tokyo is a city that needs no introduction, its wacky and wonderful reputation precedes it and will not disappoint. Whether a couple or family, visitors will find plenty to see and do here, including taking in the city views from the top of the 634m high Tokyo Skytree and visiting the famous Sensoji temple. For a more immersive experience, we can even plan expert-led samurai sword lessons, sumo wrestling classes and manga drawing workshops.
England vs France
Saturday 12th October, 9.15am - International Stadium Yokohama
The team are staying close to Tokyo for the final (and oh so important) match of the group stages, playing in the port city of Yokohama which is just south along Tokyo Bay. Though the city itself has some attractions, such as the beautiful Sankeien Garden and its famously large and vibrant Chinatown, we would focus more time on exploring Tokyo. With fantastic street food and more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the world, fans won’t go hungry, and if you’re visiting for a special occasion we can make sure you have the best table in the house.
19/20th October, both 8.15am – both Oita Stadium
If our predictions are right we’re looking at England playing either Wales or Australia here. Either one is sure to be a good match, but what does the destination of Oita have in store for the fans? Located on the southern island of Kyushu this is chance to explore off-the-beaten-track and experience more traditional Japanese life by soaking in an onsen (hot spring bath) and staying in a Ryokan inn - complete with a futon bed and dinner at a low chabudai table.
The Final Push
Semi-Finals - 26/27th October, both 9am – both International Stadium Yokohama
The Bronze Final - 1st November, 9am – Tokyo Stadium
The Final - 2nd November, 9am - International Stadium Yokohama
Presuming we make it this far (everything crossed!) there is a strong chance that England will face the almighty All Blacks in the semi-finals. So, in an effort not to jinx what will no doubt be a tough match, we’ve grouped the remaining matches together. Luckily the England boys will remain based in and around Tokyo whatever the route of play, meaning we get to see more of the vibrant capital on our TV screens. It’s a win-win from us!
If all the rugby action has inspired you to follow in the footsteps of the teams, call one of our experts on 020 3613 5515 or make an enquiry online and let us plan your perfect luxury holiday to Japan.