Updated: February 27, 2019
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How to Enjoy The 2019 Rugby World Cup in Tokyo

The 2019 Rugby World Cup will be the 9th Rugby World Cup and is to be held in Japan from 20 September to 2 November. Here's how to make the most of it!

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Rugby In Japan

rugby2
Japan playing against England in 2018.
Rugby has been played in Japan for over a century, since 1866. Since then, Japan has amassed the fourth largest population of rugby union players in the world. There are 125,000 Japanese rugby players, 3,631 official rugby clubs, and the Japan national team is ranked 11th in the world.

This will be the first time the tournament is to be held in Asia, and Japan was chosen to host the seven weeks event. Twenty teams will be competing for the Webb Ellis Cup at various venues around Japan.

In this article, we'll talk about the main venues and what do to around them. Check it out!

Ajinomoto Stadium (former Tokyo Stadium)

The games will be held in various locations around Japan, but the opening ceremony and first game will be hosted at Ajinomoto Stadium, starting on September 20th.
The stadium is located only 30 minutes from Shinjuku Station via Keio Line to Tobitakyu Station.

Once you're in Chofu, there is plenty to see and to do around there too. Here are some suggestions!

Steak Hamburg & Salad Bar Ken

You just finished watching the game and now you're hungry! What could be better than...steak?
Located right inside the Ajinomoto Stadium compound, is the family restaurant Steak Hamburg & Salad Bar Ken. Ordering from chicken grill up to the sirloin steak, you'll get a whole variety of salad bar with it. The salad bar consists of all-you-can-eat rice, curry, salads, fruits, pancakes, and ice cream.
It's usually full after games, but worth the wait!

Suntory Brewery Musashino Factory

For beer lovers, there's nothing like a brewery tour! And the Suntory Brewery Musashino Factory's tour is for FREE! You just have to book a reservation (the site is only available in Japanese, unfortunately) to dive into the marvelous world of beer making, and of course, tasting!

Address: 3-1 Yasaki-cho, Fuchu 183-0025, Tokyo Prefecture
Nearest Station: Fuchu Station in the Keio Line

Kitaro Chaya

Finally, for a little Japanese culture, Kitaro Chaya!
Kitaro is a character from the Japanese manga "GeGeGe no Kitaro" by Shigeru Mizuki. He brought to life many yokai, supernatural creatures in Japan.
Kitaro Chaya is a homage to his little monsters, and in the shop you will find plenty of Yokai stationary, merchandise, and many documents related to Shigeru Mizuki. Go a little further into the shop and you will find a cafe. Take a break with a yokai ningyoyaki cake and matcha green tea!

Address: 5 Chome-12-8 Jindaiji Motomachi, Chofu, Tokyo 182-0017
Nearest Station: Fuda Station on the Keio Line

Nissan Stadium (former International Stadium Yokohama)

Nissan Stadium will be the second venue hosting the most games.
Located in Yokohama, you can get there via shinkansen in 30 minutes or 1 hour by train from Tokyo Station.
Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan and is the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture. Being highly populated, there's also plenty to do and eat, and see! Here's our selection!

Ramen Museum

Although ramen was originally introduced from China, its popularity burst in the late 1950s in Japan. So much so that a museum was created to honor this staple dish!
The Ramen Museum presents the history of ramen noodles in Japan, including the big success of instant ramen.
On the two basement floors, a replica of some streets and houses of Shitamachi was created (picture). Nine ramen restaurants can be found there, each featuring a ramen dish from a different region of Japan. It is totally worth a visit!
More information on the link below:

Minato Mirai

Minato Mirai, literally "future port" is Yokohama's iconic skyline. It's an office, entertainment, shopping and cultural area on Tokyo Bay. Many of Yokohama's best attractions are in this area.
There are many hotels, museums, shopping malls, an amusement park, a convention center, hot spring baths, a park, etc. There is also an overwhelming amount of delicious restos to try!
You could easily spend the day there wandering from attraction to attraction.

Nearest station: Minatomirai Station via Fukutoshin Line

Sankeien Garden

Sankeien Garden is a beautiful traditional Japanese garden. The garden was designed by a wealthy businessman who reconstructed historical buildings from places such as Kyoto in the garden. The park is huge and is a wonderful place for a stroll on a sunny day with a date.

[Opening Hours]
9:00-17:00

[Admission Fee]
Adults: 700 yen
Children: 100 yen
City Residents 65+: 200 yen

Shizuoka Stadium ECOPA

Shizuoka Stadium ECOPA will host 4 games during the World Cup, including Japan x Ireland on September 28th.
The best way to get there is by shinkansen from Shinagawa station to Aino Station. The trip takes about 2 hours.
Shizuoka is famous for being the home of the majestic Mt. Fuji. But besides hiking trips and contemplative moments, it has a lot more to offer!

Chojiya

How about eating at a museum-like restaurant? Chojiya is just that. They have been serving tororojiru (grated yam soup) for no less than 400 years.
In 1596 Shojiya Heikichi established this tea house in the post town of Mariko to serve the many travelers using the Old Tokaido Route from Edo/Tokyo to Kyoto.
The restaurant remains there and, although it is quite busy, it is definitely a worthwhile experience.

Hokkawa Onsen

After all the adrenaline from watching the games, you deserve some relaxing time.
Hokkawa onsen is especially famous for its closeness to the ocean. The waves crash on the beach only meters from the baths, and you can sit in hot water and contemplate the ocean and islands in the distance.
For ¥600 per adult, one can enjoy the Onsen from dawn to dusk. Between 7 pm to 9 pm, the baths are exclusively for women. The rest of the time you can enjoy with your partner!

Address: Hokkawa, Higashiizu-cho, Kamo-gun 413-0302, Shizuoka Prefecture

Gotemba Premium Outlets

Now if you feel like doing some serious shopping while viewing Mt. Fuji up close, get your wallet and run to Gotemba Premium Outlet!
Featuring more than 200 high-end shops, with brands like Balenciaga, Chloe, Prada, and Issey Miyake, this luxury outlet is one of the largest shopping centers in Japan.

Hope with this guide you can enjoy the Rugby World Cup and all the attractions each venue has to offer!
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