Koshien Stadium (Photo by Joshua Mellin)
Japan to host series of sporting events
In the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Japan will play host to a series of noteworthy sporting events taking place across the country throughout 2018 and 2019. Made famous on the world stage for baseball and sumo wrestling, the country offers a wide variety of events of interest to sports enthusiasts and active travelers, including:
Nippon Baseball Series – October 27, 2018
Considered by many to be Japan’s most popular sport, baseball was first introduced to the Japanese as a prep-school game by an American schoolteacher in the 1870s. Today, both Japan’s professional and high school leagues (or Kōshien) are extremely popular, drawing millions of fans from around the country. Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league has even been compared to the United States’ Major League; the league’s reigning champions, the Tokyo-based Yomiuri Giants, have been nicknamed “The New York Yankees of Japan.” The 2018 Nippon Professional Baseball series begins on October 27th and will take place in one of the many stadiums surrounding Tokyo. For more information and schedules, please visit: http://npb.jp/eng/
Cycling Shimanami Bike Tour – October 28, 2018
In October, approximately 7,000 cyclists from around the globe will come together for the Cycling Shimanami Bike Tour, Japan’s most famous cycling event. Known throughout the world as a “Mecca for Cyclists,” the Seto Inland Sea Shimanami Kaido is comprised of a handful of picturesque small islands. Unlike other cycling tours, the courses allow participants to travel from island to island via expressways and bridges. Participants will be matched with one of seven different courses based on their personal skill level and preferences. Throughout the tour, participants will enjoy major scenic attractions, including views of the Seto Inland Sea Shimanami Kaido. The tour will begin in Hiroshima at the Onomichi U2, a renovated warehouse and home to Hotel Cycle, a cyclist hotel with cycle-through check-in and café, bicycle shop, restaurant, bakery, bar and boutique. For more information, please visit: http://cycling-shimanami.jp/english/
Ōmato National Archery Competition, Kyoto – January 13, 2019
The Ōmato National Archery Competition is a special archery tournament held each year in Sanjusangen-do, a temple in eastern Kyoto, to commemorate the coming of age for young Japanese men and women. In celebration of their 20th birthdays, approximately 2,000 young adults from across Japan convene at the temple to participate in a contest of aim and skill. The yearly ritual is based on a traditional archery competition called the Tōshiya. After a master archer fires the first shot, the competition commences. Each contestant has two minutes to shoot two arrows at a target set 60 meters away; only those who manage to hit the target both times move on to the next round. Taking place from 9am to 3:30pm, the event is free and attracts many visitors every year. For more information and how to get there, please visit: https://www.japan.travel/en/spot/85/
Marathons Across Japan – January through March 2019
Between January and March of 2019, Japan will host a number of marathons all across the country. Taking place in late January, the Amakusa Marathon is just a 90-minute ferry ride from Goto Island, home of the newly appointed UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, the Hidden Christian Sites. Also taking place in January is the Ibusuki Marathon (January 13); after the marathon, runners can unwind at the beachfront Ibusuki onsen. Taking place in February 2019 is the Kita-Kyushu Marathon (February 17), the OSJ Amami Jungle Trail Marathon (mid-February), Ehime Marathon (February 10) and Kochi Ryoma Marathon (February 17). In March, runners can participate in the Tokyo Marathon (March 3), the Kagoshima Marathon (March 3), Yoron Marathon (early March) and Tokushima Marathon (late March).
Rugby World Cup – September through November 2019
First held in 1987, the Rugby World Cup is a men’s rugby tournament that takes place every four years, at which 20 of the top teams from across the globe participate. The Rugby World Cup is the world’s third largest sporting event after the Summer Olympics – which is also coming to Japan in 2020 – and the men’s soccer World Cup. From September through November 2019, the Rugby World Cup’s 48 matches will take place at 12 venues throughout Japan including Tokyo, Kumamoto, Yokohama and Sapporo. The tournament will kick off on September 20, 2019 at Tokyo Stadium and will conclude with a final match on November 2, 2019 at Yokohama Stadium in Kanagawa. For more information, please visit: https://www.rugbyworldcup.com/?lang=en
For more information, visit us on our Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+. To contact the New York office of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) directly, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-757-5641.
About Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)
As the official tourism board of Japan, JNTO is involved in a wide range of promotional activities to encourage international travelers to visit Japan. Through a variety of campaigns and initiatives, JNTO is inspiring more American travelers to visit Tokyo, Kyoto and beyond, and is raising awareness of Japan in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Julian Schnee at WEILL
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