Your Guide to Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 ·

Your Guide to Rugby World Cup Japan 2019

With the 2019 Rugby World Cup just around the corner, it’s no surprise that the Land of the Rising Sun has been on the minds and bucket lists of travelers all over the world. Whether you’re traveling to Japan in 2019 for the Rugby World Cup or just crossing this incredible destination off of your bucket list, there are endless experiences to be had. Dive in for the ‘where to go,’ ‘what to see,’ and ‘what to do’ in these Ruby World Cup host cities and be sure to visit for in-depth destination information for all of the fabulous RWC host cities!


The capital of Japan’s northern most island of Hokkaido, Sapporo boasts an eclectic variety of sights and activities to entice any kind of traveler. The foodie traveler will enjoy a stroll through Sapporo’s bustling Susukino area, specifically the narrow avenue known as Ramen Yokocho where nothing but delectable ramen shops line the way. Beer lovers can visit Sapporo’s eponymous brewery where they can sample classic drafts as well as some exclusive brews only available in Hokkaido. The brewery museum’s adjacent Biergarten serves up mouthwatering “Genghis Khan” style BBQ that pairs gloriously with – you guessed it – Sapporo beer. Don’t forget to walk through the beautiful Odori Park where one can see iconic Sapporo landmarks such as the Sapporo TV Tower.

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Located roughly 90 minutes from Tokyo, the city of Toyota is most synonymous with the automobile brand that has made it a household name. Although the Toyota factory is a highlight and a definite must visit for any automobile enthusiast, Toyota and neighboring capital city Nagoya are important centers for art and history in this region of the country. Once the seat of the powerful Tokugawa Shogun, the restored Nagoya Castle is a national treasure and must-see, as is nearby Tokugawa Garden with its beautiful greenery, serene koi ponds, and stereoscopic rock garden. The Aichi Triennale, one of the largest contemporary art festivals in Japan, will be returning in 2019 and will feature artwork from over 80 different artists in exhibits in both Toyota and Nagoya cities and is not to be missed.

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Just 30 minutes west of Kyoto on the bullet train route, the energetic port city of Kobe offers so much more than just the succulent beef that made it famous. The lively Motomachi district located right near the port of Kobe is a shopper’s paradise and is connected to the city’s roughly 150 year old Chinatown, where some of the best Kobe beef restaurants can be found. A short train ride to the east will take you to the Nada district, Japan’s top producing sake region. Travelers can tour and taste their way through the Napa Valley of sake, visiting the breweries of sake giants like Hakutsuru as well as some smaller yet more venerable establishments like 350 year old Kikumasamune which doubles as a sake museum. Visitors looking for a stunning nightscape can take a ride up the Shin-Kobe Ropeway for a breathtaking panoramic port view. Sightseers in search of more verdant settings will enjoy hiking Mt. Rokko’s many trails which pass alpine botanical gardens and waterfalls along the way.

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Located on the eastern coast of Japan’s southernmost main island of Kyushu, Oita prefecture is known as hot spring heaven, which is ironic considering that it is also home to the iconic Seven Hells of Beppu – a name given to a tour of seven unique hot spring pools of varying mineral compositions and colors. When not luxuriating in the hot spring baths of famous resorts such as Beppu and Yufuin, you might try a bath of a different sort – sand bathing. For this popular spa treatment, guests don yukata robes and lie down in warm mineral rich sand which they are then buried in up to the neck for 15 minutes as the sand soothes aching muscles and increases blood circulation. Be sure not to miss the beautifully preserved castle towns of Usuki and Kitsuki for a walk back in time to the Edo period more than 200 years ago.

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