Exhilarating times in the game of Rugby Union are happening this September in Japan, with the 9th Rugby World Cup being held at various locations throughout the country. With its inaugural tournament held in 1987, the World Cup has grown significantly and is now an important fixture in the Rugby circuit, with the event held every 4 years.
This is a particularly exciting World Cup as it is the first time the tournament will be held in Asia, and it’s safe to say the land of the rising sun is eager to host the games, with a hope to bring more awareness to the game for Japanese people and to show off their hospitality to visitors and tourists.
Teams will get a chance to travel to various parts of Japan as they play, with the following stadiums being included:
- Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Osaka Prefecture, Higashiosaka City
- Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo
- Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Saitama Prefecture, Kumagaya City
- Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka City
- International Stadium Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama City
- Sapporo Dome, Sapporo, Hokkaido
- Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Iwate Prefecture, Kamaishi City
- Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka Prefecture
- City of Toyota Stadium, Aichi Prefecture, Toyota City
- Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe City
- Kumamoto Stadium, Kumamoto Prefecture, Kumamoto City
- Oita Stadium, Oita Prefecture
Us here in Niseko are very excited to see Sapporo Dome on the above list, as the island of Hokkaido will be on display for players and supporters alike to discover the stunning but often forgotten prefecture of Japan. Sapporo Dome will be hosting two big matches in the heats, with rugby giants Australia and Fiji going up against each other on September 21 and trans-continental rivals England and Tonga fighting it out the next day on September 22. The final match will be held in early November in Yokohama city, meaning we will see over a month of action as 20 teams representing every continent battle it out for the top spot, which was won by New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup in England.
If you’re planning a trip to Japan for the World Cup or are going to be in the country already around September/October, we recommend considering Hokkaido as a stop to experience a beautiful hidden side of Japan as Fall colours emerge and mountainous landscapes surround you alongside the action of these two huge Rugby Union matches. While you’re up in Japan’s island prefecture, check out Niseko, where the golden season is just as stunning as it’s famous snowy Winter.
Did you know that Japan is the country with the most Michelin starred restaurants? With over 200 in the relatively small archipelago, it’s a testament to the fact that the Japanese people take their food seriously and they do it well - really well. Niseko is no exception, with endless eateries utilizing the array of fresh local ingredients like seafood and farm fresh veggies to entice the taste buds. If you’re in Hokkaido for the World Cup, consider the short 2 hour trip to Niseko through gorgeous paddocks and stunning mountain ranges to a foodie heaven. Some highlights of the cuisine include Michelin starred Kamimura, the lively Abucha2 izakaya and a favourite of the late Anthony Bourdain, Rakuichi Soba.
Niseko’s multiple villages are collections of homely cottages, houses and apartments that have everything you need for a relaxing getaway. Whether you’re a solo traveller, couple or family, the forever-expanding village of Hirafu and its surrounding settlements have endless choice of rooms: want panoramic views? A large kitchen? Fireplace? There’s a comfortable space for every desire right at the base of Mt Niseko Annupuri. Fall also brings an ease of access in the close-knit village compared to the snowy Winter, with great amenities just walking distance from most accommodation in Hirafu: onsens, hiking, outdoor adventure activities, restaurants and bars are all a stone throw away. Attractive off-peak discounts also apply while the World Cup is on so be sure to check out our special offers if you’re looking to stay in Niseko this September/October.
When the snow is away - Summer activities is how to play! Aside from it’s world-famous powder, Niseko has a thriving green season, with heaps of activities to enjoy and take in the crisp, cool air of the Hokkaido mountains.
Golf is a popular sport that time of year, with 150 courses in Hokkaido, 3 of them are in Niseko and another 3 are less than an hour drive away. They feature challenging yet fun terrain with unbeatable views of the Annupuri mountain range and great post-game facilities.
Niseko is also a great place to bike ride, with wide roads, low traffic, pleasant weather and of course, the best views.
After a round of golf or a relaxing bike ride, you can spend the afternoon with friends and family over an outdoor BBQ where you can enjoy the scenery while feasting on incredible Japanese wagyu, pork, chicken and local vegetables.
If it’s a hot day you can head to the river and have a ball rafting down the rapids, team building with your group or making new friends along the way. Or if you’re more into relaxing activities try a yoga session on the sprawling green lawns with stunning Mt Yotei as your backdrop.
Niseko’s many onsens also run in Summer/Fall, so you can experience the mineral-rich geothermal waters with lush greenery around you and take the time to wind down and relax. Swimming in the crystal clear rivers of Niseko is also an incredible way to relax and cool off on a hot day, then taking in the warm sun on the rolling hills of the surrounding mountainous areas. Take the opportunity to gaze at the scenery from a vantage point by riding the Summer gondola and renting a lounge at the very top of Mt Niseko-Annupuri for a romantic afternoon.
There are endless reasons to make the trip to Niseko this September/October while experiencing the excitement of the 2019 Rugby World Cup - the only hard thing is deciding which activities you’ll do while in Hokkaido’s playground!
We’re honoured to have the Australian, Fijian, Tongan and English teams visit Hokkaido for their games and wish the Japan team the best of luck in this year’s tournament - 行け 日本!
You can see the full game schedule and locations below:
Japan v Russia
|20/09/2019||Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo|
|Australia v Fiji||21/09/2019||Sapporo Dome, Hokkaido|
|France v Argentina||21/09/2019||Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo|
|New Zealand v South Africa||21/09/2019||International Stadium Yokohama|
|Italy v Namibia||22/09/2019||Hanazono Stadium, Higashioska City|
|Ireland v Scotland||22/09/2019||International Stadium Yokohama|
|England v Tonga||22/09/2019||Sapporo Dome, Hokkaido|
|Wales v Georgia||23/09/2019||City of Toyota Stadium|
|Russia v Samoa||24/09/2019||Kumagaya Stadium, Kumagaya City|
|Fiji v Uruguay||25/09/2019||Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium|
|Italy v Canada||26/09/2019||Fukuoka Hakatonomori Stadium|
|England v USA||26/09/2019||Kobe Misaki Stadium|
|Argentina v Tonga||28/09/2019||Hanazono Stadium, Higashioska City|
|Japan v Ireland||28/09/2019||Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa|
|South Africa v Namibia||28/09/2019||City of Toyota Stadium|
|Georgia v Uruguay||29/09/2019||Kumagaya Stadium, Kumagaya City|
|Australia v Wales||29/09/2019||Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo|
|Scotland v Samoa||30/09/2019||Kobe Misaki Stadium|
|France v USA||02/10/2019||Fukuoka Hakatonomori Stadium|
|New Zealand v Canada||02/10/2019||Oita Stadium|
|Georgia v Fiji||03/10/2019||Hanazono Stadium, Higashioska City|
|Ireland v Russia||03/10/2019||Kobe Misaki Stadium|
|South Africa v Italy||04/10/2019||Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa|
|Australia v Uruguay||05/10/2019||Oita Stadium|
|England v Argentina||05/10/2019||Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo|
|Japan v Samoa||05/10/2019||City of Toyota Stadium|
|New Zealand v Namibia||06/10/2019||Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo|
|France v Tonga||06/10/2019||Kumamoto Stadium|
|South Africa v Canada||08/10/2019||Kobe Misaki Stadium|
|Argentina v USA||09/10/2019||Kumagaya Stadium, Kumagaya City|
|Scotland v Russia||09/10/2019||Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa|
|Wales v Fiji||09/10/2019||Oita Stadium|
|Australia v Georgia||11/10/2019||Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa|
New Zealand v Italy
|12/10/2019||City of Toyota Stadium|
|England v France||12/10/2019||International Stadium Yokohama|
|Ireland v Samoa||12/10/2019||Fukuoka Hakatonomori Stadium|
|Namibia v Canada||13/10/2019||Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium|
|USA v Tonga||13/10/2019||Hanazono Stadium, Higashioska City|
|Wales v Uruguay||13/10/2019||Kumamoto Stadium|
|Japan v Scotland||13/10/2019||International Stadium Yokohama|
|Winner Pool C v Runner Up Pool D||19/10/2019||Oita Stadium|
|Winner Pool B v Runner Up Pool A||19/10/2019||Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo|
|Winner Pool D v Runner Up Pool C||20/10/2019||Oita Stadium|
|Winner Pool A v Runner Up Pool B||20/10/2019||Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo|
|Winner Quarter Final 1 v Winner Quarter Final 2||26/10/2019||International Stadium Yokohama|
|Winner Quarter Final 3 v Winner Quarter Final 4||27/10/2019||International Stadium Yokohama|
|Loser Semi Final 1 v Loser Semi Final 2||01/11/2019||Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo|
|Winner Semi Final 1 v Winner Semi Final 2||02/11/2019|| |
International Stadium Yokohama