2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan: Travel guide

Although it is still over a year away, rugby fans around the world are already looking forward to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. It is the first time in the event’s history that it will take place outside the traditional heartland of the sport, and the first time it will be held in Asia.

The 6-week tournament will kick off on September 20 and will finish with the final on November 2 in Yokohama Stadium. The fixtures will be played in twelve stadiums around Japan, providing rugby fans with the perfect excuse to visit a fascinating and unique country.

Japan 2019 will be the ninth Rugby World Cup. The first ever competition was joint-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, two of Rugby’s giants, in 1987. Japan’s record may be more modest, but they will always be remembered for causing one the biggest upsets in the sport’s history. Incredibly, they beat South Africa 34-32 in the 2015 World Cup in England.

2019 Rugby World Cup dates

The world cup will take place over a six-week period from September 20 to November 2. As the summer months may be uncomfortably hot in Japan, the temperatures in autumn are much more suitable for holding a sporting event, and also make for a great opportunity to enjoy the fall foliage!

  • Group matches: September 20 to October 13
  • Quarterfinals: October 19 and 20
  • Semifinals: October 26 and 27
  • Bronze final: November 1
  • Final: November 2

Where to buy tickets

The official supporter tour packages are already on sale. Fans can purchase them through official travel agents. The packages will vary in price and what is included. They will generally include a combination of match tickets, travel, and accommodation.

Tickets will go on general sale in September 2018, a year before the tournament starts. Fans will need to apply for tickets on the official website of the tournament.  Fans can already ready register by creating an account on the website.

There will be a ballot system for oversubscribed matches. Japanese rugby fans have a window of opportunity to buy tickets before they go on general sale.

Getting around Japan

Rugby fans can certainly take advantage of buying the Japan Rail Pass in advance of their trip. The pass offers team supporters unlimited access to the Japanese bullet trains (Shinkansen) which run between all the major cities including Tokyo and Yokohama.

The JR Pass also provides access to all the other Japan Rail national trains, buses, ferries, and airport transfers to international airports like Haneda, Narita and Kansai (Osaka).

The Japanese bullet trains are the are the fastest way to get around Japan. They can reach a speed of 320km/h (199mph) and there are nine lines which take you all around Japan.

2019 Rugby World Cup venues

The twelve stadiums will take traveling fans between 12 fantastic locations around Japan.

The opening match will be held at Tokyo Stadium and the final will take place at the International Stadium, Yokohama. Here are the key facts about the 12 stadiums of the Rugby World Cup 2019.

2019 Rugby World Cup venues
StadiumLocationCapacityNearest train station
Sapporo DomeSapporo41.410Sapporo (Hokkaido-Shinkansen Line)
Kamaishi Recovery Memorial StadiumKamaishi16.187Kamaishi (Kamaishi Line and Sanriku-Minamiriasu Line)
Kumagaya Rugby StadiumKumagaya24.000Kumagaya (Hokuriku-Shinkansen Line and Joetsu-Shinkansen Line)
Tokyo Stadium (Ajinomoto Stadium)Tokyo49.970Tobitakyu Station (Keio Line)
International Stadium (Nissan Stadium)Yokohama72.327Kozukue Station (Yokohama Line) or Shin-Yokohama Station (Tokaido-Sanyo
Shinkansen)
Shizuoka Stadium EcopaShizuoka50.889Aino Station (Tokaido Line)
City of Toyota StadiumToyota45.000Toyota-Shi Station (Meitetsu-Mikawa Line) or Shin-Toyota Station
(Aichikanjo Tetsudo Line)
Hanazono Rugby StadiumHigashiosaka (Osaka)30.000Higashi-Hanazono Station (Kintetsu-Nara Line)
Kobe Misaki StadiumKobe30.132Misakikoen Station (Kaigan Line) or Wadamisaki Station (Kaigan Line or
Wadamisaki Line)
Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium (Level Five
Stadium)
Fukuoka22.563Fukuokakuko Station (Kuko Line)
Kumamoto StadiumKumamoto32.000Hikarinomori Station (Hohi Line)
Oita StadiumOita40.000Takio Station (Hohi Line)


International Stadium Yokohama
The Nissan Stadium of Yokohama (formerly International Stadium) will host the Rugby World Cup final on November 2, 2019

World Cup 2019 fixtures

The format of the 2019 Rugby World Cup will be the same as the last four competitions. Twenty teams will be divided into four pools of five teams. The top two teams from each pool with qualify for the knockout stages.

Group stage

Pool APool BPool CPool D
IrelandNew ZealandEnglandAustralia
ScotlandSouth AfricaFranceWales
JapanItalyArgentinaGeorgia
RussiaNamibiaUnited StatesFiji
SamoaCanadaTongaUruguay

Quarterfinals (October 19-20)

  1. Winner of Pool C VS Runners-up of Pool D. 19 October 2019 at 16:15 JST in Oita Stadium.
  2. Winner of Pool B VS Runners-up of Pool A. 19 October 2019 at 19:15 JST in Tokyo Stadium.
  3. Winner of Pool D VS Runners-up of Pool C. 20 October 2019 at 16:15 JST in Oita Stadium.
  4. Winner of Pool A VS Runners-up of Pool B. 20 October 2019 at 16:15 JST in Tokyo Stadium.

Semi-finals

  1. Winner of Quarterfinal 1 VS Winner of Quarterfinal 2.  26 October 2019 at 17:00 JST in Yokohama Stadium.
  2. Winner of Quarterfinal 3 VS Winner of Quarterfinal 4.  26 October 2019 at 18:00 JST in Yokohama Stadium.

Bronze final (November 1)

Loser of Semifinal 1 VS Loser of Semifinal 2. 1 November 2019 at 18:00 JST in Tokyo Stadium.

Final

Winner of Semifinal 1 VS Winner of Semifinal 2.

The final will take place in the International Stadium of Yokohama on November 2, at 18:00 JST (UTC +09).

 

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