Rugby & Japan. Lead up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Now that the FIFA World Cup has ended, the world turns it eyes to the next big global sporting event, and that specific event will be taking place in Japan.

No, you’re a year early if you think it’s the Olympics which will be held in Tokyo in 2020. Before that we have the 2019 Rugby World Cup to look forward to. This will be the first time that a country in Asia will host the event as well as a country that is outside the traditional heartlands of the sport such as the British Isles or Australasia.

While Japan isn’t considered a big threat in the world of Rugby as a Tier 2 team, their spectacular win over former world cup winners South Africa in the 2015 world cup in cemented their place in the sport’s history and future.

Rugby first came to Japan as early as 1866 at its treaty ports such as Kobe and Yokohama, where the first trading western ships were allowed to dock and where sailors staged their own games.

The first Japanese participation in rugby is cited as 1899 when Keio University students were introduced to the game by Cambridge University graduates and English teachers Ginnosuke Tanaka and Edward Bramwell Clarke. They wished to give their students something worthwhile to practice during the autumn season and thus the first Japanese rugby team was born.

Fast forward one hundred years and Japan has set itself up as the unchallenged strongest rugby team in all of Asia having participated in every single rugby world cup since 1987.

Now thousands of fans and tourists will descend on Japan next year starting from the opening game of the tournament on September 20th. The tournament wont be Tokyo centred by any means as well with many cities from north to south in the country hosting matches.

The locations of the matches include Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Oita, Kumamoto, Kobe, Toyota, Fukuroi, Kumagaya and Kamaishi. And as of July 2018, excluding our hosts, the qualified countries include Argentina, Australia, England, Fiji, France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Russia, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Tonga, USA, Uruguay and Wales. Just 2 more spots are up for grabs, one for the African qualifying winners and one for the repechage play off winners.

For those looking for accommodation and travel to any of the above locations please get in touch with No.1 Japan Travel and we’ll be more than happy to help.


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