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Guide to the Rugby World Cup Japan, 2019

Guide to the Rugby World Cup Japan, 2019

Grab your jerseys and your tickets, rugby fans. For the first time in its 32-year history, the Rugby World Cup is taking place in Asia. From first kick-off on September 20 to the finals on November 2, fans from around the world will travel to watch matches in game locations all over Japan, from Sapporo in the north to Kumamoto in the south.

Twenty rugby teams from across Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa are competing for the championship over six weeks, with some of the most important matches of the international tournament being held in and around Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka.

Tokyo & Yokohama

Where and When: Stadiums and Match Dates

Tokyo Stadium (Ajinomoto Stadium)

Tokyo Stadium (Ajinomoto Stadium)

  • Japan vs. Russia (September 20 at 19:45 JST)
  • France vs. Argentina (September 21 at 16:15 JST)
  • Australia vs. Wales (September 29 at 16:45 JST)
  • England vs. Argentina (October 5 at 17:00 JST)
  • New Zealand vs. Namibia (October 6 at 13:45 JST)
  • Quarterfinals: Pool B winner vs. Pool A runner-up (October 19 at 19:15 JST)
  • Quarterfinals: Pool A winner vs. Pool B runner-up (October 20 at 19:15 JST)
  • Bronze Final: Semifinal loser 1 vs. Semifinal 2 loser (November 1 at 18:00 JST)

International Stadium Yokohama (Nissan Stadium)

  • New Zealand vs. South Africa (September 21 at 18:45 JST)
  • Ireland vs. Scotland (September 22 at 16:45 JST)
  • England vs. France (October 12 at 17:15 JST)
  • Japan vs. Scotland (October 13 at 19:45 JST)
  • Semifinals: Quarterfinal 1 winner vs. Quarterfinal 2 winner (October 26 at 17:00 JST)
  • Semifinals: Quarterfinal 3 winner vs. Quarterfinal 4 winner (October 27 at 18:00 JST)
  • Final: Semifinal winner 1 vs. Semifinal winner 2 (November 2 at 18:00 JST)

Kumagaya Rugby Ground, Saitama

  • Russia vs. Samoa (September 24 at 19:15 JST)
  • Georgia vs. Uruguay (September 29 at 14:15 JST)
  • Argentina vs. USA (October 9 at 13:45 JST)

Tokyo & Yokohama Area Highlights

Tokyo Robot Restaurant tour

Only 30 minutes apart by public transit, Tokyo and Yokohama pack a punch as Japan’s two largest cities. Both offer an enormous amount to see and do when you aren’t watching your team compete, from Tokyo’s robot cabaret shows and Toyosu Fish Market (formerly known as the Tsukiji Fish Market) to Yokohama’s port history and Chinatown, Japan’s largest. To unwind after some intense spectating, relax on a Sumida River cruise in the capital or take an after-dark spin on the colorful Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris wheel in Yokohama.

Recommended Things to Do in Tokyo

Activities to make the most of your trip.

Cultural Tours

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Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe

Where and When: Stadiums and Match Dates

Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Osaka

  • Italy vs. Namibia (September 21 at 14:15 JST)
  • Argentina vs. Tonga (September 27 at 13:45 JST)
  • Georgia vs. Fiji (October 2 at 14:15 JST)
  • USA vs. Tonga (October 12 at 14:45 JST)

Kobe City Misaki Park Stadium (Noevir Stadium Kobe)

  • England vs. USA (September 26 at 19:45 JST)
  • Scotland vs. Samoa (September 30 at 19:15 JST)
  • Ireland vs. Russia (October 3 at 19:15 JST)
  • South Africa vs. Canada (October 8 at 19:15 JST)

Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe Area Highlights

Osaka sake tasting tour

Both Osaka and Kobe are well-known for their food and nightlife—in Osaka, Japan’s second city, it’s the lively street food stalls and sake bars that draw crowds, while in Kobe, some travelers plan their entire trip to this port city around the steakhouses serving up tender Kobe beef. Plus, if you visit one or both cities, it’s easy to also make it out to nearby Kyoto, which epitomizes traditional Japanese culture with regular geisha sightings. Osaka must-sees include the Tenjimbashisuji shopping district and the city’s symbol, Osaka Castle.

Recommended Things to Do in Osaka and Kyoto

Experiences to maximize your time.

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Fukuoka

Where and When: Stadiums and Match Dates

Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium (Level5 Stadium)

  • Italy vs. Canada (September 26 at 16:45 JST)
  • France vs. USA (October 2 at 16:45 JST)
  • Ireland vs. Samoa (October 12 at 19:45 JST)

Fukuoka Area Highlights

Fukuoka city Japan - Viator.com

Waterfront Fukuoka sits in the north of Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost main island. Its warm climate, lesser-known status, and walkable neighborhoods make the Fukuoka Prefecture capital an ideal spot to catch a rugby game and explore beyond Japan’s biggest cities. Visit the Hakata neighborhood for world-famous Hakata-style ramen, hit the beach, or head out to some hot springs. The high-speed Kyushu bullet train runs north to south, connecting Fukuoka with Kumamoto and Kagoshima.

Recommended Things to Do in Fukuoka

Top activities for when you’re not at the pitch.

Shopping Tours
  • Fukuoka, Japan
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$103.00
Cultural Tours
Concerts & Special Events

Traveling Between Stadiums for Rugby World Cup 2019

Japanese Bullet Train

No matter who wins the cup, you’ll want to make sure you make it to the stadium before game time. All of the host cities are well connected by air, and pre-booked private airport transfers are a convenient option for visitors to Tokyo and Osaka.

Insider tip: It’s also possible to avoid air travel, save money, and still maximize time with the Japan Rail Pass, which must be purchased prior to arrival in Japan. Passes are available to foreigners with 7-, 14-, and 21-day validity, meaning they’re perfect for both sightseeing and traveling between World Cup sites, no matter how long you’re in Japan for the tournament.

Get Your Travel Passes

Be prepared for seamless travel around the country.

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Rail Tours
  • Tokyo, Japan
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$11.00