Blog Archives

2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan

Hello from Taipei, where I recently arrived back after a month in Japan for the Rugby World Cup while running my website Rugby Guide Japan (archived here), and before that a month seeing family back home (though I likely won’t blog that up as it mostly consisted of hospital visits and sadly a funeral).

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Rugby Guide Japan Archive

This is the main navigation page for my old website Rugby Guide Japan, which was a guide to help rugby fans visiting Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Following the end of the tournament I took the website down, but archived the useful content here either in its original form,

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Japan Sightseeing Guide

Todaiji, Nara

Tokyo obviously has more than plenty to see & do in its own right, and you can easily fill your free time between events (see here). But if you have a few days spare between, before, or after your events, why not visit some of Japan’s other sights and cities?

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Japan Transportation Guide


Transportation Within Tokyo

You’ll mostly travel by train within Tokyo (and probably any other cities you visit), with the majority of Olympic venues easily walkable from their nearest train station (though there are a few outliers which will presumably have shuttle buses provided from the nearest stations).

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Japan Autumn Colours Guide for the Rugby World Cup

Buddha statue and autumn colours at Osorezan, Aomori

This post originally appeared on my Rugby Guide Japan website (which is archived here if you want to check it out), providing information for rugby fans attending 2019 Rugby World Cup matches in Japan. But obviously autumn is still autumn regardless of whether there’s a World Cup taking place,

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Tokyo 2020: how to get online in Japan

Despite the high tech reputation (or perhaps due to it), first time visitors to Japan may be surprised to find things actually more analogue than they’re used to at home. Cash is king, and subway tickets are paper stubs; until very recently it was also quite frustrating to get online as a short-term visitor,

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics: useful links & resources

Where to Stay

In my experience Agoda is best for booking hotels in Japan, with free cancellations and they’ll price match if you see a better rate elsewhere. For recommendations on specific areas to stay in see here

Search Agoda for the best deals on 

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The Quest for Michelin Starred Ramen in Tokyo

Tan tan noodles at NakiryuNakiryu’s tan tan noodlesBlack truffle soba at TsutaTsuta’s black truffle soba

An oft-quoted fact in media travel & food articles about Tokyo is that the Japanese capital has more Michelin stars than any other city on earth. This is often presented as something of a surprising statistic, but of course given the massive size of the city and the fantastic food available in Japan (both Japanese cuisine and French,

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Tokyo Quick Guide

Kabukicho's Godzilla head

Where to Stay for the Tokyo Olympics

For the majority of events it’s best to stay somewhere in central Tokyo. Agoda’s usually best for hotels in Japan – click on each area name to search it on Agoda:

All things considered, Shinjuku is probably the best call,

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Kyoto Quick Guide

Kinkakuji, the Golden Temple, Kyoto

If you’re in Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and looking for one other city to visit between events or just for a bit of sightseeing while you’re in the country, Kyoto is the obvious choice. As Japan’s capital from the late 8th Century to the late 19th Century it’s a living treasure of ancient temples and a living repository of traditional Japanese culture,

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Hiroshima Quick Guide

Miyajima, Hiroshima

Hiroshima is known the world over for the atomic bombing it suffered in 1945, but it has since bounced right back and the city standing there today is perhaps the nicest and friendliest in all Japan. The A-bomb museum and Peace Park are sobering reminders of what happened there and remain the main things to see in town,

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Yokohama Quick Guide

Yokohama Minato Mirai

Yokohama’s often overlooked as just another part of the Greater Tokyo sprawl, but it’s a great city in its own right and with its own character. Yokohama International Stadium (see here) is being used for Olympic football matches (including the men’s final) and Yokohama Stadium (a different stadium!) will host the Olympic baseball &

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Sapporo Quick Guide

View of Odori Park from Sapporo TV Tower

Sapporo’s the main city on Japan’s far northern island of Hokkaido, and comfortably the largest Japanese city north of Tokyo despite being in by far the least densely populated part of the country (leaving the rest of the island very sparse). It’s a long way from the capital,

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Osaka Quick Guide

“Cheap and yummy – that’s Osaka!”
– my good friend Hiro, a true Osakan

Glico Running Man at Dotonbori, Osaka

Osaka is the focal point of a sprawling conurbation (with Kobe and Kyoto) which forms the heart of the Kansai region and is Japan’s largest urban area after Tokyo.

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Kobe Quick Guide

This page originally appeared on my Rugby Guide Japan website, providing information for rugby fans attending 2019 Rugby World Cup matches at Kobe Wing Stadium. It may still be useful for future visitors to Kobe, so I’ve moved it here after taking the rugby site down.

Kobe waterfront

The sprawling conurbation of Osaka,

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Nagoya Quick Guide

This page originally appeared on my Rugby Guide Japan website, providing information for rugby fans attending 2019 Rugby World Cup matches at Toyota Stadium. It may still be useful for future visitors to Nagoya, so I’ve moved it here after taking the rugby site down.

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Fukuoka Quick Guide

This page originally appeared on my Rugby Guide Japan website, providing information for rugby fans attending 2019 Rugby World Cup matches at Level 5 Stadium. It may still be useful for future visitors to Fukuoka, so I’ve moved it here after taking the rugby site down.

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Yokohama International Stadium

Yokohama International Stadium

This beast certainly isn’t the prettiest stadium in Japan, but it is the biggest. The home stadium of Yokohama F Marinos FC, Yokohama International Stadium has a capacity of 72,300 and played a major role in both the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

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Kobe Wing Stadium

Kobe Misaki Stadium aka Kobe Wing Stadium

Still popularly known by its former name of Kobe Wing Stadium, Kobe Misaki Stadium is home to Vissel Kobe (football J1) and Kobelco Steelers (rugby union Top League), so while not a dedicated rugby stadium it does see regular rugby and was therefore a logical choice for the Rugby World Cup.

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Ecopa Stadium, Shizuoka

Shizuoka Ecopa Stadium

Shizuoka Prefecture’s 50,000 seat Ecopa Stadium opened just before the 2002 FIFA World Cup (hosting 3 games), and as the prefecture’s biggest stadium is used as a part-time home ground by both main Shizuoka teams (the nearby Jubilo Iwata, and Shizuoka City based S-Pulse). It’s also sometimes used by the Brave Blossoms for home international test matches,

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