Japan 2019 Guide for Australia Fans

For Aussie fans the pool schedule takes you from one end of the country to the other, with matches on the northernmost and westernmost islands (Hokkaido and Kyushu) either side of one in Tokyo, then a match in Shizuoka, and then assuming Australia get through you have to go all the way back to Kyushu again for the quarterfinal and then back to Tokyo/Yokohama for the last 2 matches:

v Fiji 21st September, Sapporo

v Wales 29th September, Tokyo

v Uruguay 5th October, Oita

v Georgia 11th October, Shizuoka

QF 19/20th October, Oita

If you attend all of those you’ll be covering a lot of ground, which gives you great scope for mixing some sightseeing in with your rugby (see here for ideas) but a fair bit to deal with logistically, probably requiring a few domestic flights in combination with the bullet trains.

You probably want to start by flying into Sapporo for what should be an epic opening weekend (England play Tonga in Sapporo the following night and it isn’t a huge city so things should be lively). From there (if attending all matches) what I’d probably do is get a 21-day JR Pass which just about covers all the travel for the pool matches; between Sapporo and Tokyo you can travel through the Tohoku region (see here), possibly even stopping off in Kamaishi where Fiji play Uruguay on September 25th. Then from Tokyo you’d have a week to get to Oita, so you could visit Kyoto for a few days and Hiroshima; then after the Uruguay match there’s 6 days to make the backtrack to Shizuoka, so you could stop in Osaka on the way through.

If you hold off on activating your JR Pass until a few days after the Sapporo match then it’ll give a couple of days left after the Shizuoka match so you can use it to get back to Tokyo. Then you could just fly to Oita and back for the quarterfinal.

If you take Shizuoka out of the equation, you could also just get the 14-day JR Pass to do Sapporo-Tokyo-Oita, then fly for your remaining travel.

If you’re not going to Sapporo you only have to deal with Tokyo and western Japan and can comfortably cover it with the 14-day JR Pass.

Useful Links

Click the banner to pre-order your JR Pass and save 40 dollars:

JR pass banner

Check train times on Hyperdia (see here for an explanation on how to use it)

Search Agoda for hotels in Sapporo, in Tokyo, in Shizuoka, in Oita

How to get online in Japan

Check out the Japan pages on my travel blog


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