Ireland’s pool matches are spread across 20 days in 4 different cities, moving smoothly westwards from Yokohama to Fukuoka, and then all potential knockout matches back in Tokyo/Yokohama.
It’s actually pretty much the perfect itinerary for combining sightseeing with your rugby matches:
v Scotland 22nd September, Yokohama
v Japan 28th September, Shizuoka
v Russia 3rd October, Kobe
v Samoa 12th October, Fukuoka
QF 19/20 October, Tokyo
(click city names for venue guides)
Thanks to the steady progression from east to west, you can travel by train from host city to host city without any backtracking; between Shizuoka and Kobe you can stop in Kyoto for a few days, and between Kobe and Fukuoka you can stop in Hiroshima for a few days (and maybe jump off the train in Himeji for a few hours to check out the castle). There’s quite a long time between the last 2 games, so you could also take your time in Osaka/Kobe, perhaps get off the beaten path and check out Shikoku Island, or see a bit of Kyushu Island beyond Fukuoka like Mt Aso or the hot springs in Beppu.
The obvious way to handle the logistics is to get a 21-day JR Pass. If you leave Tokyo/Yokohama a few days after the Scotland match the pass will expire a couple of days after the Samoa match, meaning you can also use it to get back to Tokyo for the knockout matches.
Alternatively you could get a 14-day JR Pass, then if you stay in Tokyo/Yokohama until a day or 2 before the Japan match and don’t activate the pass until then, it’ll expire a couple of days before the Samoa match – so as long as you’re fine with arriving in Fukuoka a few days early and then flying back to Tokyo, the 14-day pass works too.
Given that Tokyo to Fukuoka via Kyoto/Osaka & Hiroshima is pretty much the classic 2 or 3 week itinerary for 1st-time visitors to Japan, Ireland fans can be pretty stoked with their match schedule. Enjoy!
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How to get online in Japan
Check out the Japan pages on my travel blog