Japan 2019 Guide for Ireland Fans

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!

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 Yokohama, in Shizuoka, in Kobe, in Fukuoka, in Tokyo

How to get online in Japan

Check out the Japan pages on my travel blog

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