This fall, lovers from all over the world will descend upon Japan for the 2019 Rugby Global Cup, the primary time the match will likely be held in Asia. With venues unfold around the nation, the five-week-long match supplies a possibility to look numerous points of interest in Japan. Suits will likely be performed in main towns like Tokyo and Osaka, however the less-traveled host towns like Kamaishi, Kumamoto and Fukuroi be offering available, captivating locations — in addition to particular offers and occasions — that give guests the danger to enjoy Japan off the overwhelmed trail.
Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture
In March 2011, the scenic metal the city of Kamaishi misplaced greater than 1,100 citizens within the tsunami that adopted the Nice Tohoku Earthquake; it’s the most effective host town at once suffering from the crisis. With deep ties to the game via its famed Northern Ironmen membership, the city has embraced rugby as a part of its crisis restoration efforts, together with building in 2018 of the 16,000-seat Kamaishi Restoration Memorial Stadium.
“We want to display guests the restored symbol of [the Tohoku region] and bring our gratitude as a number town of the Rugby Global Cup,” mentioned Yoshinao Takahashi, a public members of the family authentic with the town’s Rugby Global Cup 2019 promotion headquarters.
When now not taking in rugby suits, guests can discover the city’s forested mountain setting. The Kamaishi Phase of the 700-km Michinoku Coastal Path winds during the the city, making for a versatile, reduced impact day go back and forth that we could hikers soak up each the historical past and herbal wonderful thing about the world.
The Kamaishi Iron and Metal Museum (Grownup admission: 500 yen, or $four.50) strains the city’s commercial historical past and offers a captivating facet go back and forth with perspectives of the encircling Kamaishi Harbour.
Guests to Kamaishi will have to additionally stay a watch out for the rugby-themed “Scrum Iwate Fifteen” educate. Offered previous this summer season, the educate is embellished with 35 yura-chara mascots from throughout Iwate Prefecture and is scheduled to run at the Sanriku Railway line via June.
WHERE TO STAY Conventional Eastern lodges — ryokan — in Kamaishi and within reach cities are a very good alternative to enjoy the famed hospitality of the area. With autumn temperatures within the mid-70s, Kamaishi, and Iwate Prefecture as an entire, additionally be offering an abundance of campsites for the ones looking for extra rustic lodging.
Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture
Within the southern reaches of Japan, Kumamoto — considered one of 3 host towns at the island of Kyushu — is most likely very best identified for its well-known endure mascot, Kumamon. However the town has extra to supply than its endlessly cheerful avatar.
Town is house to the 15th-century Kumamoto Citadel, considered one of Japan’s “giant 3” castles (in conjunction with Himeji Citadel and Matsumoto Citadel). The advanced was once broken in a sequence of earthquakes in 2016, however guests in October can see the fort and its grounds shut up when the city officers open a close-by plaza.
Lately, Kumamoto has quietly advanced a name as a must-visit for foodies. Kumamoto ramen specifically, with its trademark thick noodles and distinct garlic taste, is a well-liked draw. Town could also be one thing of a meat-lovers paradise, identified for its akagyu crimson Wagyu red meat and immaculately raised beef.
For the ones in search of a quiet respite between raucous rugby suits, the calming Suizenji Jojuen Lawn (Grownup admission: (¥400, or $three.75) is a nice 17th-century lawn and pond positioned within the middle of Kumamoto.
WHERE TO STAY Kumamoto’s distinctive geography leads to exceptionally blank groundwater, and the town is relatively happy with having mineral water on faucet. Past consuming water, this herbal useful resource additionally makes for very good sizzling spring motels. The mountainous Aso Area surrounding Kumamoto provides many such onsen motels, such because the Sanga Ryokan, with conventional accommodation and two open-air sizzling springs.
Fukuroi, Shizuoka Prefecture
Positioned midway between Tokyo and Osaka, Shizuoka Prefecture is most likely very best referred to as house to Mt. Fuji in its jap area. However its western area, the place Furukoi lies, isn’t with out its charms.
As the previous seat of the tough Tokugawa Shogunate, the world has a deep historical past. Guests can stroll the ornate grounds of the 15th-century Kasuisai Temple, rebuilt and named through the previous Shogun, and partake in a Shojin-ryori — a conventional Buddhist vegetarian meal — or a Zen meditation consultation.
Town and its surrounding areas are referred to as a best manufacturer of inexperienced tea in Japan, generating about 40 p.c of the rustic’s crop. A modest trek from the town at Grinpia Makinohara, visitors can pick out tea leaves within the plantations lush fields, with excursions running from April via early October (Grownup admission: ¥820 or $7.60). Tea-making workshops also are introduced on web page, as is a loose excursion of the Grinpia manufacturing facility.
WHERE TO STAY As a part of its venture to supply guests with an unique style of the town, Fukuroi is providing a novel homestay program for global visitors all over the Rugby Global Cup. Guests can observe for three-day, two-night homestay programs with host households within the town (¥27,400 or $258 in keeping with individual), in addition to numerous non-compulsory cultural actions and excursions with their host households.
The Japan Rail Move supplies probably the most sensible approach to achieve the extra far-flung host towns of the Rugby Global Cup. Bought through the Japan Railways Staff in 7-, 14- or 21-day increments, and to be had most effective to overseas passport holders, the Rail Move provides limitless shuttle on native JR strains in addition to many of the nation’s famed shinkansen bullet-trains.