Rugby World Cup – Frequently Asked Questions

Prior to departure

When should I pay my balance?

The balance for your trip is due no later than 60 days before you depart. The easiest way to arrange payment is via our client portal at mytrip.insideasiatours.com.

When will I receive my Info-Pack?

Your Info-Pack will be sent out 3 weeks before your trip starts. It will also be made available electronically via our client portal where you can also download copies of all our Destination Guides.

When will my merchandise come? And what is in the merchandise pack?

The exclusive InsideJapan merchandise pack will consist of: InsideJapan rugby shirt, a cap, tote bag, bespoke umbrella, luggage tag, key ring and a pin badge. This is due to arrive at the lead passenger’s address in the first two weeks of August.

Do I need a visa to travel to Japan?

Visitors from the UK, US, Australia, Canada and many European countries do not need a visa to visit Japan. You can find a list of countries and regions that have visa exemption arrangements with Japan here: www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/novisa.html

If your country of residence (or your passport country) does not have an exemption arrangement, then you will need to apply for a visa through the Japanese Embassy in your country of residence.

A list of embassies can be found here: www.mofa.go.jp/about/emb_cons/protocol

Do I need any vaccinations to travel to Japan?

If in doubt, please contact a health professional up to six weeks prior to departure to see whether you need any vaccinations. Don’t forget to take out suitable travel insurance, ensuring that any adventure activities are covered. It is your responsibility to arrange your own travel insurance.

Packing

What will the weather be like?

Late September – November is one of the best times of year to be in Japan. Temperatures in Tokyo and Kyoto tend to be in the comfortable mid-twenties (a little hotter in September) – lovely conditions for sightseeing in between matches. You might want to bring a lightweight, folding umbrella if you have one but the moment it starts raining in Japan, you will see umbrellas on sale everywhere for as little as 100yen so there will be no trouble finding one! For more details about the weather in Japan, check out our When to Travel site: www.insideasiatours.com/when-to-travel.

What should I pack?

The usual travel essentials – money, passport, cash etc. For clothes, we would advise packing layers for this time of year – winter coats can stay at home, but a light jacket and a rain mac would a good idea, plus an umbrella. During the day, lightweight summer clothes should be ok. Your Info-Pack will include more of our top packing and luggage tips.

What travel adaptor do I need?

Japanese electrical plugs have two flat, non-polarised pins (as in North America), so you may need to bring a plug adapter for your camera, phone and any other electrical equipment. Plug adapters are widely available at international airports. USB adapters are easy to find at Japanese convenience stores.

Can I bring my medicine?

Japan has strict rules about taking prescription drugs and medication into the country; even some common cold remedies are not permitted. Contact the Japan Embassy in your country for the latest information.

You are permitted to take up to one month’s supply of a prescribed drug and two months of an over- the-counter drug into Japan without obtaining prior permission. If your medication is prescribed, we advise taking either a copy of the prescription or a letter from the doctor stating that the medication has been prescribed to you. It is also advisable to take the medication in the original packaging.
Any medication containing pseudoephedrine (i.e. Sudafed or Vicks inhalers) is not permitted as this is a banned substance in Japan. If the medication contains a narcotic like codeine or morphine, then you will need to obtain a different certificate.

Should I get a Wi-Fi device?

Free Wi-Fi is not readily available in Japan. Many hotels only offer wired internet connections, and although the cities appear to have ‘Wi-Fi zones’, they are for subscribers only and cannot be used on an ad-hoc basis. Similarly, although nearly all coffee shops and bars have Wi-Fi, it is nearly always a subscription service. We recommend hiring a “pocket” Wi-Fi device – speak to your Travel Consultant and they can arrange this for you.

Money Matters

Can I pay by card?

Cards are generally accepted at major department stores and in upmarket restaurants. However, Japan remains very much a cash-based society and you will have trouble using your cards in smaller shops and restaurants. We encourage our customers to carry cash with them and not rely on cards for making purchases especially outside of the bigger cities.

Where can I get cash?

The most reliable method of taking money out is at the Post Office cash machines or ATMs at branches of the Seven Eleven convenience store. You will need a 4-digit PIN number to do this. It is a good idea to let your bank at home know in advance that you will be using your card in Japan.

Japan has an 8% consumer tax (included in most displayed prices) and some small local taxes for restaurant bills exceeding 5000 yen and hotel bills.

How much money will I need?

Everybody spends a different amount when they visit. However, nearly everyone finds Japan a lot less expensive than they were expecting..
Eating out is very reasonable and as food is one of the biggest expenses (and pleasures!) when travelling, this helps to keep costs down. Local transport, which is generally NOT included in our packages is also inexpensive, with the highest fare on the Tokyo subway being just 310 yen (less than £2/$3.)
Entrance fees to shrines, temples and museums are also very reasonable, with most in the region of 200-500 yen. Occasionally you will need to pay as much as 1,000 yen, but this is not the norm.

As a rough guide we recommend taking around 3,000-6,000 yen (approx. £20-35/$25-50) per day in spending money. This should cover your meals, drinks, local transport and any entrance fees – assuming you eat at mid-range restaurants. You could easily spend a lot more if you chose to!
What this won’t cover are souvenirs and other purchases you may wish to make. Beer and drinks can also add up very quickly so if you like a tipple of an evening you may need to budget a bit more.

Is tipping expected in Japan?

For the most part, there is no tipping in Japan; leave change behind on a restaurant table and you may find yourself being chased down the road by staff desperate to return your ‘lost property’. However, there are some exceptions when it is nice to give a tip to thank someone for good service; for example, when your meal is served in your room in a ryokan or tipping a tour guide. If you would like to tip someone, hand the money over in a sealed small envelope.

If you are travelling on one of our Small Group Tours, you may like to tip your Tour Leader at the end of the trip.

Getting around

Do I need to make seat reservations on trains?

If you are travelling on a Japan Rail Pass, we strongly recommend that you make reservations for your journeys as soon as possible once arriving in Japan as there will be a lot of people travelling around the country during the tournament. Reservations are free and can be changed at any point prior to travel. If you miss your reservation, you can travel in the unreserved carriages instead but you will have to take your chances with everyone else. Bullet trains quickly lose their appeal when you have to stand in the vestibule for 2-3 hours. Recommended journey times and train details will be included in your Info-Pack.

Can I use my reserved seat train ticket on different departures?

If you cannot make the reserved departure, don’t panic! Your ticket will be valid on the unreserved cars of other departures on the same day. In most cases it will be possible to exchange your reservation for a different time as long as you do so before the reserved train departs.

Accommodation

Can I check-in early?

Hotels in Japan operate strict check-in policies so it is very unlikely that you will be able to check-in early. If you arrive early, the hotel will be happy to securely store your luggage for you whilst you go for a drink or explore the local area. If you are worried about not being able to access your room until check-in time, please get in touch and we can look into booking an additional night for you.

Food

Will Western food be readily available?

Absolutely – especially in the cities. In Tokyo, you’re never far away from a good Italian or steak. For hungry rugby fans, we wholeheartedly recommend the 2-foot long naan breads with a Japanese twist! Sandwiches are readily available in all convenience stores, along with other Western favourites. And after the USA, Japan has the highest concentration of McDonalds in the world, with almost all of them operating 24/7. Our Destination Guides will include all sorts of recommendations.

Can you recommend a restaurant/make a reservation for us?

We know that eating out is the highlight of any great holiday. The good news is that most restaurants in Japan don’t require a reservation. Our Destination Guides are full of recommendations that you can pop along to on the day leaving you with lots of flexibility during your holiday – take a look at these now via our client portal.

However, you may like to pre-arrange one or two special meals during your trip. If you are interested in making any reservations, please get in touch and we’d be happy to make some recommendations. Please note that it will be more difficult than usual to arrange these over this period and it is important to be aware that restaurants in Japan enforce very strict cancellation policies.

I’m vegetarian / vegan – what can I eat?

Dietary requirements (such as vegetarianism, gluten-free diets and even some allergies) are rare in Japan; largely due to the ubiquity of fish in the Japanese diet. But it’s not impossible! We will send you a bi-lingual dietary sheet with your Info-Pack which you can show to restaurant or hotel staff to avoid any misunderstandings.

Check out our handy guides to eating a vegetarian and/or vegan diet in Japan:
insidejapantours.com/blog/2015/07/03/being-vegetarian-in-japan-a-survival-guide
insidejapantours.com/blog/2018/04/10/5-top-tips-vegans-japan

In case of emergency

What if something goes wrong? Who can we contact?

Throughout your trip, you will have the support of English-speaking staff at our Japan office in Nagoya. Our Customer Support team will have full details of your trip itinerary and are only a phone call away in the unlikely event that you have any problems whilst you are in Japan. The Customer Support contact details will be provided in your Info-Pack.

Can I contact Customer Support by WhatsApp?

No, WhatsApp isn’t readily used in Asia. Customer Support can be contacted by phone or email.

Rugby Specific

Is rugby popular in Japan? Will it be busy?

Rugby is hugely popular in Japan and one of the fastest growing sports in the country. It is estimated that there are going to be 750,000 people attending this Rugby World Cup, so we can confidently say, it is going to be very busy!

When should I aim to get to the match?

Following the guidelines of the Rugby World Cup organisers, we are recommending that people get to the stadium about 2-3 hours prior to kick off as there will be lots of traffic (both vehicle traffic and foot traffic). For all clients who have booked with us, we will provide precise matchday travel information in your Info-Pack.

Can I have a private transfer to stadiums?

This is not possible due to the volume of traffic expected on matchday. There is also no guarantee that drivers will be allowed to park anywhere near the stadium. We always recommend the local transport system as it’s the quickest and most efficient way to get there. We will also have staff on hand to assist.

Are there any restrictions on what I can take to matches?

No selfie sticks, food or drink (other than those purchased at the stadium) or offensive clothing.

How much is a beer likely to cost?

You can expect to pay between 500 and 800 yen (£3.50 -£6) for a beer in Japan.

What food will be available at the stadium?

The choice of food available at the stadium is likely to be fairly limited especially if you have any dietary restrictions. It may be best to eat before you head to the stadium.

Is there any way to connect with other InsideJapan travellers?

Absolutely, just head to our exclusive InsideJapan Rugby World Cup Facebook group to start conversations with other rugby fans:

facebook.com/groups/InsideJapan2019

Depending upon your itinerary, there will also be opportunities to meet other fans on coaches to and from matches, and at our exclusive fan events.

Tell me more about the fan events. Do I need a ticket?

Each of our Insider fan events will take place at a unique location with live Japanese cultural entertainment and plenty of food and drink! They are sure to be a highlight and will be a great opportunity to mix with other travellers along with meeting our team! If you are joining us at any of the events, watch this space -we will be revealing more details by the end of July. Full information will also be provided in your Info-Pack.

Not got tickets?

Can you help me get match tickets?

We are not able to advise on Rugby World Cup match tickets as this is governed by the Rugby World Cup body. Information about purchasing match tickets is available here: www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets

Where can I watch matches on TV?

There will be various bars, restaurants and venues showing the matches. Nearer the time, we will be providing a list of confirmed venues that will be screening the matches.

Will the InsideJapan coaches have TV screens?

Unfortunately, there will not be any entertainment systems on the coaches, so we will not be able to show any of the matches.

Will there be toilets on the InsideJapan coaches?

No, there are not going to be any toilets on the Fukuoka to Oita coaches. However, we will have regular planned comfort stops on the way that are factored into the journey times.

How will we find the coach after the match?

For clients that are booked and confirmed onto our RWC packages that include the Fukuoka to Oita coaches, all of the specific details about the pick-up and drop off points will be included in your Info Pack. We will also assign a member of our Event Team to every coach so there will be someone on hand to answer your questions and direct you to the right coach.