Chariots of Fire: England, France & Argentina (Second Two Pools)

Small Group Tour

Superior

With two weeks exploring everything from enormous neon-lit cities to tiny traditional towns and spectacular natural beauty, you’ll have an amazing time in Japan regardless of the rugby score!

This group tour starts in the exciting city of Tokyo where a guide will give you an overview of the various districts, including a visit to the city’s oldest temple and the famous “Shibuya scramble” crossing.

Over the next few days you may well spot Mount Fuji (weather depending) at the strikingly beautiful areas of Hakone with its Open-Air Museum, and Izu Peninsula where you’ll visit the great crater of Mount Omuro. In amidst exploring Japan’s natural beauty, we’ll arrange transfers to take you to your first match – England v Argentina at Tokyo stadium.

The next part of your trip will showcase Japan’s cultural side. From the Izu Peninsula, you’ll take your first ride aboard the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto. This city is home to well-preserved historic districts, and countless temples and UNESCO sites, but dinner with a trainee geisha promises to be the highlight here. Your cultural journey continues with a stay in the perfectly preserved town of Takayama during its famous autumn festival, and a visit to Matsumoto’s “Black Crow” castle.

Back on the rugby trail you’ll gear up for the tense England v France game with an exclusive InsideJapan event for fans in Tokyo, before a final relaxed day in the capital and a farewell dinner with your group.

 

Important Practical Information

  • This tour does not include international flights
  • The tour does not include any rugby match tickets
  • This tour starts and finishes in Tokyo for arrivals and departures at Narita or Haneda Airport.
  • The tour is priced per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Please note there is a £540 single supplement for solo travellers.

For more details, please contact us.

Tour Highlights

  • Travel to two England rugby matches (match tickets not included)
  • Ride on the famous shinkansen bullet train
  • Visit the “Black Crow” castle in Matsumoto
  • See the crater at Mount Omuro
  • Celebrate the autumn Takayama Festival
  • In depth guided tours in Tokyo, Hakone & Kyoto
  • Dine with a geisha in Kyoto
  • Exclusive InsideJapan Tours rugby event

Trip fits with:

England vs Argentina

Tokyo

Saturday 5 October

KO 17:00 (local time)

England vs France

Yokohama

Saturday 12 October

KO 17:15 (local time)

Trip essentials

Starts 2nd October 2019

Ends 14th October 2019

12 nights: from £5,450 (excl. intl. flights) per person

Trip code: EGTP2S

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For more information:

Call us: 01179 927068

Matches & Times

Matches & Times

This itinerary is designed to get you to the right place at the right time for the following rugby matches.

Please note that match tickets are not included in any of our packages.

Match

Host City

Stadium

Ticket Info

England

vs

Argentina

Pool C Round 1

Tokyo

Sat 5th October 2019

KO 17:00 (local time)

Tokyo Stadium

Stadium info

England

vs

France

Pool C Round 1

Yokohama

Sat 12th October 2019

KO 17:15 (local time)

Yokohama Stadium

Stadium info

Day by Day

Day by Day

Begin the tour in the capital of Japan, with its overwhelming contrast of old and modern. Take in the first match of England vs Argentina in what is sure to be a nail-biting match. In contrast to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo (and the match), enjoy some time on the Izu Peninsula seeing the rocky Jogasaki coatline, Jikkoku Pass and the relaxing hot springs baths at our traditional inn. Next up is Japan’s cultural heart: Kyoto. Enjoy a private dinner with a special guest, as well as visiting the traditional temples Kyoto is famous for. Before heading back to Tokyo for the match against France, we will visit the mountain resort of Takayama where the bi-annual Takayama Festival is taking place!

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Day 1-3 Tokyo

Kick-start your rugby tour in Tokyo!

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Day 1-3 Tokyo

Welcome to Japan! After touching down at Tokyo Narita or Haneda Airport, a private car will be waiting to take you to your hotel. Here your tour leader will be waiting to answer any questions and offer tips for how to spend the rest of your first day.

In the evening you’ll get to know your tour group (and fellow rugby fans) over welcome drinks and dinner.

After filling up at your hotel breakfast, a local guide will meet you for your first day in Japan’s mega metropolis. You’ll start in Asakusa – an area harking back to a time long before skyscrapers – beyond the low-rise market stalls selling all sort of trinkets, awaits Senso-Ji, the oldest temple in the city.

You’ll criss-cross the capital, taking in the city’s top highlights; perhaps the electronic gaming quarter of Akihabara; Harajuku, home of all things kawaii (cute), and the hectic Shibuya scramble. You’ll contrast this hubbub with a visit to Meiji Jingu, a shrine tucked within a forest and the Tokyo Metropolitan building where you’ll get great views over the city.

On day 3, a private coach will take you to Hakone, this picturesque mountainous area only an hour outside the capital is much-visited for its views of Mount Fuji (on a clear day!) As well as clean air and some incredible vistas, there’s also a brilliant Open-Air Museum here.

Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Tokyo

Day 4-5 Tokyo

It's match day, England v Argentina!

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Day 4-5 Tokyo

In preparation for the big England v Argentina game, the morning of day 4 will be spent at your leisure – a private coach will take you to Tokyo Stadium in the afternoon.

The penultimate pool for England is set to be a challenge as Eddie Jones’ men take on the beef of Argentina’s Los Pumas. The first time these two teams played each other was on 30th May 1981 ending in a 19-19 draw. Will history repeat itself in Tokyo? Kick-off is at 5pm. Match tickets are not included.

Day 5 is yours to spend however you wish – hopefully rejoicing after last night’s game! Whatever your interests, your tour leader won’t be short of suggestions for things to do; perhaps souvenir shopping, visiting the Oedo Onsen Monogatari for a hot spring bath or taking a day trip to nearby Kamakura or Nikko.

Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Tokyo

Day 6 Izu Peninsula

Relax at a traditional accommodation on the Jogasaki Coast.

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Day 6 Izu Peninsula

On day 6 a private coach will take you to Izu Peninsula, around 60 miles from Tokyo. With waterfalls, parks and coastline, as well as views of Mount Fuji on the Jikkoku Pass, this area feels a world away from the capital.

After your scenic journey, you’ll stop for some lunch and a visit to the MOA Museum of Art before heading to Mount Omuro, an extinct volcano with a vast crater. Before heading to our ryokan (Japanese inn) tonight we will take in the stunning views from the rocky Jogasaki Coast. Dinner tonight is a sumptuous and traditional kaiseki course feast.

Accommodation: Seizan Yamato

Day 7-8 Kyoto

Visit historic temples and gardens in Kyoto.

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Day 7-8 Kyoto

On day 7 you’ll travel by private coach up to Atami for a little sightseeing and included lunch, before boarding the bullet train to Japan’s cultural heart; Kyoto. The station here, with its latticed metal walls and mirrored exterior, is surprisingly sleek and modern, but don’t be fooled! The city is home to some of Japan’s best preserved historic districts and has more than 2,000 temples, 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and an enigmatic resident: the geisha.

After freshening up at the hotel your group will have dinner with a very special guest – a geisha and a private photographer!

A local guide will show you around Kyoto on day 8. You’ll start at Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion; adorned in gold leaf and surrounded by elegant gardens it’s one of the country’s most famous temples.

After a relaxing stroll around the grounds, you’ll see a few of the city’s other top sights, including the famous rock garden at Ryoanji Temple. Regardless of where you sit, it’s impossible to see all 15 rocks at once – go on, give it a go!

Accommodation: Nikko Princess Hotel Kyoto

Day 9 Takayama

Join the celebrations at the Takayama Autumn festival!

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Day 9 Takayama

Day 9 will see you taking the train from Kyoto through mountainous scenery to the traditional town of Takayama in the Japanese Alps. Your visit has been timed to coincide with the Takayama Festival – an exciting event that takes place twice a year to celebrate spring and autumn. As a calendar highlight, Japanese people travel from miles around to celebrate.

Accommodation: Hida Hanasato-No-Yu Ouan

Day 10-13 Tokyo

Head back to Tokyo to see England take on Les Bleus.

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Day 10-13 Tokyo

Following breakfast, early risers can head to Takayama’s laid-back morning market before taking the 9am private coach to Tokyo, stopping for lunch in Matsumoto along the way. This traditional city is best known for its “Black Crow” castle, a name referencing its unusual dark wood.

In the evening you’ll meet fellow match goers at an exclusive InsideJapan rugby fan event. A great opportunity to make predictions about tomorrow’s game over a drink or three.

On day 11 you’ll have the morning at leisure ahead of England v France. It’s ‘Le Crunch’ time and the sixth occasion that England and France have battled each other for their place in a Rugby World Cup. This final nail-biting pool match will take place at Yokohama stadium with a 5.15pm kick-off. Match tickets are not included.

After yesterday’s excitement, the morning of day 12 is free. After lunch, a local guide will take you for a leisurely ride over the calm waters of the Sumida River on a ferry bus where you’ll pass skyscrapers before finding yourself in the surprisingly serene Hamarikyu Gardens – an oasis in the city.

Back on dry land, the Tokyo Skytree awaits; as the tallest structure in Japan, it has unparalleled panoramic views of the city. When night falls you’ll head out for a farewell meal with your group – celebrating or commiserating the rugby and remembering the highlights of your trip.

All good things must come to an end! On day 13 a private car will collect you from your hotel to take you to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodation: Asakusa View Hotel

Map & Destinations

Map & Destinations

This trip starts and finishes in Tokyo, so you will need to fly in and out of either Tokyo Narita or Tokyo Haneda Airport. The tour begins in Tokyo with plenty of time for sightseeing before the first match against Argentina. You'll then head to Kyoto via the scenic Jogasaki Coast, before heading up to the Japan Alps where you'll catch the Takayama Autumn Festival. For your final few nights, you'll travel back to Tokyo to see England battle it out against France.

Tokyo

The bustling, beating heart of Japan. Prepare to be spirited away!

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Tokyo

It is impossible to sum up Tokyo in a line, a paragraph, a page or even a book. The city has a force and power all of its own. It creates its own gravity; a centre of everything: politics, industry, finance, shopping, the arts, architecture, scientific study, nightlife and food.

This is a truly overwhelming city: a vibrant hub of modern civilisation, constantly buzzing with activity. Suited businessmen rush from one meeting to the next; immaculately turned-out girls totter precariously on impossibly high heels; kimono-clad housewives fill the up-market department stores; and at every turn a barrage of different sights, sounds and aromas.

Japan’s largest city and its capital since the Meiji restoration of 1868, Tokyo is a sensory bombardment and the wonderful abundance of street-level detail means there is always something to keep the attention.

A tide of energy sweeps Tokyoites along, carrying them through the daily grind; from their apartments, onto the unbelievably crowded subway system, into the office and then back again. A visit to Tokyo is the chance to witness the Japanese success story up close.

Izu Peninsula

Revel in a change of scenery, with waterfalls, parks and beautiful coastlines.

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Izu Peninsula

The Izu Peninsula is a finger of land stretching out into the Pacific Ocean, about 100 km south of Tokyo. It boasts beautiful mountainous scenery, lush forests, lovely beaches, relaxing natural hot springs and some excellent diving opportunities.

The area lies on a tectonic plate boundary, making it mountainous and prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity – but don’t let that put you off! If it weren’t for this volcanic propensity, Izu Peninsula would be missing its most popular attraction: hot springs.

The hot spring resorts at Atami, Shuzenji and Ito are Izu Peninsula’s primary attraction, but there is plenty more to see and do here. The whole peninsula is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, boasting rolling hills, impressive waterfalls, lakes, parks, and beautiful coastlines suitable for swimming and water sports – not to mention great views of Fuji-san! Not only blessed with natural beauty, Izu is also home to some excellent museums – including the Shimoda History Museum and the MOA Museum of Art, which holds a huge collection including many National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties.

Kyoto

Japan's capital of history & culture, with 17 World Heritage Sites and endless chances to explore.

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Kyoto

There is nowhere more special than Kyoto. It is home to everything associated with traditional Japan: striking temples, mysterious geisha, sacred tea ceremony, Zen rock gardens, imperial palaces, refined cuisine, ornate kimono, bamboo groves, street-corner shrines and lively festivals.

Kyoto was founded in 794 as Japan’s capital and the home of Emperor Kanmu. Today it’s Japan’s seventh-largest city, not a tiny rural village, and it is the juxtaposition of modern, urban life against time-honoured traditions that makes this one of the most fascinating of Asian cities.

Situated on a plateau, surrounded on three sides by mountains and bisected by the River Kamo, the city was laid out as a grid system in the tradition of Tang China. As the epicentre of Japanese culture and history, Kyoto attracts more than 40 million visitors a year – so while the stunning Golden Pavilion and the impressive wooden stage at Kiyomizu-dera are must-see destinations, you won’t escape the tour buses in peak season! However, the real Kyoto heartbeat is lurking just around the corner for those who make the effort to get off the main tourist trail and seek it out.

Takayama

Sake breweries and traditional farm houses tucked away in the Japanese Alps.

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Takayama

More than 600 m (2,000 ft) above sea lea level and surrounded by the brooding peaks of the Japan Alps, Takayama is a bustling market town known for its sake, traditional crafts, and biannual festival.

Takayama was once the home of Japan’s most skilled carpenters and artisans, and the well-preserved streets and wooden houses on the banks of the Miyagawa River pay vivid testament to this fact. The buildings now house a multitude of craft shops and specialist food stores, in amongst which you’ll find numerous sake breweries (open for tastings!) and museums covering all manner of things from mechanical dolls to the history of the Lion dance. Add in the two morning markets and it is no wonder that people fall in love with this place.

This generally quiet rural town is famous throughout Japan for its elaborate festival, which shatters the peace twice a year when tens of thousands of Japanese descend on the town to join the celebrations. One of Takayama’s most popular attractions is the Hida Folk Village, a remarkable collection of old gassho-zukuri (“praying hands”) farm houses, complete with thatched roofs and irori fireplaces. Add to this a bicycle ride through the Hida countryside, and you have a perfect day in Takayama!

Accommodation

Accommodation

This itinerary includes the following Western-style hotels and traditional Japanese ryokan accommodation (approximately four or five star). Breakfast is included every day, plus a selection of other meals.

Tokyo: Hyatt Regency Tokyo

Izu Peninsula: Seizan Yamato

Kyoto: Nikko Princess Kyoto

Takayama: Hida Hanasato-No-Yu-Ouan

Tokyo: Asakusa View

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