England, Islanders and Eagles (First Two Pool Matches)

Small Group Tour

Classic

Team up with a tour leader to spend a fortnight exploring Japan, and be in the right place at the right time for two of England’s most exciting games – match tickets are not included !

Starting in Tokyo, you’ll be taken around the city’s ancient temples and towering skyscrapers, before flying north to the little visited island of Hokkaido. As well as sightseeing with a local expert, we’ll plan transfers to the first leg of your rugby adventure – the England v Tonga game at the Sapporo Dome.

An internal flight will then take you down to the modern port city of Kobe (home of Kobe beef) to see England v USA, where you’ll take a day trip to nearby 16th-century Himeji Castle.

The final leg of your Japan adventure will be spent in the traditional city of Kyoto, famous for its preserved districts and countless UNESCO sites. Highlights here include a hands-on masterclass in a cultural activity, and an exclusive dinner in the company of a maiko (trainee geisha).

Regardless of the scores, you’ll fly home from Tokyo with unforgettable memories of two England rugby matches in Japan.

…and if you do not want to fly home just yet, extend your trip to continue supporting England playing with Argentina and France: click here to see more!   

 

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 £800 single supplement for solo travellers.

For more details, please contact us.

Tour Highlights

  • Follow England's first two pool matches (match tickets not included)
  • Dine with a maiko (trainee geisha) in Kyoto
  • Half-day trips to Himeji Castle and Otaru
  • Brewery tour in Sapporo
  • In depth guided tours in Tokyo, Sapporo, Himeji, and Kyoto
  • Ride on the famous bullet train
  • Hands-on experiences in Kyoto
  • Join our exclusive InsideJapan Tours rugby event
  • Breakfast every day, three lunches & five dinners

Trip fits with:

England v Tonga

Sapporo

Sunday 22 September

KO 19:15 (local time)

England v USA

Kobe

Thursday 26 September

KO 19:45 (local time)

Trip essentials

Starts 18th September 2019

Ends 1st October 2019

13 nights: from £4,300 (excl. intl. flights) per person

Trip code: EGTP1C

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For more information:

Call us: 01179 927068

Matches & Times

Matches & Times

This itinerary is designed to be in the right place at the right time for the following rugby matches.

Please note that match tickets are not included in this package.

Match

Host City

Stadium

Ticket Info

England

vs

Tonga

Pool C Round 1

Sapporo

Sun 22nd September 2019

KO 19:15 (local time)

Sapporo Dome

Stadium info

England

vs

USA

Pool C Round 1

Kobe

Thu 26th September 2019

KO 19:45 (local time)

Kobe Misaki Stadium

Stadium info

Day by Day

Day by Day

Starting in Tokyo, venture to the northern island of Hokkaido, where England kick off their campaign against Tonga. Next you'll fly to the Kansai area: in Kobe you'll be in the right place for when England play USA, then you'll be off to explore Himeji and Kyoto, before making your way back to the capital.

 

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Day 1-2 Tokyo

Welcome to Japan!

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Day 1-2 Tokyo

After touching down in Tokyo, a shared shuttle bus will take you to your hotel where your tour leader will be waiting to answer any questions, and give you a few tips about how to spend your first afternoon.

You’ll meet the rest of your group (and fellow rugby fans) over a welcome dinner in the evening.

From skyscrapers and flashing neon signs, to ancient temples and pristine gardens; informal street food to Michelin starred restaurants; kitsch shops to designer boutiques. . .  Tokyo is a city that defies expectations.

After sleeping soundly in your hotel, you’ll be ready and raring to go for your first day of exploring. But where to start in this enormous metropolis? With an extra guide on hand, navigating the city couldn’t be easier.

Your first stop will be the Edo-period entertainment district of Asakusa. After walking through a lively market selling snacks and souvenirs, you’ll reach Senso-ji, the oldest temple in Tokyo, and see ancient Buddhist rituals and the striking architecture up close. From here you’ll head to the nearby Hamarikyu Gardens via a picturesque journey on the Sumida River.

After a spot of lunch on solid ground, it’s time for the Tokyo Skytree – the tallest tower in the world, built only 10 years ago – which couldn’t be more different from the previous building we visited. A trip to the observation deck offers unrivalled panoramic views over the city and a great place to take some photographs.

Accommodation: Ryogoku View Hotel

Day 3-4 Sapporo

Fly to Sapporo.

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Day 3-4 Sapporo

On day 3 you’ll leave Tokyo, on Japan’s main island of Honshu, for the northernmost island of Hokkaido. A coach will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the airport for an internal flight to Hokkaido’s capital city, Sapporo.

After checking in at the other side, you’ll round off the day with a tour around a brewery (and a glass, or three, of beer), before heading out for a group dinner. Fill up in preparation for a busy day of sightseeing tomorrow!

You will be picked up from your hotel on day 4 and showed around Sapporo, Japan’s fifth largest city. The tour could include a visit to the Nijo fish market, where you could stand shoulder to shoulder with the locals as they pick up fresh produce; or you could explore the 19th-century clock tower (Sapporo’s oldest building) and the Sapporo TV tower; or maybe take a visit to the Ainu museum, a fascinating insight into Hokkaido’s indigenous population.

To get into the rugby spirit ahead of the England v Tonga game, we’ve arranged an evening event for all InsideJapan Tours customers – expect entertainment, excitement and some lively discussions!

Accommodation: Cross Hotel Sapporo

Day 5-6 Sapporo

It's match day in Sapporo, England v Tonga!

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Day 5-6 Sapporo

Day 5 is a big day – the first rugby match! A private coach will take you to the Sapporo Dome to see rival rugby warriors England v Tonga. Kick-off is at 7:15pm.

Spend the morning of day 6 recovering from the match (maybe dissecting the finer details over breakfast. . .). In the afternoon you’ll take a short train journey to the small harbour city of Otaru.

Accommodation: Cross Hotel Sapporo

Day 7-8 Kobe

Fly south to Kansai and then to Kobe by private coach.

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Day 7-8 Kobe

On day 7 you’ll wave goodbye to Hokkaido to fly south to the modern port city of Kobe (home of the famous Kobe beef) where you’ll have a few hours to explore before a group dinner.

Only an hour from Kobe, it would be amiss to travel all this way without visiting the 16th-century Himeji Castle. You’ll be taking a day trip to this lovely little town on day 8. Climb the (seemingly) endless stairs to the lookout at the top as your local guide regales you with tales of warring samurai.

A stroll around the beautiful Kokoen gardens provides light relief after those grizzly tales, and the traditional tea house is a scenic spot for lunch.

Accommodation: The b Kobe

Day 9 Kobe

It's match day in Kobe, England v USA!

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Day 9 Kobe

You’ll feel a buzz between Kobe’s towering skyscrapers as the city gets fired up for England’s second match on day 9. Can Gary Gold’s USA Eagles steal victory over the Red Roses, or will red and white prove victorious? A private coach will take you to the Kobe Misaki Stadium in plenty of time for kick-off at 7:45pm.

Accommodation: The b Kobe

Day 10-11-12 Kyoto

Travel comfortably to Kyoto by private coach.

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Day 10-11-12 Kyoto

Whether the atmosphere is one of celebration or commiseration, a laid back breakfast on day 10 will give you time to mull it over before heading to Japan’s cultural capital, Kyoto by private coach.

While Kyoto has more than 2,000 temples, a famous kimono-clad resident often steals the limelight. During dinner this evening, this very special guest will drop by. . .  A maiko (trainee geisha) will meet your group, play a few games and take some photographs. As a particularly exclusive experience, it will prove to be a very special evening.

A local expert will pick you up from your hotel on day 11 to go sightseeing in this traditional city. You’ll may start at the undisputed jewel in Kyoto’s crown: we could head to the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) – a gilded temple on the edge of a lake, or maybe the Zen rock garden at Ryoanji temple and the ancient Nijo-jo Castle. Your group will then have an included lunch together.

In the evening you’ll step back in time to old Japan with a walk around the low wooden houses and lantern strewn streets of Gion (where the geisha live).

On the morning of day 12, there will be a few hours to take part in a variety of traditional hands-on activities. Your tour leader will have plenty of suggestions for your free afternoon – perhaps the Fushimi Inari shrine, Arashiyama bamboo grove, sake district, or the historic district of Higashiyama (perfect for picking up souvenirs).

Accommodation: The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo

Day 13-14 Tokyo

Back to Tokyo by train.

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Day 13-14 Tokyo

On day 13 you’ll board the world famous shinkansen (bullet train) back to Tokyo. Although these futuristic, gleaming trains can travel up to 320km/h, they’re extremely quiet. If it weren’t for the rice paddies and rural villages sweeping past your window you’d wonder if you were moving at all!

Rather than wrestling your suitcase aboard the train, Japan’s incredibly efficient luggage forwarding service will see your bags arriving at your Tokyo hotel the very same day.

This evening you’ll have a farewell dinner with your group, perhaps swapping email addresses and reminiscing about the favourite parts of your trip, as well as the trials and tribulations of the England matches, of course.

Sadly day 14 marks the end of your jam-packed rugby adventure in Japan. A shared shuttle bus will pick you up from your hotel to take you back to the airport for your flight home.

Alternatively, if you’ve chosen to follow other matches, the adventure continues with England playing France and Argentina!

Accommodation: Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku

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.

You'll travel up north to Sapporo, then onto Kobe and Kyoto.

Tokyo

Welcome to one of the most exciting, vibrant, mind-bending cities in the world.

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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.

Sapporo

Hokkaido's capital: famous for great beer, great food, and a truly incredible snow festival.

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Sapporo

Renowned for its snow festival and summer beer gardens, its relaxed atmosphere, green parks, and tree-lined boulevards, Sapporo is a modern Japanese city quite unlike any other.

The capital of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, Sapporo started life as a frontier town some 130 years ago. Now, despite a population that has grown to some 1.8 million people, it still manages to operate at a level of bustle well below that of Tokyo or Osaka. Add excellent local cuisine, great nightlife and easy access to nearby national parks and mountains and you have the perfect place to begin your exploration of Hokkaido.

Thanks to this grid layout, Sapporo is relatively easy to navigate. Bang in the centre of town is the TV Tower, and from here the belt-like, green oasis of Odori Park runs all along the length of the main street. In summer, the park becomes a vast beer garden – while in winter it is the stage for what is perhaps Japan’s most impressive festival: the Yuki Matsuri (snow festival).

Every year in February, the city is overrun with gargantuan snow and ice sculptures, intricately carved and often towering over 20 metres above the ground. This is the most popular time of year to visit Sapporo, so make sure you plan well in advance if you want to catch the spectacle – you’ll be glad you did!

Kobe

Attractive, international port city, thriving after recovery from 1995's huge earthquake

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Kobe

Kobe must be Japan’s most attractive city; gleaming modern streets, a welcoming international atmosphere and stunning night time views of the busy port. There’s little in the way of tourist attractions, but Kobe is a real working Japanese city with great shopping and fantastic cuisine.

It’s hard to imagine that only in 1995, more than 6,000 residents lost their lives in the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. Today there is little sign of the massive destruction that took place in just 20 seconds at 5.46am on January 17th that year. Yet Kobe will never forget this terrible tragedy and a visit to the earthquake museum is highly recommended.

Kobe was one of the first Japanese ports to open to foreign trade in 1868 and it was here that Japan got its first taste of football, golf and beef! Today Kobe beef is world famous. Other culinary delights include fresh fish such as sea bream and octopus from the nearby Akashi Kaikyo Channel, which is spanned by the world’s largest suspension bridge.

Kobe’s early introduction to foreign influences gives it a cosmopolitan air unrivalled in Japan. Churches, mosques and synagogues sit comfortably together and the lively Chinatown, Nankin-machi, is well worth exploring.

Wedged between the mountains and Osaka Bay, wherever you wander in Kobe you’ll never be far from the sea. Along the waterfront, Harbourland and the artificial islands of Port Island and Rokko Island are best visited at night. Recent harbour developments include the futuristic architecture of the maritime museum, ferris wheel and the glowing red Port Tower. Down town Sannomiya is the best place for shopping and partying, and a trip up the surrounding mountains by cable car offers unbeatable panoramas.

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.

Accommodation

Accommodation

You will stay in the following mid-range (approximately three star) Western-style hotels. Breakfast is included every day, plus a selection of other meals.

Tokyo: Ryogoku View

Sapporo: Cross Sapporo

Kobe: The B Kobe

Kyoto: Royal Park Kyoto Sanjo

Tokyo: Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku

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