Ruck & Rolling Into the Knockouts (Quarters & Semis)

Small Group Tour

Classic

With 14 nights, 2 islands and transfers to 4 matches (tickets not included), this is the ultimate Japan rugby trip. Guided tours and exclusive experiences, you’ll combine the best of the games with the best of Japan.

Your journey starts in Tokyo where you’ll enjoy an exclusive sumo experience, explore the city’s oldest temple, try your hand at taiko drumming, and head to the top of Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in the world.

Flying south to Kyushu island, you’ll take a guided tour around the cosmopolitan city of Fukuoka before the rugby fun begins in Oita.

Following the excitement of the games, you’ll travel back west to Japan’s main island aboard the famous shinkansen (bullet train). Reaching speeds of up to 320 km/h, these futuristic trains make zipping cross country easy and efficient.

Your next stops will be in the city of Hiroshima and the picturesque Miyajima Island, before a few days in Japan’s cultural capital, Kyoto. As well as seeing some of the city’s famous UNESCO protected temples, you’ll have the once in a lifetime experience to meet a maiko (trainee geisha).

The last few days will be spent back in Tokyo seeing more of the city’s sights and, watching some more rugby!

 

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 £500 single supplement for solo travellers.

For more details, please contact us.

 

Tour Highlights

  • Travel that takes in four rugby matches: Quarter Finals 1 & 3, Semi-Finals 1 & 2 (excluding match tickets)
  • Ride on the famous bullet train
  • Visit the Akiyoshidai Plateau and Akiyoshido Cave
  • Have in depth guided tours in Tokyo, Fukuoka, Hiroshima and Kyoto
  • Dine with a maiko (trainee geisha) in Kyoto
  • Join our exclusive InsideJapan Tours rugby event
  • Try your hand at taiko drumming
  • Breakfast every day, two lunches & six dinners

Trip fits with:

QF1: W Pool C v RU Pool D

Oita

Saturday 19 October

KO 16:15 (local time)

QF3: W Pool D v RU Pool C

Oita

Sunday 20 October

KO 16:15 (local time)

SF1: W QF1 v W QF2

Yokohama

Saturday 26 October

KO 17:00 (local time)

SF2: W QF3 v W QF4

Yokohama

Sunday 27 October

KO 18:00 (local time)

Trip essentials

Starts 15th October 2019

Ends 29th October 2019

14 nights: from £4,400 (excl. intl. flights) per person

Trip code: EGTQSC

Download tour dossier

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 this package.

Match

Host City

Stadium

Ticket Info

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vs

-

Pool QF1

Oita

Sat 19th October 2019

KO 16:15 (local time)

Oita Stadium

Stadium info

-

vs

-

Pool QF3

Oita

Sun 20th October 2019

KO 16:15 (local time)

Oita Stadium

Stadium info

-

vs

-

Pool SF1

Yokohama

Sat 26th October 2019

KO 17:00 (local time)

Yokohama Stadium

Stadium info

-

vs

-

Pool SF2

Yokohama

Sun 27th October 2019

KO 18:00 (local time)

Yokohama Stadium

Stadium info

Day by Day

Day by Day

Fly to the southern island of Kyushu, the home of the two quarter final games before making your way back to Tokyo to see the best of the best battle it out in the semi-finals. Between matches visit the floating shrine of Itsukushima; dine with an apprentice geisha in Kyoto; have a go at traditional Taiko drumming in Tokyo's historic Asakusa district to name but a few of the highlights packed into this incredible tour.

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Day 1-2 Tokyo

Touchdown in Tokyo!

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Day 1-2 Tokyo

Welcome to Japan! On arrival in Tokyo a shuttle bus will take you to your hotel where your tour leader will be waiting to help you get oriented. You may wish to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring some of the local area, before the welcome dinner where you’ll get to meet your group.

To show you the best of Tokyo’s seemingly countless districts, a knowledgeable local guide and your tour leader will be there to show you around on your first day of sightseeing in this sprawling metropolis.

Starting in the Ryogoku area, you’ll get an inside view into Japan’s national sport: sumo wrestling. Thanks to our local contacts in the sumo world, we’ll organise an exclusive experience for you (with lunch thrown in as well for good measure!).

In the afternoon you’ll travel to the historic quarter of Asakusa; a traditional Edo-period entertainment area, and home of the oldest temple in the city: Senso-ji. After walking around the temple and weaving through the market stalls outside (perfect for picking up souvenirs), you’ll immerse yourself in Japan’s traditional music scene with a lesson in taiko drumming. Don’t worry; energy, enthusiasm, and the odd dance move are just as important as musical ability…

There’s only one place to go as the sun sets: Tokyo Skytree. At 2,080ft, it’s the tallest tower in the world and the best place to take photographs over the city.

Accommodation: Ryogoku View Hotel

Day 3-4 Fukuoka

Fly south to the island of Kyushu to explore the city of Fukuoka.

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Day 3-4 Fukuoka

Wave “sayonara” to Japan’s main island of Honshu on day 3 with a flight down to Fukuoka, the largest city on Japan’s southernmost island, Kyushu.

While Fukuoka is less visited than many of Japan’s other major cities, you won’t be short of things to do. As well as a cosmopolitan centre, it also has a scenic waterfront area and a thriving foodie scene.

Your tour leader will take you city sightseeing, maybe visiting the area of Seaside Momochi, an artificial sandy beach that showcases Fukuoka’s hyper-modern skyscrapers; the quirky Canal City shopping centre; and the ancient Shofukuji temple. In the evening the group will go for dinner together and experience Fukuoka’s buzzing streets by night – karaoke optional!

On day 4 you’ll be taken out for a full day of Fukuoka sightseeing with your tour leader and an additional local guide. Using your IC card, you’ll travel to the small neighbouring city of Dazaifu. While it seems unassuming enough, in the past this city played a vital part in the country’s diplomatic relations. The morning may include a visit to the Kōmyōzen-ji Zen temple, and the Kyushu National Museum – just a short walk from the train station.

Back in Fukuoka you’ll have a few more hours to explore, perhaps taking a walk down to the waterfront to learn about the port’s role in international trade before this evening’s exciting event.

To gear up for the first of your rugby matches, every fan travelling with InsideJapan Tours to see the games will receive access to an exclusive get-together with plenty of entertainment before tomorrow’s kick-off.

Accommodation: Shizutetsu Hotel Prezio Hakata-Ekimae

Day 5-6 Oita

Gear up for the quarter-finals in Oita!

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Day 5-6 Oita

Tension mounts ahead of this action-packed weekend! Who will emerge victorious to make it to the Semi Finals? On day 5 you’ll travel to Oita prefecture to watch the winners of Pool C play the Runners-Up of Pool D. Kick-off is at 4.15pm.

Day 6 and it’s match day again! Head back to Oita for more of the rugby action with the winners of Pool D playing the Runners-Up of Pool C. Kick-off is at 4.15pm.

Accommodation: Shizutetsu Hotel Prezio Hakata-Ekimae

 

Day 7-8 Hiroshima

Gorge on scrumptious okonomiyaki pancakes in Hiroshima.

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Day 7-8 Hiroshima

On day 7 prepare yourself for something just as exciting as yesterday’s match – your first journey on the shinkansen (bullet train). These glossy trains reach speeds of up to 320km/h and look like they’ve snaked into Japan from the future.

The shinkansen journey will be a short one to Shin-Yamaguchi, before a private coach to Akiyoshidai. Explore this gloriously green quasi-national park with its striking limestone karsts, and extensive Akiyoshido cave; easily accessible with lighting and wooden walkways.

In the afternoon, you’ll travel back to Shin-Yamaguchi for your second shinkansen of the day, this time to Hiroshima. Having worked up quite an appetite, the group will head out for an okonomiyaki dinner. These savoury pancakes are famous across Japan, and the layered noodle Hiroshima-style is in a league of its own.

On day 8 you’ll be guided around Hiroshima and the nearby island of Miyajima by your tour leader and a local guide. Hiroshima is famous the world over for the devastation of an atomic bomb during World War II. While the city is now a thriving hub, this morning’s visit to the museum and Peace Park, although sombre, is highly recommended.

It’s only 15 minutes from the city by boat, but Miyajima island could be a world away. As home to one of the ‘Three Views of Japan’, the striking Itsukushima shrine torii gate is a favourite for photographers. Approaching the island by boat, you’ll see the huge vermilion gate from all angles as you draw closer from across the water.

After getting your snaps of the shrine, you can explore the rest of the island at leisure, including a ride on the Mt Misen Ropeway and a stroll around the food stalls and souvenir shops.

Accommodation: Candeo Hotels Hiroshima Hatchobori

Day 9-10 Kyoto

Go temple hopping in Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital.

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Day 9-10 Kyoto

On day 9 you’ll get back on the bullet train to the city of Kyoto, home to more than 2,000 temples, 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and an enigmatic resident: the geisha.

With a local guide and coach, criss-crossing the city to see the sights couldn’t be simpler. Highlights from your day of guiding will possibly include a visit to the gilded Kinkakuji temple (Golden Pavilion), the tranquil Zen garden at the Ryoanji temple, and the bustling Nishiki food market.

After a day of exploring you’ll have dinner together with an added special guest. Tonight a maiko (trainee geisha) will join you to meet the group and take some photographs. As an exclusive experience this will be one of the most memorable evenings of your trip.

The tour leader will have lots of suggestions for how to spend a free day in Kyoto on day 10. Perhaps a trip to Fushimi Inari, a Shinto shrine with thousands of vermilion gates; the Arashiyama bamboo grove; the grand 13th century Tofukuji Zen temple or souvenir shopping in the city’s old streets.

Accommodation: The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo

Day 11-13 Tokyo

Head back to the capital for the electrifying semi-finals.

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Day 11-13 Tokyo

On day 11 you’ll take the shinkansen back east to Tokyo – by now you’ll be a dab hand at taking the bullet train!

With your tour leader and a local guide, you will spend the afternoon being shown around some of the districts you missed at the beginning of the trip. You’ll contrast the kitsch youth hangout of Harajuku, home of all things kawaii (cute) with the tranquil forested area around the Meiji Jingu Shrine.

Excitement will be building on day 12 for a match between the winners of Quarter Final 1 and the winners of Quarter Final 2 in Yokohama. Less than an hour outside Tokyo, Japan’s second largest city is easily accessible the capital.

You’ll have an easy start to the day before your private coach picks you up from the hotel for kick-off at 5pm.

Day 13 marks the last day of the semi-finals! You’ll make the journey back to Yokohama to see the winners of Quarter Final 3 play the winners of Quarter Final 4. Kick-off is at 6pm.

Accommodation: Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku

Day 14-15 Tokyo

A final few days to relax after all that excitement.

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Day 14-15 Tokyo

After an eventful weekend, day 14 is free to spend however you wish. You might like to see more areas of Tokyo, perhaps Ginza (a shopper’s paradise), one of the city’s tranquil gardens, or Ooedo Onsen Monogatari to relax in an onsen (hot spring bath).

Alternatively, the forested area of Nikko with its elaborate shrines, or the small seaside city of Kamakura with its enormous 800-year-old seated Buddha are both good day trip options.

In the evening your group will meet for a final farewell dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku

On day 15 the time has come to head home from your 2019 rugby adventure! A shared shuttle bus will take you to the airport.

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. From Tokyo you’ll take a domestic flight south to Kyushu for the quarter-finals, before making your way back to Tokyo via Hiroshima and Kyoto for the semi-finals.

 

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.

Fukuoka

Fukuoka is a fun-loving city with good shopping, live music, baseball and great restaurants.

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Fukuoka

image credit paylessimages

Fukuoka is a laid-back, youthful, fun-loving city with good shopping, live music, a major baseball team and great restaurants. Due to its location Fukuoka is a great starting point for exploring the rest of Kyushu.

Over the past ten years Fukuoka, the biggest city on Kyushu, has transformed itself into one of the most cosmopolitan and international cities in Japan. Although it is not as big as Tokyo or Osaka, it still manages to possess the same vibrant buzz.

Because of its proximity to South Korea and the rest of eastern Asia, the city has always been an important port with an international flavour. It is thought to be where tea and Buddhism were first introduced to Japan.

Fukuoka, however, is not a place to visit for traditional Japanese culture. There are a few important temples, shrines and museums but it’s the excesses of modern urban life that draw people to the city.

The downtown area of Tenjin is packed full of shops, restaurants, karaoke booths and bars and attacks all of the senses with neon lights, music, crowds of people and the smell of ramen drifting from yatai stalls.

‘Yatai’ are mobile food stands set up in the early evening on pedestrian walkways and cleared away by the early hours. The ones in Fukuoka are famous for selling a pork broth noodle soup known as tonkotsu ramen. The stalls are usually frequented by salary men having a few drinks with their colleagues on their way home from work.

Fukuoka is also a great place to see the Softbank Hawks baseball team play and is also a usual destination for Japanese pop concerts.

Hiroshima

A vibrant modern city, infamous for the atomic bomb attack of 6th August 1945.

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Hiroshima

Western Honshu’s largest city needs little introduction. The name Hiroshima has become synonymous with the atomic bomb attack that ended WWII, and millions of visitors flock to the city every year to pay their respects.

Nowadays, short of the remaining memorial of the A-Bomb Dome and the thousands of colourful peace cranes scattered across the city, you would be hard pushed to imagine the destruction once wrought. The modern city is a thriving community, with an international outlook not often found in Japan. The downtown area is filled with places to shop, eat, and otherwise enjoy oneself, and visitors soon discover there is much more to Hiroshima than its sombre history.

For one thing, locals are rightly proud of their signature dish, okonomiyaki, a sort of noodle-based pancake with an array of delicious toppings. We highly recommend a visit to Okonomi Mura, where every restaurant serves the city’s speciality!

As well as the Peace Park, a visit to Hiroshima should include a stop at the city’s castle (reconstructed in the late 1950s after the original was decimated by the bomb), and a stroll around nearby Shukkei-en Garden and adjacent Museum of Art. And if you have the time, don’t miss the stunning World Heritage island of Miyajima, just 15 minutes’ ferry ride across the bay. With a peaceful atmosphere, some ancient shrines, and one of Japan’s most iconic views, it makes the perfect contrast to the bustle of the city.

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

This itinerary includes the following mid-range Western-style hotels (approximately three star). Breakfast is included every day, plus a selection of other meals.

Tokyo: Ryogoku View

Fukuoka: Shizutetsu Prezio Hakata Ekimae

Hiroshima: Candeo Hiroshima Hatchobori

Kyoto: Royal Park Kyoto Sanjo

Tokyo: Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku

 

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