Scotland of the Rising Sun (All Scotland Pool Matches)

Self-Guided Adventures

Classic

You’ve got your tickets for Scotland’s four thrilling pool fixtures – now leave the rest of the arrangements to the Japan experts. In this adventurous 25 night trip we’ll ensure you get the best out of Japan’s culture, cuisine, and history as you travel between the host cities and our favourite destinations.

The cosmopolitan, modern harbour city of Yokohama, just southwest of Tokyo, will be your home at the beginning of your trip as you see Scotland take on Ireland. Swap skyscrapers for scenic countryside as you head into the Japan Alps to visit castles, mountain towns, and postcard-perfect Shirakawago, a UNESCO World Heritage village of triangular thatched farmhouses.

You’ll be based in the foodie city of Osaka for Scotland’s second fixture against Samoa which will be played in nearby Kobe – be sure to try out the world-famous beef while you’re in town. After taking in Hiroshima’s solemn history and the iconic floating shrine of Miyajima, you’ll travel on to Japan’s cultural epicentre: Kyoto, city of a thousand temples.

Next up you’ll be in Nagoya for several nights, a city known for its relaxed atmosphere and great food, and the Shinkansen bullet train will whisk you in comfort to the stadium in Shizuoka for the thrilling fixture against Russia.

Your trip will end back in Yokohama where our rugby fan event awaits, then help Scotland finish off their pool campaign with a bang as they take on the host nation Japan in Yokohama.

Trip Highlights

  • Take in the mountain scenery on a bike tour in the Alps
  • Stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan inn
  • Cheer on the Scots at all four pool games
  • See the sights of Kyoto and Tokyo with a private local guide
  • Join fellow fans at a special pre-match party
  • **Please note, none of our trips or tours contain official match tickets**

Trip fits with:

Scotland v Ireland

Yokohama

Sunday 22 September

KO 16:45 (local time)

Scotland v Samoa

Kobe

Monday 30 September

KO 19:15 (local time)

Scotland v Russia

Shizuoka

Wednesday 9 October

KO 16:15 (local time)

Scotland v Japan

Yokohama

Sunday 13 October

KO 19:45 (local time)

Trip essentials

Starts 20th September 2019

Ends 15th October 2019

25 nights: from £5,440 (excl. intl. flights) per person

Trip code: SSGA3

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

Ireland

vs

Scotland

Pool A Round 1

Yokohama

Sun 22nd September 2019

KO 16:45 (local time)

Yokohama Stadium

Stadium info

Scotland

vs

Samoa

Pool A Round 1

Kobe

Mon 30th September 2019

KO 19:15 (local time)

Kobe Misaki Stadium

Stadium info

Scotland

vs

Russia

Pool A Round 1

Shizuoka

Wed 9th October 2019

KO 16:15 (local time)

Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa

Stadium info

Japan

vs

Scotland

Pool A Round 1

Yokohama

Sun 13th October 2019

KO 19:45 (local time)

Yokohama Stadium

Stadium info

Day by Day

Day by Day

Cheer on Scotland in all four of their pool games, and soak up the best of Japanese culture in between, from Hiroshima to Kyoto and the Japan Alps.

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Day 1-4 Yokohama

Scotland kick start their rugby campaign

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Day 1-4 Yokohama

Your rugby adventure begins with Yokohama, to the southwest of the capital city, as your base for Scotland’s first challenge against Ireland. You’ll also have plenty of time to explore the capital on a day trip from Yokohama; we’ll arrange a day with a private guide to help you make the most of your day.

Day 5 Matsumoto

Relive the days of the samurai

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Day 5 Matsumoto

Head for the mountains of the Japan Alps and the castle town of Matsumoto. Built in the 16th century, Matsumoto’s Black Crow Castle harks back to the days of the samurai era. The Nakamachi merchant district is also worth a visit, and try your hand at noodle making in a traditional soba shop.

Day 6-7 Takayama

Cycle past rice paddies and farmland

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Day 6-7 Takayama

A scenic bus journey through the mountains will bring you to Takayama, a town lined with old wooden buildings, sake breweries and morning markets. Then escape to the country for a cycling tour past rice paddies and farming villages (please note: this cycling tour is subject to availability).

Day 8-9 Kanazawa

Explore Kenrokuen landscape garden

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Day 8-9 Kanazawa

Another bus journey through the Alps; stop off at the UNESCO World Heritage village of Shirakawago, known for its thatched roof farmhouses. Then arrive in Kanazawa, home of Japan’s most beautiful landscape garden, Kenrokuen. This is a city of craftsmanship: gold leaf, lacquer ware, pottery and silk dyeing.

Day 10-12 Osaka & Kobe

Cheer on Scotland in Kobe

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Day 10-12 Osaka & Kobe

Next up is Osaka, home of the some of the best food in Japan. From Osaka you’ll make use of Japan’s amazing transportation network to travel the short distance west to the port city of Kobe. Sandwiched between mountains and the sea, Kobe boasts great seafood as well as the world-famous wagyu beef. Here Scotland have their second pool match against feisty Samoa.

Day 13-14 Hiroshima

Visit infamous Hiroshima and Miyajima Island

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Day 13-14 Hiroshima

Hop on the bullet train to reach Hiroshima, where we highly recommend a visit to the sobering Peace Memorial Museum. On your first full day you can then take the ferry to sacred Miyajima Island, home of the iconic Itsukushima shrine with its floating torii gate, and if the weather is on your side you can take the cable car to the top of Mount Misen for views of the Seto Inland Sea.

Day 15-18 Kyoto

Take a private guided day tour

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Day 15-18 Kyoto

Welcome to Kyoto, the most culturally rich city in Asia. On your first full day here, we’ll arrange a private guide to show you the famous sites – Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Nijo Castle and the Golden Pavilion, as well as lesser known markets, picturesque backstreets and craft shops. Also learn to make sushi and take a day trip to nearby Nara.

Day 19-21 Nagoya & Shizuoka

Watch Scotland against Russia

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Day 19-21 Nagoya & Shizuoka

Nagoya is your base for the next three nights. It’s an easy train journey from here to the Shizuoka Ecopa Stadium where Scotland will take on Russia. Decompress after the rugby excitement with a visit to one of Nagoya many museums or theme parks including Legoland.

Day 22-26 Yokohama & Tokyo

See Scotland tackle the home nation

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Day 22-26 Yokohama & Tokyo

Tonight you’re invited to our special pre-match event in Yokohama to mingle with fellow Scotland fans and gear up for a spectacular weekend of rugby. On Sunday 13th October Scotland will take on Japan, an unpredictable side – who knows what they can do on their home turf?

Map & Destinations

Map & Destinations

This trip starts and finishes in Yokohama so you can fly in and out of Tokyo Narita or Tokyo Haneda Airport. Between matches you'll see Japan's very best sights from Miyajima shrine island, to the temples of Kyoto and infamous Hiroshima.

Yokohama

Scotland kick start their rugby campaign

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Yokohama

Just half an hour from Tokyo, Japan’s second-largest city is where Commodore Perry first landed in 1853, demanding Japan end its 300-year policy of self-isolation and open up to foreign trade. Yokohama soon grew into one of Asia’s major ports, and remains a popular international city today.

Many of the sights in Yokohama are based around the waterfront, giving it a sense of space that Tokyo lacks and contributing to the city’s more laid-back, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Minato Mirai, or “harbour of the future”, is the innovative and ever-changing heart of the area, featuring modern shopping malls, a fascinating maritime museum and a museum of modern art.

Unquestionably the biggest draw for Japanese tourists is Japan’s largest Chukagai (Chinatown), just south of the old centre. Although mostly a modern district now, it has retained a picturesque, Chinese-style temple and offers a multitude of popular restaurants within its narrow and colourful streets.

One of the most interesting places in the city is Sankei-en Garden, a haven of peace in the big city. A wealthy silk merchant constructed this traditional Japanese garden, with the small rivers, flowers and wonderful winding trails suggesting the hidden corners of traditional Kyoto rather than this ultramodern metropolis.

Whilst in Yokohama, don’t miss the Cup Noodle Museum – a paean to instant ramen, where you can learn about the history of this ubiquitous foodstuff and have the chance to make your own!

Matsumoto

Relive the days of the samurai

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Matsumoto

Matsumoto, located in the Japanese Alps, makes for a welcome contrast to the huge, neon cities of the eastern seaboard. Here you’ll find fantastic art museums and delicious food presided over by the “Black Crow” castle, which rises dramatically above the city centre.

Matsumoto today is a very cosmopolitan city and has long been a centre of the arts and education. It’s the hometown of the celebrated artist Yayoi Kusama, whose polka-dot creations have graced art galleries worldwide – and can be found on display at the Matsumoto City Museum of Art. If you’re interested in the visual arts, we also highly recommend heading to the city’s ukiyo-e museum, which is located in the suburbs and houses the world’s largest collection of traditional Japanese woodblock prints.

Though its cultural offerings are diverse, the highlight is undoubtedly its castle – which is considered to be one of the most beautiful original castles in Japan. Having survived over four hundred years through wars, earthquakes and fires, the current keep dates back to around the late sixteenth century and is open for the public to explore and admire.

On a final culinary note, Matsumoto is also renowned for its soba or buckwheat noodles and its wasabi – the spicy green radish paste that usually accompanies sushi has a habit of catching the uninitiated unawares! Soba noodles make for a delicious lunch whether served hot or cold, and if you have an interest in wasabi then we recommend a visit to the Daio Wasabi Farm just outside the city.

Takayama

Cycle past rice paddies and farmland

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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!

Kanazawa

Explore Kenrokuen landscape garden

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Kanazawa

Kanazawa is one of Japan’s best-preserved historical cities, with a wonderful samurai quarter, fascinating geisha district, all kinds of traditional crafts and one of the top three (if not the top one) landscape gardens in Japan.

Until 150 years ago, Kanazawa was the fourth-largest city in Japan, its wealth built on high rice production and long periods of peace. However, left behind by mass industrialisation, modern Kanazawa is one of Japan’s smaller urban centres and has retained its charm in a way that many Japanese cities have not.

Kanazawa prides itself on its refinement and heritage. A wander into any of the city’s three tea districts (Higashiyama, Nishichaya-gai and Kazue-machi), the home of Kanazawa’s geisha, will transport you into another world where you can slip into a teahouse and enjoy a few moments’ rest and relaxation. In Nagamachi you can visit earthen-walled residences in one of the best-preserved samurai quarters in Japan, while at Kenrokuen you can spend a couple of hours strolling in what is perhaps the country’s most beautiful landscape garden – a stunning sight in any season.

In addition to its historical districts, Kanazawa is known for the high quality of its traditional crafts. Kutani pottery, kaga-yuzen silk dyeing, lacquer ware and gold leaf are still practised in small workshops across the city, and in some cases you can try your hand at these ancient arts for yourself.

Kanazawa is a look at the other side of Japanese city life, one where everything doesn’t happen at a hundred miles an hour and where people still have time to appreciate the finest elements of the Japanese tradition.

Osaka

Cheer on Scotland in nearby Kobe

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Osaka

Osaka is the concrete beating heart of the Kansai region – Japan’s second biggest industrial area with an output rivalling that of Australia. This is modern Japan writ large: massive crowds, huge department stores, karaoke boxes, bars, restaurants and clubs one on top of the other.

Osaka has all the galleries and museums you’d expect of a large city – but the best way to experience the character of the place is on the street and in the buzzing, larger-than-life entertainment quarters. Osaka has a reputation for a work-hard-play-hard mentality, and from about 6pm the streets are alive with businessmen, shop workers and students all out to relax and have a good time. Youth culture is everywhere you turn, with video game parlours and karaoke centres lining the covered arcades.

Most importantly, Osaka is one of the best places to try Japanese food – whether it’s octopus balls from a street-side stand, okonomiyaki savoury pancakes (a regional speciality), or some of best sushi in the world. The streets around Nanba and Dotonbori are jam-packed with a dazzling array of superb eateries for all budgets.

Osaka is located in the Kansai region of Japan’s main island, close to many of Japan’s most interesting destinations such as Kyoto and Nara, and with excellent transport links across the country.

Hiroshima

Visit infamous Hiroshima and Miyajima Island

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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

Take a private guided day tour

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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.

After all the hype you’ll hear about Kyoto before you arrive (from us as much as anyone), on first glance the city may not live up to expectations. Most visitors arrive at Kyoto Station, a gleaming ode to futuristic architecture designed by Hiroshi Hara, before being swept out past tacky Kyoto Tower, drab concrete shops and karaoke bars. But Kyoto is Japan’s seventh-largest city, not a tiny rural village, and it is the juxtaposition of modern, urban life against the time-honoured traditions that make this one of the most fascinating of Asian cities.

Today, Kyoto is home to more than 2,000 temples and shrines, including an amazing 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Given its status as the standard-bearer for Japanese culture and history, it is not really surprising that Kyoto attracts more than 40 million visitors a year. Packed with must-see sights, from the rock garden of Ryoan-ji to the Golden Pavilion of Kinkaku-ji, from the famous Kiyomizu-dera Temple to the “nightingale floors” of Nijo Castle; you will find that here it is impossible to escape the tour bus crowds. Yet for those who make the effort, Kyoto’s narrow streets are packed with hidden beauties – exquisite gardens and little-known temples – that are quiet and peaceful even at the height of the tourist season.

Kyoto is there to be uncovered and discovered, and once you have scratched the surface, it is a city sure to draw you back time and time again.

Nagoya

Watch Scotland against Russia

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Nagoya

Nagoya is rarely afforded more than a couple of pages in guide books, perhaps due to its almost total destruction at the end of WW2. Yet this is a city that has played a pivotal role in the development of the Japan you will find today and offers a great deal for visitors willing to give it a chance.

Nagoya’s most famous son is Tokugawa Ieyasu, who in 1603 after a series of bloody encounters, defeated his rivals (those loyal to the former shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who also hailed from Nagoya) at the battle of Sekigahara, to become ruler of all Japan. The establishment of Tokugawa rule in 1603 ushered in a period of unprecedented economic prosperity and peace in Japan and Nagoya citizens continue to be proud of the achievements of the Tokugawa. These days Nagoya is a major industrial centre with some of Japan most powerful companies (Toyota, MUFJ Bank, Toho Gas) being based here.

With some of the best shopping in Japan, a friendly cosmopolitan atmosphere and fabulous food Nagoya makes for a fantastic stop on any Japan itinerary.

Yokohama & Tokyo

See Scotland tackle the home nation

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Yokohama & 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.

The options here are endless. You can mix eye-popping neon, cacophonous gaming arcades, riotous nightlife and seething crowds of people with serene gardens, wide open parks, peaceful wooded shrines and a wealth of fascinating museums. You can scale the tallest tower in the world, visit the largest fish market in the world, catch a train from the busiest station in the world, and eat dinner in the city with the most Michelin stars in the world. As you can imagine, we could go on and on – but really you just have to see it for yourself!

Accommodation

Accommodation

Due to high demand, we currently have limited accommodation availability at Classic (three star) grade, but we do have Superior (four star) packages available.

 

This itinerary includes classic grade Western-style hotels (approximately three star) in all destinations.

Yokohama: Daiwa Roynet Yokohama Koen

Matsumoto: Alpico Plaza Hotel

Takayama: Hida Hanasato-No-Yu Ouan

Kanazawa: Trusty Kanazawa Korinbo

Osaka: Osaka View Hotel Honmachi

Hiroshima: Hiroshima Washington Hotel

Kyoto: Daiwa Roynet Kyoto Shijo Karasuma

Nagoya: Nagoya Tokyu REI

Tokyo: Washington Shinjuku

 

Superior grade (approximately four star) accommodation is available on request.

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