Spirit of Samurai (Quarters 1 & 3, Semis & Finals)

Self-Guided Adventures

Classic

The pool stages are over, and the road to victory is lined with high-stakes matches against the best teams in the world. You’ll be joining the final eight teams on a journey to the finals, while combining rugby with visits to the best destinations across Japan.

Start your 21 night adventure in Osaka, foodie haven of Japan, before jetting south on the world-renowned bullet train to Kyushu, Japan’s southwestern island. The lush forests and volcanic mountains of Kyushu tends to remain off the regular tourist track, making it the perfect place to discover a down-to-earth side of Japan and delve into the rich history of Nagasaki and the laid-back atmosphere of Fukuoka.

After the quarter-final clashes you’ll be heading east; first it’ll be back to Osaka where we’ll arrange for you to join a street food tour of backstreet eateries. Next stop is Hakone National Park, tucked into the foothills of Mount Fuji. This hot-spring rich valley is a great destination for combining relaxation with a spot of sightseeing and museum-hopping using a quirky smorgasbord of transportation – cable cars, pirate ships, mountain trains – Hakone has it all.

The cosmopolitan harbour city of Yokohama is your next destination and it’ll be straight back into the thick of the rugby with the semi-finals in Yokohama itself. Take a breather with a two-night trip to Shimoda, an historic coastal town on the Izu Peninsula, a 2-hour scenic train ride southwest of Yokohama. Then round off your Japan adventure with a last week in Yokohama. There’ll be time to explore the diverse districts and marvel at the sights in both Yokohama and Tokyo, and to round off your trip you’ll get to see the best team in the world crowned champion at the final in Yokohama. It’ll be a trip to remember!

Trip highlights

  • Be at the heart of the rugby action
  • Tuck into Osakan cuisine on a street food tour
  • Explore the scenic southwestern island of Kyushu
  • Soak in hot springs in Hakone National Park
  • Join our exclusive rugby fan events in Fukuoka and Tokyo
  • **Please note, none of our trips or tours contain official match tickets**

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)

Bronze Final

Tokyo

Friday 1 November

KO 18:00 (local time)

Final

Yokohama

Saturday 2 November

KO 18:00 (local time)

Trip essentials

Starts 15th October 2019

Ends 5th November 2019

21 nights: from £4,440 (excl. intl. flights) per person

Trip code: AFSGA13

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

-

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

-

vs

-

Pool BF

Tokyo

Fri 1st November 2019

KO 18:00 (local time)

Tokyo Stadium

Stadium info

-

vs

-

Pool F

Yokohama

Sat 2nd November 2019

KO 18:00 (local time)

Yokohama Stadium

Stadium info

Day by Day

Day by Day

Witness the best rugby teams in the world battle it out in the quarters and semis for a spot in the final in Yokohama. Between matches, visit the volcanic island of Kyushu, the foodie haven of Osaka, hot spring-rich Hakone, and coastal Shimoda, before rounding off your adventure in Yokohama and vibrant Tokyo, a city that never sleeps.

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Day 1 Osaka

Touchdown in Osaka

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Day 1 Osaka

You’ll be arriving into Osaka Kansai International Airport today, and we’ll arrange for a private car to whisk you in comfort to your hotel in the heart of the city. Use the rest of the day to get over your jet lag, or head out to get your bearings and try some local cuisine.

Day 2-3 Nagasaki

Speed south on the world-famous bullet train

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Day 2-3 Nagasaki

It’ll be a long journey to Nagasaki in Kyushu today, but you’ll get to kick back and relax on the high-speed bullet train, the pride of Japan’s transport system. Nagasaki might be infamous for the events of August 1945, but it’s also a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a rich history; after all, Japan’s first contact with the West took place in Nagasaki. Explore the architecturally diverse city on retro trams and take advantage of the great Chinese street food.

Day 4-6 Fukuoka & Oita

Gear up for the quarter-finals in Oita

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Day 4-6 Fukuoka & Oita

Head east to Fukuoka, one of Japan’s most easy-going cities, and join fellow fans for our exclusive rugby event. We’ll organise your transport to get you to Oita where the rugby excitement kicks off with matches one and three of the quarter-finals – hopefully your team will be there!

Day 7-8 Osaka

Join a street food tour of "Japan's kitchen"

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Day 7-8 Osaka

You’ll make the journey back to Osaka on the bullet train today. You’ll have plenty of time to explore at your own pace, from Osaka Castle to the retro streets of Shinsekai. After working up an appetite, join an evening food tour of the famous Dotonbori area, where you can tuck into savoury okonomiyaki pancakes, steaming octopus dumplings, and grilled kushikatsu skewers.

Day 9-10 Hakone

Soak in hot spring pools

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Day 9-10 Hakone

Hakone has a long history as a top onsen (hot spring) destination, easily accessible from Tokyo. Seated in the foothills of Mount Fuji, Hakone is a popular area where you can combine sightseeing, museum-hopping, and hot spring bathing all in one compact area. Your included Hakone Freepass allows unlimited rides on the quirky mix of transportation, including the ‘pirate ship’ cruise and the panoramic cable car.

Day 11-13 Tokyo & Yokohama

Watch the rugby semi-finals

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Day 11-13 Tokyo & Yokohama

Feeling refreshed from the hot spring baths, it’s back to Yokohama today. You’ve got two thrilling matches coming up – the Semi Finals. Will one of the home nations progress to the Finals…? You’ll be right there to find out!

Day 14-15 Shimoda

Swap skyscrapers for the seaside in Shimoda

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Day 14-15 Shimoda

You’ll be making a two night trip to the Izu Peninsula, a 2-hour train ride southwest of Yokohama, to the seaside town of Shimoda. Atop a forested hill, Shimoda Park is a pleasant place for a walk, while Shirahama Beach is also just a short distance from the hotel. Around the town are various sites related to Commodore Perry’s historic arrival in 1854, ending Japan’s self-imposed period of isolation and marking the beginning diplomatic relations with the US.

Day 16-22 Tokyo & Yokohama

Witness the rugby climax in Yokohama

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Day 16-22 Tokyo & Yokohama

The final week of your trip will be a whirlwind of rugby; huge matches between the best teams in the world, as well as an invite to our exclusive pre-match fan event in Yokohama before the bronze final. The climax of the tournament will take place at Yokohama’s 72,000 seat stadium where you can cheer yourself hoarse – it’s bound to be an incredible spectacle.

Before heading home you can take a day trip to the seaside town of Kamakura with its Kyoto-esque temples, bamboo grove, and traditional streets lined with little craft shops. Your final full day will be spent at leisure in Tokyo visiting any final sights that you missed. On the final day you’ll hop on the train for the journey out to the airport in plenty of time for your flight home.

Map & Destinations

Map & Destinations

This itinerary begins in Osaka and ends in Yokohama, so you will need to fly into Osaka Kansai International Airport, and fly out of one of Tokyo’s international airports: Tokyo Narita or Tokyo Haneda. From Osaka you’ll journey on the bullet train south to Kyushu for the quarter-finals, then back to Osaka before heading east to Hakone, Yokohama, and Shimoda for the semis and finals.

Osaka

Touchdown in Osaka

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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.

Nagasaki

Speed south on the world-famous bullet train

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Nagasaki

Built on the shores of a natural bay, Nagasaki’s rich history as a trading port is reflected in its local culture, cosmopolitan atmosphere, and the diversity of its architecture. This is a city that deserves to be renowned for a lot more than the atomic bomb.

Japan’s first contact with the West took place in Nagasaki with the arrival of missionaries and traders from Portugal and the Netherlands who were confined to the small enclave of Dejima (“Exit Island”), a fan-shaped artificial island in the bay. This long history of international influence is reflected in Nagasaki’s unusually diverse architecture – with Japanese shrines rubbing shoulders with Chinese temples and Western colonial-style houses.

One of the most interesting parts of Nagasaki is Glover Garden, another remnant of Nagasaki’s cosmopolitan past. Named after the influential Scottish entrepreneur Thomas Glover, the park contains various colonial-style mansions that were home to Western settlers in the second half of the 19th century, and is now open to the public as a fascinating open-air museum.

With its easy-to-use tram system and attractive vintage streetcars, Nagasaki is a joy to explore. Blessed with a cosmopolitan and relaxed atmosphere, the city is remembered by many visitors as one of the most pleasant experiences in all Japan. To cap off your visit, we highly recommend an evening cable car trip to the top of Mount Inasa for a spectacular night-time panorama over the city.

Fukuoka & Oita

Gear up for the quarter-finals in Oita

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Fukuoka & Oita

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.

Hakone

Soak in hot spring pools

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Hakone

Set in the mountainous countryside just to the South of Mount Fuji, Hakone offers a curious mix of different attractions. Whether you wish to bathe in the hot spring waters, admire views of Mt. Fuji, eat eggs boiled in sulphurous springs, visit world class art museums, or simply relax, Hakone has it all.

Hakone has been a popular resting post since the Japanese warrior Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered a natural bath to be built here in 1590, enabling his battle-weary men to relax in the natural hot spring waters of this volcanic area.

Onsen (hot spring) houses proliferate throughout the region, which is criss-crossed by a collection of ropeways, cable-cars and funicular railways linking the many small communities and a wide variety of museums, from the outdoor sculpture park with works by Henry Moore, Miro, Maillol and Rodin to a Ferrari exhibition hall.

On clear days the ropeways provide spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, and of course away in the distance the imperious Mount Fuji – one of the world’s most famous mountains and perhaps the most recognisable symbol of Japan.

Yokohama

Watch the rugby semi-finals

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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!

Shimoda

Swap skyscrapers for the seaside in Shimoda

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Shimoda

Shimoda town at the southern point of the Izu Peninsula is a beautiful destination, offering hot springs, historic sights and good beaches.

Shimoda and the surrounding area is popular amongst Tokyoites for a weekend break as the peninsula is only just over an hour from Yokohama by Shinkansen, and then another hour’s scenic ride down to Shimoda on a local train that runs right by the coastline. During the working week it is relatively quiet and is the perfect place for travellers to escape to for one or two nights.

The town has enjoyed a vibrant role in Japanese history as it was an important port of call on the trade route between Kamigata (Osaka) and the old capital city of Edo. It was here that Commodore Perry and representatives of the Tokugawa Shogunate signed the seminal Convention of Kanagawa trade and amity agreement in 1854, Perry having used a show of military strength to force open negotiations in Edo the year before. It wasn’t long after the treaty was signed that the first American consul, Townsend Harris, opened a consulate here.

Today Shimoda is a great place to relaxing. From Shimoda the picturesque seven waterfalls of Kawazu town are a short ride away. There are a number of great onsen in this area which makes it popular with the Japanese, such as the Amaso ryokan where you can relax after dinner in outdoor baths right beside the plunge pool of one of the waterfalls.

Accommodation

Accommodation

This itinerary includes mid-range Western-style hotels (approximately three star) in all destinations bar Hakone. Breakfast is included every day, and dinner is included for the two nights in Hakone and the two nights in Shimoda.

In Hakone National Park you will stay in a ryokan. Like hotels, ryokan vary in grade and price. In general, guest rooms have sliding doors, paper screens and tatami reed-mat flooring, and you'll sleep on thick futon mattress placed directly on the floor. Most guest rooms do not have en-suite bathrooms; instead there are communal, gender-separated hot spring baths, sometimes open air, great for relaxing in after a long day of sightseeing. But the real highlight of any ryokan stay is the food. Included dinners consist of a dozen or so intricate, seasonal dishes. At higher end ryokan, dinner is served privately in your guest room.

Osaka: Candeo Hotels Osaka Nanba

Nagasaki: New Nagasaki Hotel

Fukuoka: Monte Hermana Fukuoka

Osaka: Candeo Hotels Osaka Nanba

Hakone: Ichinoyu Susukinohara

Yokohama: Washington Hotel Isezakicho

Shimoda: Shimoda Tokyu Hotel

Yokohama: Washington Hotel Isezakicho

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