The Full English (All England Pool Matches)

Self-Guided Adventures

Classic

Planning to be there in person for all of England’s pool matches? We’ll help you get to Sapporo, Kobe, Tokyo and Yokohama while experiencing the best of Japan en-route. You’re also invited to our pre-match special events ahead of the Tonga and France games; a chance to mingle with fellow England fans, soak up Japanese culture and get into the rugby spirit.

In between you’ll visit infamous Hiroshima and the sacred shrine island of Miyajima. You’ll also explore the Japan Alps; a region of samurai castles, sake breweries, morning markets and mountain towns. And no trip to Japan is complete without Kyoto, home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

On this culturally immersive trip, you’ll cycle through rural farmland, try a hands on cooking lesson, and take a private guided tour of Kyoto’s temples and gardens. With 25 nights to play with, this trip combines all the England rugby action with the very best of Japan.

Trip highlights

  • Follow England throughout the rugby pools
  • Cycle through rural countryside in the Japan Alps
  • Get hands on with Japanese cuisine in a Kyoto cooking class
  • Visit infamous Hiroshima and Miyajima shrine island
  • Celebrate the rugby at our pre-match special events
  • **Please note, none of our trips or tours contain official match tickets**

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)

England v Argentina

Tokyo

Saturday 5 October

KO 17:00 (local time)

England v France

Yokohama

Saturday 12 October

KO 17:15 (local time)

Trip essentials

Starts 20th September 2019

Ends 15th October 2019

25 nights: from £5,640 (excl. intl. flights) per person

Trip code: ESGA3

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

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

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

From Hokkaido to Hiroshima, this mighty 25 night adventure will see you follow England through all four pool matches while also experiencing the best of Japanese culture en-route.

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Day 1 Tokyo

Welcome to Japan Rugby 2019

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Day 1 Tokyo

Jet into Tokyo Narita or Haneda Airport. We’ll ensure you are met on arrival and taken by shared shuttle bus straight to your hotel in the heart of Tokyo.

Day 2-4 Sapporo

Head north to earthy Sapporo

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Day 2-4 Sapporo

England kick off their rugby campaign in Sapporo, on Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido. You’ll take a domestic flight there, in time for our special pre-match party. Meet fellow England fans over a few Sapporo beers and get into the rugby spirit, Hokkaido-style!

Day 5-8 Osaka

Check out Osaka’s neon jungle

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Day 5-8 Osaka

Another domestic flight will take you to Osaka, Japan’s second largest metropolis. Stay amid the bright neon lights of the Nanba district; a great place for people watching amid the ramen joints, street food stalls and shopping arcades. Osaka is perfectly located for making the short train journey to Kobe where you’ll witness England take on the US.

Day 9-10 Hiroshima

Visit the Peace Memorial Museum

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Day 9-10 Hiroshima

90 minutes on the bullet train will take you on to Hiroshima where the moving Peace Memorial Museum reveals the tragic events of 6th August 1945. Afterwards make a side trip to Miyajima, a sacred island guarded by a red shrine gate standing proudly in the sea.

Day 11-14 Kyoto

Explore Japan’s finest temples and gardens

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Day 11-14 Kyoto

Kyoto is your home for the next four nights. Take a private guided tour of the city to uncover ancient temples and shrines, exquisite gardens and the Gion geisha district. Try your hand at cooking Japanese cuisine, and make a side trip to Nara to see the giant bronze Buddha at Todai-ji Temple.

Day 15-17 Tokyo

See England take on Argentina

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Day 15-17 Tokyo

Jump on the bullet train to travel back to Tokyo and see England take on Los Pumas. The first time these two teams met was a 19-19 draw in 1981. Let’s hope England emerge victorious this time! Recover from the match with a free day to explore Tokyo’s soaring skyscrapers, the fish market and Hamarikyu Garden.

Day 18-19 Takayama

Journey into the Japan Alps

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Day 18-19 Takayama

Swap Tokyo for Takayama, a mountain town of traditional wooden buildings, sake breweries and morning markets. Spend half a day on a guided cycle tour through the Hida countryside; peddle past rice paddies, quaint villages and picturesque farmland.

Day 20 Matsumoto

Marvel at the Black Crow Castle

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Day 20 Matsumoto

Travel by bus through the mountains to reach Matsumoto, home of the Black Crow Castle. An original structure from the 16th century, the castle evokes the era of the samurai. Take a further history lesson in the Nakamachi traditional merchant district and the ukiyoe woodblock print museum.

Day 21 Nagano

Delve into Buddhism at Zenko-ji Temple

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Day 21 Nagano

Nagano City centres on Zenko-ji, a prominent temple complex founded in the 7th century. Hidden in the temple is the first Buddha statue ever brought to Japan. A short train ride away a troop of macaque monkeys mimic human behaviour by bathing in natural hot springs.

Day 22-26 Tokyo & Yokohama

Loop back for England v France

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Day 22-26 Tokyo & Yokohama

And finally it’s back to Tokyo again for what is sure to be an epic showdown: England v France. We’ll be hosting a Tokyo-tastic pre-match event in the capital, injecting a dose of Japanese culture into the rugby proceedings. The match itself takes place in Yokohama where you’ll be staying, an easy 10 minutes by bullet train from downtown Tokyo.

Map & Destinations

Map & Destinations

Your journey starts and finishes in Tokyo; fly in and out of Tokyo Narita or Tokyo Haneda Airport. In between you’ll travel from Sapporo on Hokkaido Island, all the way down to Hiroshima.

Tokyo

Welcome to Japan Rugby 2019

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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.

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!

Sapporo

Head north to earthy Sapporo

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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. Prior to the establishment of the city, the area occupied by Sapporo was a quiet hunting and fishing ground home to a number of indigenous Ainu settlements. 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).

Just to the north of Odori Park are Hokkaido University’s botanical gardens, which retain some of the virgin forest that stood in the area before Hokkaido was built. There is also a museum here dedicated to the Ainu, Hokkaido’s indigenous population, which provides a fascinating but poignant insight into a beleaguered people who have only recently begun to reclaim their culture and celebrate their heritage.

All in all there’s plenty to see, eat, and explore in Sapporo, whatever the time of year.

Osaka

Check out Osaka’s neon jungle

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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 the Peace Memorial Museum

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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

Explore Japan’s finest temples and gardens

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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.

Takayama

Journey into the Japan 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!

Matsumoto

Marvel at the Black Crow Castle

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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.

Nagano

Delve into Buddhism at Zenko-ji Temple

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Nagano

Nagano has a history stretching back to the Kamakura period (1185-1333) when it was a temple town centred around Zenko-ji temple. The temple is still Nagano’s main attraction with more than 4 million visitors a year.

In the late 1990’s the city came to international attention as the host of the 1998 Winter Olympics. As well as a fair amount of debt, the games left a legacy of improved transport, great English tourist information, some wonderful Olympic buildings and a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Nagano makes a great base for day trips, including visiting the famous snow monkeys in Yudanaka Onsen.

Accommodation

Accommodation

This itinerary includes the following Classic mid-range Western-style hotels (approximately three star). Breakfast is included every day.

Tokyo: Ryogoku View Hotel

Sapporo: Sapporo Tokyu REI

Osaka: Osaka View Hotel Honmachi

Hiroshima: Hiroshima Washington Hotel

Kyoto: Gracery Kyoto Sanjo

Tokyo: Shiba Park Hotel

Takayama: Hida Hanasato-No-Yu Ouan

Matsumoto: Alpico Plaza Hotel

Nagano: Nagano Tokyu REI

Yokohama: Daiwa Roynet Yokohama Koen

 

An upgrade to the following Superior grade accommodation is available for an additional £1,790 per person.

Tokyo: Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

Sapporo: Sapporo View Hotel

Osaka: Swissotel Nankai Osaka

Hiroshima: Sheraton Grand Hiroshima

Kyoto: Nikko Princess Kyoto

Tokyo: Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

Takayama: Hida Hotel Plaza

Matsumoto: Buena Vista Hotel

Nagano: JAL City Hotel Nagano

Tokyo: Shibuya Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel

 

Interested in upgrading from Classic grade? For an additional £4,100 per person you can upgrade your accommodation to Deluxe (five star) level. The deluxe accommodation will be the following:

Tokyo: The Capitol Hotel Tokyu

Sapporo: Mercure Sapporo

Osaka: Marriott Miyako Osaka

Hiroshima: Sheraton Grand Hiroshima

Kyoto: Okura Kyoto Hotel

Tokyo: The Capitol Hotel Tokyu

Takayama: Associa Takayama Resort

Matsumoto: Shouhou Hotel

Nagano: Metropolitan Nagano

Tokyo: The Capitol Hotel Tokyu

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