Wales: Valleys to Volcanoes (Last Two Pool Matches)

Self-Guided Adventures

Classic

Wales’ rugby campaign will already be off to a flying start when you join them in Japan for the last two thrilling pool matches against Fiji and Uruguay. On this 9 night itinerary you’ll venture off the regular tourist track as you travel around volcanic Kyushu, southernmost of Japan’s four main islands.

In between the hotly contested fixtures, you’ll have plenty of time to take in the stunning Kyushu scenery, soak in mineral-rich hot springs in Kurokawa Onsen, and marvel at one of Japan’s most impressive samurai castles in Kumamoto. And if sampling local cuisine is a must-do when you’re on holiday, you’re in luck; you’ll be visiting two of Japan’s top gastronomic cities, Osaka and Fukuoka, where you can tuck into some truly scrumptious street food.

  • Tuck into mouth-watering Osakan street food
  • Cheer on the Welsh as they battle Fiji and Uruguay
  • Discover the lush, wild beauty of Kyushu Island
  • Speed across Japan on the sleek bullet train
  • Soak in the hot springs of Kurokawa Onsen
  • **Please note, none of our trips or tours contain official match tickets**

Trip fits with:

Wales v Fiji

Oita

Wednesday 9 October

KO 18:45 (local time)

Wales v Uruguay

Kumamoto

Sunday 13 October

KO 17:15 (local time)

Trip essentials

Starts 6th October 2019

Ends 15th October 2019

9 nights: from £2,160 (excl. intl. flights) per person

Trip code: WSGA2

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

Wales

vs

Fiji

Pool D Round 1

Oita

Wed 9th October 2019

KO 18:45 (local time)

Oita Stadium

Stadium info

Wales

vs

Uruguay

Pool D Round 1

Kumamoto

Sun 13th October 2019

KO 17:15 (local time)

Kumamoto Stadium

Stadium info

Day by Day

Day by Day

Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands, is the scene for Wales’s third and fourth pool matches. En-route explore volcanoes, hot springs and samurai castles.

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Day 1 Osaka

Welcome to Japan!

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Day 1 Osaka

Fly into Osaka Kansai Airport and we’ll welcome you to Japan with a private car journey to your first hotel. You’ll sleep off any jet lag at a hotel in the centre of Osaka ahead of tomorrow’s bullet train journey to Fukuoka.

Day 2 Fukuoka

Chow down on ramen noodles

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Day 2 Fukuoka

600km takes just over two hours on the bullet train from Osaka to Fukuoka. Kyushu Island’s capital city is the home of Hakata ramen noodles. At night food stalls line the canal serving pork ramen along with grilled chicken skewers and hot pots – not to be missed!

Day 3-5 Oita

See the Dragons take on Fiji

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Day 3-5 Oita

Wales have met Fiji three times at the tournament in 2007, 2011 and 2015, but which side will emerge supreme in Japan? The clash takes place in Oita City. After the match, the stone Buddha statues of Usuki is a worthy day trip.

Day 6 Kurokawa Onsen

Stay at a hot springs hotel.

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Day 6 Kurokawa Onsen

Journey into the heart of Kyushu to beautiful Kurokawa Onsen. This tiny town lined with traditional wooden buildings is known for its natural volcanic waters. You’ll stay in a Japanese-style hotel, a great place to try hot spring bathing.

Day 7-8 Kumamoto

Witness Wales v Uruguay

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Day 7-8 Kumamoto

Next up is the castle town of Kumamoto. Built in 1607, the castle remains intact since the days of the samurai. Close by is an excellent example of Japanese landscape gardening at Suizen-ji. Wales take on Uruguay at Kumamoto Stadium on Sunday 13th October.

Day 9-10 Osaka

Return to Osaka

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Day 9-10 Osaka

Your trip comes full circle today as you take the bullet train back to Osaka. We’ve thrown in a guided street food tour this evening to help you round off your Japan adventure. Be sure to give the octopus dumplings, savoury pancakes and kushikatsu skewers a try.

Map & Destinations

Map & Destinations

You'll need to fly in and out of Osaka Kansai Airport for this itinerary which will then see you whizzing south on the bullet train to the island of Kyushu.

Osaka

Welcome to Japan!

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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.

Fukuoka

Chow down on ramen noodles

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Fukuoka

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.

Oita

See the Dragons take on Fiji

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Oita

Oita Prefecture is a land of hot springs bubbling forth from the unending volcanic activity of Kyushu Island. The Japanese have been harnessing this power for centuries; the tradition of bathing in thermal waters to reap therapeutic benefits dates back to the 8th century.

Beppu is the region’s most famous hot spring resort. Billowing clouds of steam fill the city streets. As well as traditional hot spring baths, Beppu has mud baths, natural steam saunas and sand baths where bathers are buried in naturally heated sand – good for the circulation apparently!

Several matches will take place at Oita Stadium, south of Oita City, the prefecture’s capital. The city has a couple of good art museums. Nearby the former castle town of Usuki has an interesting collection of stone Buddhas carved into cliffs.

Kurokawa Onsen

Stay at a hot springs ryokan inn

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Kurokawa Onsen

Located in Kyushu and near Mt Aso – one of Japan’s active volcanoes, Kurokawa Onsen offers some dramatic landscapes and is a great destination for outdoor activities. Thanks to the volcanic activity there are also plenty of hot springs around to soak in and relax after a long day out.

Kurokawa is a small hot spring village nestled in the countryside near Mount Aso. A day trip to the mountain from here will mean that you have plenty of time to get some fantastic views of this, the world’s largest caldera. There is some great hiking and walking to enjoy both at Aso and from Kurokawa Onsen itself – including the Suzume Jigoku (Sparrow’s Hell) which is a bubbling valley of sulphur pools – the source of all that hot spring water. After hiking and exploration there are a number of hot spring bath houses to enjoy for which you can get a special pass from the tourist information centre or you can relax in the baths at your ryokan.

Kumamoto

Witness Wales v Uruguay

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Kumamoto

Located on the west coast of Kyushu Island, Kumamoto is a city rich in samurai history and provides an excellent base for exploring Kumamoto Prefecture’s many areas of great natural beauty.

The city’s signature landmark, Kumamoto Castle, is officially designated one of the top three original castles in Japan, and is most famous for its musha gaeshi curved stone walls, which offered maximum protection against attackers throughout the city’s great history.

The castle is a great place to enjoy the changing of the seasons, as is Suizenji Park – a group of traditional Japanese gardens which feature a miniature version of Mount Fuji and a teahouse brought all the way from the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Suizenji Park is a short tram ride out of the city and a nice place to relax and take in the beauty of a meticulous Japanese garden.

Other attractions in Kumamoto are its shrines and temples, the Hosokawa Samurai Residence, and Mount Kinpo – a mountain on the outskirts of town from which expansive views across the city and surrounding mountains can be enjoyed.

Kumamoto is one of the few cities in Japan where the train station is not at the heart of the city. A short tram ride will see you in downtown Kumamoto and at the entrance to Shimotori and Kamitori shopping arcades. Filled with a great of array of restaurants, bars and shops, life in this relatively small city is 24/7 and there is always something to do.

Accommodation

Accommodation

This itinerary includes mid-range Western-style hotels (approximately three star) in all destinations bar Kurokawa Onsen. Breakfast is included every day.

In Kurokawa Onsen you will stay in a Japanese-style hotel, which mixes Western comforts with Japanese decor, hot spring baths, and a traditional dinner consisting of a dozen or so intricate, seasonal dishes.

The following accommodation is included in this package:

Osaka: Candeo Hotels Osaka Nanba

Fukuoka: Candeo Hotels Fukuoka Tenjin

Oita: Rembrandt Oita

Kurokawa Onsen: Sanai Kogen Hotel

Kumamoto: Candeo Hotels Ozu Kumamoto Airport

If you would prefer higher grade accommodation, please let us know and we can tailor the itinerary to suit you.

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