With just a little over a month before the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan this autumn, we compiled some useful facts you should know before the big event.
1. Important dates
Quarter-Finals: 19-20 October
Semi-Finals: 26-27 October
Bronze Final: 1 November
Final: 2 November
2. Pools, matches, and ticket info
Now that all the teams have qualified for the tournament, you can find all the information about pools, match schedules, and ticket information on the official Rugby World Cup website.
3. Rugby is gaining popularity in Japan
The rugby boom has come to Japan since the last tournament due to the success of the Japanese national team. England hosted in 2015 where they were eliminated after coming in 3rd place in the qualifying league. Japan, on the other hand, lost the qualifying third place in the qualifying league, despite a historic victory against South Africa.
Despite their loss, the Japanese national team’s performance boosted the sport’s popularity. For this reason, tournament tickets may be hard to come by. Of the approximately 1.8 million tickets available in total, 1.44 million (80%) have already been sold.
4. Watch matches at Fan Zones
Great news for those who can’t get tickets online! There will be ‘Fan Zones’ spread across the entire country where you can catch the matches for free. Check out the full list of locations here.
5. Expect a lot of foreigners
According to the Rugby World Cup organisers’ announcements, roughly 30% of ticket purchases are from overseas, especially from England, Australia and Ireland.
6. Make sure you have mobile data
With the Rugby World Cup and Olympics coming up, Japan is making a huge effort to become more international. That said, almost all signages and menus will be in Japanese and not all locals may understand English. This makes it important to have mobile data so that you can translate and look things up while on the go. You can purchase a prepaid SIM card for Japan before your trip and avoid the hassle and high prices when purchasing in Japan.
7. Enjoy local food and tourism
Since the matches will be held across the country, from Hokkaido in the north and Kyushu in the south, tournament goers will not only get to enjoy rugby but also local dishes and the traditional culture of Japan. If it’s your first trip to Japan, take a look at our guide for first-time travellers and learn more about Japanese cuisine on our blog.