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Avatar   By Anna Sarjeant - House of Travel Content Specialist

Rugby fever has hit Japan. Here are your 12 match venues, complete with what to do in-between the action.


1. Sapporo Dome, Sapporo City

Japan’s fifth-largest city is home to the Sapporo Beer Museum and Brewery: Japan’s oldest homebrew. Pop next door to Lilac Restaurant too, for all-you-can-eat lamb. You have 60-minutes to chow down.

Consider yourself a beer connoisseur? Learn more about the world's best destinations for beer.


2. Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Fukuroi City

Temples, temples, everywhere. But green tea also sprouts up in abundance here, so if you need refreshment (or a break from the Asahi) find a tea house and order a pot.



3. City of Toyota Stadium, Toyota City

It makes sense to visit the Toyota Automobile Museum when you’re in the namesake city. Motor heads will marvel at the awesome collection of vintage cars. They’re not solely Toyota either.


4. Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Kamaishi City

This tsunami-hit fishing town lost over 1000 lives in 2011, but its Sanriku Fukko National Park remains a true beauty. With dramatic cliffs and wild beaches, retreat here for some peace and quiet.


5. Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo City

Essentials include the neonbathed streets of Shinjuku, tiny drinking dens in Golden Gai and guided night canoeing on the Kyu-Naka River. Tokyo’s enchanting old-school alleyways (or yokocho) are found all over.



6. Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka City

Yatai is a dining experience unique to Fukuoka. Once all over Japan, these tiny street food carts, crammed with a maximum of seven diners are constructed (and deconstructed) nightly.


7. Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiōsaka City

Dotonbori is the best district for street food, shopping, and bars. This city is also one of the few places where bunraku (traditional Japanese puppetry shows) can still be found.


8. Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe City

Kobe is a blessed city. Not solely for its prized Kobe Beef, but also its Nada district which is Japan’s most famous sake producing region.



9. International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama City

Just a 20-minute train ride from central Tokyo, if you don’t fancy Yokohama’s museum dedicated to instant cup noodles, explore Landmark Tower (Japan’s second tallest building) and the Motomachi shopping street.


10. Kumamoto Stadium, Kumamoto City

Home to Kumamoto Castle — but to you and I it looks like a grand Japanese temple — this fortified safehold was quake damaged. However, repairs are underway and the grounds are well worth exploring.


11. Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Kumagaya City

Menuma Shodenzan Kangiin Temple is a national treasure and an impressive structure bursting with colour. Try the no-frills snacks sold outside, such as Shoden Inari Sushi. Packed with rice, vegetables and tofu.


12. Oita Stadium, Ōita City

Skip Ōita and escape to the nearby spa city of Beppu. Known for its onsen bathing and natural hot springs pluming mist across the city. Luxuriate in the pick n’ mix of bath styles: sand, mud and steam.


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As a self-confessed travel addict, the majority of my wage, time and daydreams are spent seeing as much of the planet as my pay packet will allow. My love for a good jaunt may have been brought on by an inquisitive mind, but I am more inclined to think it was induced by several childhood holidays spent in a rain-lashed caravan. Up a mountain. On a farm. In Britain. Bored.

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There are numerous airlines flying to Tokyo but Air New Zealand is the only direct flight from Auckland. Get there in 10h 50m.


We recommend a minimum 10 days to see all the major sights.


Ask your House of Travel consultant about a Japan Rail Pass. They’re comfortable, speedy and easy.


Japanese Yen (JPY)


New Zealanders can visit Japan for tourist purposes for up to 90 days.


Temperate with four seasons. Southern Japan gets a milder winter and hotter summer than the north. Summer hits 30°C+ and winter can drop to zero.


Call 119 for fire and ambulance, 110 for Police and 118 for the Coast Guard.


You can safely drink water from the tap anywhere in Japan.

More about Japan >





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Japan: See with all your senses.

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