Rugby World Cup Japan 2019: Travel tips & weather guides

Anja Dolphin

Anja Dolphin

Are you egg-chasing crazy and planning to go to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan? This is the place to be if you're organising a trip to Japan during the tournament.

Rugby World Cup, Japan 2019 - photo courtesy of Japan National Tourism Organisation
Rugby World Cup, Japan 2019 - photo courtesy of Japan National Tourism Organisation

Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 weather guide

Welcome to your ultimate guide to the weather in Japan during the 2019 Rugby World Cup. You'll find weather averages for all 12 host cities across the country so you know what to expect and what to pack.

Tokyo

Japan's bustling, ultra-modern capital, Tokyo, is just one of the 12 host cities for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. It's home to Tokyo Stadium, which will host the opening match of the world cup.

The Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo © Daniel Neubauer - Flickr Creative Commons
The Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo © Daniel Neubauer - Flickr Creative Commons

As the capital city of Japan, Tokyo is extremely accessible. A direct flight from the UK to Japan usually takes around 11 to 12 hours. It's also easy to get to from the other host cities by both train and plane.

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Sapporo

Sapporo is the capital of the mountainous northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. It's known for being a popular ski destination with the renowned resort, Niseko, nearby.

Sampling selection in the Sapporo Beer Museum - photo courtesy of Sapporo Breweries Limited
Sampling selection in the Sapporo Beer Museum - photo courtesy of Sapporo Breweries Limited

It has previously played host to international sports events such as the 1972 Winter Olympics and the 2002 FIFA World Cup. The Sapporo Dome will be one of the host venues for the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

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Kamaishi

  • Stadium: Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium; capacity: up to 16,187
  • Nearest airport: Hanamaki Airport (HNA)*
  • Time difference: UTC+8 hours

Kamaishi may be an industrial hub but it also has stunning natural surroundings and is a vital fishing port. It was disastrously rocked by the 2011 earthquake but has come on leaps and bounds in its recovery.

It's set to be one of the host cities for the Rugby World Cup 2019 as a way to thank all those in Japan and around the world for their support. Despite this upheaval, it's blessed with rich nature and is a fantastic historical tourist destination.

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Kumagaya

  • Stadium: Kumagaya Rugby Stadium; capacity: up to 24,000
  • Nearest airport: Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)*
  • Time difference: UTC+8 hours

As part of the Greater Tokyo area, the region of Saitama has many of its own natural, historical and cultural attractions, and is easily accessed because of its convenient location.

Japanese steam locomotive from 1880, Saitama Railway Museum © David McKelvey - Flickr Creative Commons
Japanese steam locomotive from 1880, Saitama Railway Museum © David McKelvey - Flickr Creative Commons

During the World Cup 2019, Kumagaya will host matches at its Kumagaya Rugby Stadium. The city has a rich rugby history and is often referred to as Japanese rugby's "hallowed ground of the East".

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Yokohama

  • Stadium: International Stadium Yokohama; capacity: up to 72,327
  • Nearest airport: Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)*
  • Time difference: UTC+8 hours

This stunning coastal prefecture is located just south of Tokyo. Yokohama is famous for its large Chinatown, street food, traditional, landscaped Sankeien Garden and the Landmark Tower skyscraper with its rooftop garden.

The Great Amida Buddha at Kamakura - not far from Yokohama © Eqroy - Fotolia.com
The Great Amida Buddha at Kamakura - not far from Yokohama © Eqroy - Fotolia.com

It's also close to Tokyo meaning it's easily accessible. The city's International Stadium is the largest in Japan and will be one of the main host stadiums for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

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Shizuoka

  • Stadium: Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa; capacity: up to 50,889
  • Nearest airport: Shizuoka Airport (FSZ)*
  • Time difference: UTC+8 hours

Home to Japan's highest peak, Mount Fuji, plus waterfalls, beaches, and hot spring resorts, Shizuoka Prefecture is known to the Japanese as one of the most scenic places in the country.

The Ecopa Stadium in Shizuoka Prefecture © WAKA77- Wikimedia Commons
The Ecopa Stadium in Shizuoka Prefecture © WAKA77- Wikimedia Commons

It's also known for the many star athletes it has produced, including rugby players. You can sip on some green tea and then head to the Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa to watch some of the matches in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

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Toyota

Aichi Prefecture sits halfway between Tokyo and Osaka and is an interesting combination of the traditional and the modern aspects of Japan. Toyota will be well known by international rugby fans familiar with the local team, not to mention to car giant.

Toyota Stadium, which opened in 2001, was built by the city of Toyota in celebration of its 50th anniversary. You'll have no problems getting there as it's just over an hour from Tokyo by bullet train and just 50 minutes from Osaka.

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Osaka

Osaka is full of culture and historical landmarks but is also known as an industrial and commercial centre, home to the headquarters of leading Japanese companies in industries such as pharmaceuticals and electronics.

Neighbouring Higashiosaka, in particular, is known for its strong industrial base but has also been labelled "the rugby football town" due to its heavy involvement in both sports. The Hanazono Rugby Stadium, which is playing host during the World Cup, is the oldest dedicated rugby union stadium in Japan.

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Kobe

Kobe is Japan's sixth largest city and the capital of the Hyogo Prefecture. It sits in Osaka Bay and is famed for its superb Kobe beef. It's one of Japan's most popular cities, loved for its laid-back, cosmopolitan vibe.

Don't leave Kobe without trying its magnificent beef © City Foodsters - Flickr Creative Commons
Don't leave Kobe without trying its magnificent beef © City Foodsters - Flickr Creative Commons

The Kobe Misaki Stadium was originally built as one of the venues of the 2002 FIFA World Cup and is now going to be one of the stadiums used in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

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Fukuoka

  • Stadium: Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium; capacity: up to 22,563
  • Nearest airport: Fukuoka Airport (FUK)*
  • Time difference: UTC+8 hours

Fukuoka is a prefecture located on Japan's main Island of Kyushu. It represents the industrial heartland of the island, with nearly 40% of the island's economy flowing from Fukuoka.

The capital, Fukuoka City was established around a castle and is known for its ancient temples, beaches and shopping malls. The Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium is the home ground of Avispa Fukuoka football club but it also hosts rugby union matches, including a few internationals.

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Maximum daytime temperature °C
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Kumamoto

  • Stadium: Kumamoto Prefectural Athletic Stadium; capacity: up to 32,000
  • Nearest airport: Kumamoto Airport (KMJ)*
  • Time difference: UTC+8 hours

Kumamoto borders the south of Fukuoka and lies in the heart of Kyushu. Famous for its natural spring water the capital Kumamoto City is proud to have the largest amount of groundwater in Japan. It's also recognised for Kumamoto Castle and other sites dating back to the 17th century.

Kumamoto Castle dates back to the fifteenth century © Thomas Au - Flickr Creative Commons
Kumamoto Castle dates back to the fifteenth century © Thomas Au - Flickr Creative Commons

The Kumamoto Prefectural Athletic Stadium, which will be used as one of the 12 venues for the World Cup in 2019, is normally used for football, rugby, and athletics, and was Belgium's training base during the 2002 Football World Cup.

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Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
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Oita

  • Stadium: Oita Stadium; capacity: up to 40,000
  • Nearest airport: Oita Airport (OIT)*
  • Time difference: UTC+8 hours

The third host location on the main island of Kyushu, Oita is a nature lover's paradise and is most famous for having the largest number of onsen (natural hot springs) sources in Japan. The Oita Stadium was finished in 2001 and was designed by leading Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa.

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Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
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The weather in Japan - a summary

While we may not yet know precisely what the weather will be like day-by-day throughout the tournament across Japan, we do know what the weather is likely to be up to based on averages gathered over more than 30 years.

The tournament kicks off in September, a month which typically sees summer drawing to a close. Summers in Japan are mostly hot with moderate to high heat and humidity, though the north of the country is cooler than the south.

The majority of the matches are taking places across a swathe of central Japan where, by the middle of September, temperatures have started to fall, and this trend continues into October.

So, from a temperature point of view, the weather is very pleasant with daytime highs in the mid-twenties at the start of the tournament, similar to the South of France in mid-September, falling to around 20°C by the end of the month.

Nighttime temperatures will feel noticeably cooler from the second week of October onwards, reaching around 10°C in Tokyo by the time of the final in early November. If you're going to Sapporo in the north of Japan, nighttime temperatures will already be this cool by the end of September.

There's still a lot of rain throughout the country in September due to frontal systems moving in from the Pacific Ocean, plus the odd tropical depression or storm, so you'll need to be prepared for rain. It also means a lot of cloud across much of the country, although less so in northern Sapporo.

Through the tournament and into October, the weather should improve in that there should be more sunshine as high pressure systems to the north exert their influence with cooler temperatures. The best weather in terms of sunshine with the least chance of rain will be in the latter half of the tournament.

There's a chance that the tournament may be affected by a typhoon or tropical storm, as the end of the summer is also the height of the typhoon season. However, the risk is low.

On average, mainland Japan is affected for around two days of the month in September by the passage of a storm; by October this figure drops to one day, and after that the typhoon season is all but over.

Every year is different and these storms do not normally affect the entire country, so there's a very good chance you'll not be affected at all during your time at the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.

More about the weather in Japan >>

Plan your Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 trip

It's time to start planning your Rugby World Cup 2019 trip. All the essential information you need to know is right here including when tickets will be released and how much they'll be. Plus, you can search for flights to all of the host cities and research the latest deals on hotels, car hire and more.

Ticket prices for Rugby World Cup Japan 2019

Don't miss out on the chance to attend the Rugby World Cup Japan 2019. Tickets have now been released for the Rugby World Cup, with the final phase selling any remaining tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis from the 19th January 2019.

More about tickets >>

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Travel to Japan

Japan seat of power, Tokyo, may sit close to 6,000 miles from London, but given its status as a hive of business and tech, not to mention a beautiful destination, it's also well served by airlines around the globe.

Flights are already on sale to get you to the Pacific archipelago, so if you're going to the Rugby World Cup, it's time to get booking. British Airways flies direct to Tokyo and, as of March 2019, Osaka from London Heathrow.

BA, Iberia* (via Madrid) and Finnair (via Helsinki) also operate codeshare flights with Japan's flag carrier, Japanese Airlines* (JAL) to Tokyo. Japan's largest airline, All Nippon Airways* (ANA) also runs daily flights to Tokyo from London Heathrow.

The Shinkansen bullet train connects most major cities in Japan © Tansaisuketti - Wikimedia Commons
The Shinkansen bullet train connects most major cities in Japan © Tansaisuketti - Wikimedia Commons

Other airlines to investigate include KLM (via Amsterdam) and Turkish Airlines*, while Skyscanner* will give you the full range of direct and indirect options.

If you're booking internal flights, JAL and ANA are your best bets for flying between host cities. You can also check out the Japan Rail Pass for information on the country's rail network including tickets.

Search flights to Japan >>

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Staying in Japan

Get ahead of the game by booking your hotel stay during the Rugby World Cup well in advance. Some of the biggest names in the business can be found scattered across Japan, from Tokyo to Sapporo, Osaka to Yokohama.

Hotel chains in Japan

Compare accommodation in Japan

You can find out more about visiting Japan, including top tips and things to do in the various host cities, via the official Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 website.

Rugby World Cup 2019 fixtures

The pools have been drawn for the Rugby World Cup 2019 with hosts Japan in Pool A, defending champions New Zealand with South Africa in Pool B. Below you can find the schedule for the group stages.

  • Pool A - Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia, Samoa
  • Pool B - New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Repechage winner
  • Pool C - England, France, Argentina, USA, Tonga
  • Pool D - Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Uruguay

World Cup 2019 schedule

All times below are in local standard time.

Pool A

  • Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Japan
  • Russia
  • Samoa
Date Venue Team #1 Team #2
Fri, 20 Sept @ 19:45 Tokyo Stadium Japan Russia
Sun, 22 Sept @ 16:45 International Stadium Yokohoma Ireland Scotland
Tues, 24 Sept @ 19:15 Kumagaya Rugby Stadium Russia Samoa
Sat, 28 Sept @ 16:15 Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa Japan Ireland
Mon, 30 Sept @ 19:15 Kobe Misaki Stadium Scotland Samoa
Thurs, 3 Oct @ 19:15 Kobe Misaki Stadium Ireland Russia
Sat, 5 Oct @ 19:30 City of Toyota Stadium Japan Samoa
Wed, 9 Oct @ 16:15 Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa Scotland Russia
Sat, 12 Oct @ 19:45 Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium Ireland Samoa
Sun, 13 Oct @ 19:45 International Stadium Yokohoma Japan Scotland

Pool B

  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Italy
  • Namibia
  • Repechage Winner
Date Venue Team #1 Team #2
Sat, 21 Sept @ 18:45 International Stadium Yokohama New Zealand South Africa
Sun, 22 Sept @ 14:15 Hanazono Rugby Stadium Italy Namibia
Thurs, 26 Sept @ 16:45 Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium Italy Repechage Winner
Sat, 28 Sept @ 18:45 City of Toyota Stadium South Africa Namibia
Wed, 2 Oct @ 19:15 Oita Stadium New Zealand Repechage Winner
Fri, 4 Oct @ 18:45 Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa South Africa Italy
Sun, 6 Oct @ 13:45 Tokyo Stadium New Zealand Namibia
Tues, 8 Oct @ 19:15 Kobe Misaki Stadium South Africa Repechage Winner
Sat, 12 Oct @ 13:45 City of Toyota Stadium New Zealand Italy
Sun, 13 Oct @ 12:15 Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium Namibia Repechage Winner

Pool C

  • England
  • France
  • Argentina
  • USA
  • Tonga
Date Venue Team #1 Team #2
Sat, 21 Sept @ 16:15 Tokyo Stadium France Argentina
Sun, 22 Sept @ 19:15 Sapporo Dome England Tonga
Thurs, 26 Sept @ 19:45 Kobe Misaki Stadium England USA
Sat, 28 Sept @ 13:45 Hanazono Rugby Stadium Argentina Tonga
Wed, 2 Oct @ 16:45 Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium France USA
Sat, 5 Oct @ 17:00 Tokyo Stadium England Argentina
Sun, 6 Oct @ 16:45 Kumamoto Stadium France Tonga
Wed, 9 Oct @ 13:45 Kumagaya Rugby Stadium Argentina USA
Sat, 12 Oct @ 17:45 International Stadium Yokohama England France
Sun, 13 Oct @ 14:45 Hanazono Rugby Stadium USA Tonga

Pool D

  • Australia
  • Wales
  • Georgia
  • Fiji
  • Uruguay
Date Venue Team #1 Team #2
Sat, 21 Sept @ 13:45 Sapporo Dome Australia Fiji
Mon, 23 Sept @ 19:15 City of Toyota Stadium Wales Georgia
Wed, 25 Sept @14:15 Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium Fiji Uruguay
Sun, 29 Sept @ 14:15 Kumagaya Rugby Stadium Georgia Uruguay
Sun, 29 Sept @16:45 Tokyo Stadium Australia Wales
Thurs, 3 Oct @ 14:15 Hanazono Rugby Stadium Georgia Fiji
Sat, 5 Oct @14:15 Oita Stadium Australia Uruguay
Wed, 9 Oct @ 18:45 Oita Stadium Wales Fiji
Fri, 11 Oct @19:15 Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa Australia Georgia
Sun, 13 Oct @ 17:15 Kumamoto Stadium Wales Uruguay

More about Rugby World Cup Pools >>

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FAQs

When is the 2019 Rugby World Cup?

The 2019 Rugby World Cup will be held over 44 days from the 20 September 2019 to 2 November 2019.

Where is the 2019 World Cup being held?

The 2019 Rugby World Cup is being held in Japan, with matches taking place in stadiums across 12 cities, including the capital Tokyo.

Do I need a visa to visit Japan?

If you are 'British Citizen' or 'British National (Overseas)', you can enter Japan as a visitor for up to 90 days without a visa. Ensure you have at least six months' validity on your passport from the date of entry. You may need proof of a return or onward ticket.

What is the best way to travel around?

The best way to travel around Japan between Rugby World Cup host cities is either by flying or taking the train.

Should I change money in advance?

Generally it is better to buy Japanese Yen once you get to Japan. If you purchase it before you will most likely pay a higher commission and a worse exchange rate than you would get at banks or ATMs in Japan.

As the 2019 Rugby World Cup is spread across 12 different cities, carefully planning your trip is key to making your experience a success.

Make sure you know how to get to and from the places you'll be visiting, book flights and hotels in advance, and see our climate guides so you're prepared for the weather, whichever city you're visiting.

Check back for the latest 2019 Rugby World Cup match fixtures, developments and for weather forecasts in host cities nearer the time.

Anja Dolphin

Anja Dolphin

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