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Whether you’ve already got tickets to the rugby in Japan this summer or you’re hoping to get your mitts on some last-minute (YES, there’s still time! Click here to find out how to get yours now), you’ve probably got a few burning questions about what to expect when you arrive in Japan.
How much money should you bring? What kind of plug adaptor will you need? And where’s the best place to catch a match on TV?
Don’t worry – it’s natural to have questions, and you can rest assured that you won’t be the first to ask. Travelling to Japan may seem daunting at first, but Japan is a very friendly and welcoming place to be a tourist, and if you’re travelling with InsideJapan Tours we’ve thought of everything to make sure your trip runs as smoothly as can be.
Below our rugby experts have answered a few of your most common questions, but you can find much more information on our dedicated rugby FAQ page here.
Where can I watch matches on TV?
Whether you’ve got rugby tickets or not, you’re going to want to catch a few games on TV at some point during your trip – and we’ll wager you’d prefer to do it somewhere with ice cold beers, mouth-watering bar snacks, and a buzzing atmosphere. We’ve thought this through!
Luckily for you, there are more than a few rugby fans on the InsideJapan team, and we’ll be providing all our travellers with a hand-picked guide to our favourite bars, restaurants and venues to keep up with the games during your trip.
“Don’t be worried about walking into one of the tiny restaurants or bars that are so common in Japan. They can seem daunting from the outside, but the small space usually makes for great interaction with the staff and other customers, and leads to a great night.” – Kester Wright, Senior Travel Consultant
How do I get to the stadium, and what time should I arrive?
Due to the high volume of traffic expected on match days, we always recommend using public transport as the quickest, most efficient way to get to the stadiums during the tournament.
Japan’s public transport network may seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually extremely well organised, punctual, and generally very easy to use – and there are signs in English, so we promise you won’t get lost in translation.
To be on the safe side, we recommend aiming to arrive at the stadium two to three hours before kick-off. If you’re travelling with us, your InsideJapan Info-Pack will have all the information you need to make your transfers speedy and hassle-free, so all you need to worry about is the rugby.
Do I need to make seat reservations for the train?
Most visitors to Japan get around using the Japan Rail Pass, which entitles you to unlimited, unreserved travel on almost all Japan Rail trains, including the bullet train.
Though you don’t need to reserve a seat ahead of travel, we strongly advise that you do! It’s free, and it means you won’t end up standing in the vestibule all the way from Tokyo to Kyoto, which isn’t much fun at all (take it from us).
If you’re travelling with us, we’ll include recommended journey times and train details in your Info-Pack, so you never have to worry about missing a match because you didn’t know which platform to stand on. What’s more, we’ll provide you with a pre-charged subway card for any local transport that’s not included on the Japan Rail Pass.
“Japan will be far busier than usual for this season, with many rugby fans travelling between games. My advice would be to make seat reservations for all of your journeys on the day you exchange your Rail Pass. You can always change them later, or just hop on any unreserved car if you change your mind.” – Ben Guest, Expert Travel Consultant
How much money will I need?
That’s the million-yen question, so to speak. Japan is often cited as one of the most expensive places in the world to travel, but it’s actually very easy to have a great time on a budget.
Nearly everyone is surprised by how reasonable it is to eat out, and (except for certain circumstances – read more here) there’s generally no need to tip. The cost of local transport is low (around £2/$3 maximum for a subway ride), and entrance fees rarely exceed 500 yen (£3.50/$4.50). Of course, if it’s luxury you’re after it’s possible to spend a lot more, but that’s up to you!
As a rough guide, we recommend that the average traveller budget 3-6,000 yen (£20-35/$25-50) per day to cover food, drinks, local transport and entrance fees. What this won’t cover are any souvenirs, shopping, or those extra few beers at the end of an action-packed, rugby-filled day.
What kind of plug adaptor should I bring?
Japan uses the same flat double pin, non-polarised plugs as in North America. You might therefore need to bring an adaptor for your electronic devices, which you can order online ahead of your trip or find at any international airport. Alternatively, you can easily pick up a USB charger at most Japanese convenience stores.
Still have questions?
We’d be surprised if you didn’t! Head over to our dedicated Japan Rugby Travel website for a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions, as well as all the information you could possibly wish for about the tournament itself. And if you find you’re still wondering about something, our rugby experts are just a phone call or an email away.