The Stadia of the Rugby World Cup | #TravelTuesday
Venatour run through the stunning stadiums that will play host to rugby’s biggest tournament later this month.
The capital’s colosseum
Situated 40 minutes by train to the west of central Tokyo, Tokyo Stadium will host some of the Rugby World Cup’s biggest matches, including the opening ceremony and the match that kicks it all off on 20 September when the hosts Japan takes on Russia. The dedicated rugby stadium will also play host to the Olympic Rugby Sevens at Tokyo 2020. The scale and size of Tokyo Stadium reflects Japan’s ever-growing appetite for rugby that will grow even bigger throughout the tournament.
Yokohama International Stadium
The world’s stage
Yokohama is often credited as the birthplace of rugby in Japan, with rugby matches reportedly taking place as early as the 1860s at the Yokohama Football Club, known today as the Yokohama Country and Athletic Club. With such a deep link to rugby’s history in Japan it is fitting that Yokohama plays host to some of the biggest matches of Rugby World Cup 2019, and none bigger than the final on 2 November. An absolute cauldron of a venue, the atmosphere at Yokohama International Stadium will be pumping for every match.
City of Toyota Stadium
Electric atmosphere in the city of the car
There isn’t a single seat in the purpose-built, rectangular City of Toyota Stadium that doesn’t have an absolutely cracking view of the on-field action. With its steep, high stands, fans feel like they’re on top of the field. Set to host some truly epic matches, including the massive Japan v Samoa game, the 45,000 capacity City of Toyota Stadium will be absolutely pumping across all four of its Rugby World Cup 2019 fixtures.
Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium
Eco-thinking, rugby-mad city
Surrounded by green, verdant forests and on the very doorstep of the wonderfully cosmopolitan yet laidback southern city of Fukuoka, this stadium promises to be an incredible venue to enjoy some cracking Rugby World Cup 2019 action. Being a compact and intimate venue and a purpose-built rectangular stadium, fans will enjoy being close to the on-field action, and close to the city of Fukuoka in order to enjoy the pre and post-match atmosphere back in town.
Hanazono Rugby Stadium
The spiritual home of Japanese rugby
With its long history dating back to 1929 and as the home of Japanese High School Rugby, Hanazono holds a special place in the hearts of all Japanese rugby fans and is considered by many as the spiritual home of Japanese rugby. Millions of Japanese rugby fans can trace their first memories of rugby back to classic matches played on this historic turf. Having undergone extensive refurbishment ahead of the tournament, Hanazono will write another thrilling chapter in its proud history as it hosts four Rugby World Cup 2019 matches.
Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium
Powerful memorial for the victims of the 2011 tsunami
Set in the stunning surroundings of densely forested mountains and with views out to the sea and surrounding countryside, the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium pays tribute to the people of Kamaishi; to those who perished in the tsunami of 2011; those who have taken part in its glorious rugby history; and for those who live on in this most famous of Japanese rugby towns. The stadium was built on the site of the two schools that were completely wiped out by the torrential waves. While the location brings up deep emotions when remembering all those who were lost, the site also remembers the ‘Miracle of Kamaishi’ in which all the children from both schools were saved by escaping to higher ground. As fans from across the world scream and cheer with delight during Rugby World Cup 2019, this town, so famous for its rugby history, will take another major step in its ongoing recovery.
Kobe Misaka Stadium
Get close to the action in Kobe
Nestled inside the thoroughly cosmopolitan and quietly sophisticated port city of Kobe, this stadium will offer fans an unforgettable Rugby World Cup 2019 experience. Compact and intimate, this purpose-built rectangular stadium will afford fans, no matter where in the stadium they are sitting, an up-close view of all the on-field action.
Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
World-class international rugby venue
Built in 1991, Kumagaya Rugby Stadium is a favourite of Japanese rugby fans as one of the country’s premier stadia built exclusively for rugby. It has played host to many iconic matches over the years, including the national university rugby championships and the annual springtime national high school tournament. It also regularly hosts Top League matches, Japan’s premier club rugby competition. The stadium was completely refurbished ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019, making it a truly world-class international rugby venue.
Atmospheric cauldron nestled in the Japanese countryside
Japan has a wonderful penchant for nestling sporting stadia in the midst of the most beautiful natural surroundings. Set among green forested hills, rolling parkland and rich agricultural land, Kumamoto Stadium is a prime example of this. Hosting two Rugby World Cup 2019 fixtures, Kumamoto Stadium will hum with excitement as capacity crowds cheer on the competing teams.
Quarter clashes galore
Set within stunning parkland just outside Oita City, Oita Stadium will host five Rugby World Cup 2019 matches including the quarter-finals of Pools A and B that could feature New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, and even Japan. As the largest Rugby World Cup 2019 venue on the southern island of Kyushu, Oita will truly rock as rugby fans from throughout Japan and across the world come together to watch some of the biggest names in the world of rugby battle it out on their quest to raise the Webb Ellis Cup and be crowned rugby world champions.
The spaceship has landed
Sapporo Dome is one of the world’s great sporting stadiums. From the outside, it resembles an extraterrestrial spacecraft, while inside, it’s a fully enclosed, 40,000 seat technological masterpiece. Designed to host baseball matches in a diamond format, it transforms and reshapes to house a rectangular field for rugby or football. Incredibly, the rectangular pitch is a natural grass turf, grown outdoors. When the stadium transforms, the pitch automatically floats into the stadium and is positioned around the newly reconfigured seating set up.
Shizuoka Stadium ECOPA
It’s hard to imagine a more picturesque setting for a Rugby World Cup venue. Nestled in among green, verdant hills and looking out across Shizuoka’s famous tea plantations, Shizuoka Stadium ECOPA is set to host some incredible fixtures at Rugby World Cup 2019, including the massive Japan vs Ireland game on 28 September.