The 2019 Rugby in Japan will be the ninth tournament, to be held in Japan from September 20 to November 2. This will be the first time the tournament is to be held in Asia, the first time consecutive tournaments have been staged in the same hemisphere, and also the first time that the event will take place outside the traditional heartland of the sport.
Hong Kong and Singapore had expressed interest in hosting some of the matches and were included as part of the JRFU's successful original hosting bid to World Rugby (known at the time of bidding as the International Rugby Board, or IRB) but were not amongst the fourteen locations announced by organizers Japan 2019 on 5 November 2014 that had formally bid for the right to host games.
Sapporo is the capital and largest city on the northernmost major Japanese island Hokkaido. It is an ordinance-designated city with the fifth largest population in Japan. Sapporo is known for having hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, and for its annual Sapporo Snow Festival. Sapporo is the capital and largest city on the northernmost major Japanese island Hokkaido. It is an ordinance-designated city with the fifth largest population in Japan. Sapporo is known for having hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, and for its annual Sapporo Snow Festival, which draws more than 2 million tourists from abroad.
Iwate Prefecture and Kamaishi City
Kamaishi has long been known for steelmaking, being the site of Japan’s oldest steelworks. This also is the city’s connection to rugby, as the factory-sponsored team grew to become one of the top amateur teams in Japan. Although Kamaishi was devastated by the great earthquake of 11 March, 2011, the city has made great strides in its recovery. The city and its residents look to host Rugby World Cup 2019 as a way to thank all those who helped in this recovery effort, in Japan and around the world.
Saitama Prefecture and Kumagaya City
Venue – Kumagaya Rugby Ground, capacity 24,000
Kumagaya is a suburb outside Tokyo known for its many historical and cultural attractions. The city has also promoted sports locally, with rugby receiving particular recognition – Kumagaya is even called Japanese rugby’s ‘hallowed ground of the east’ and is host to the spring all-Japan high school rugby championship. This long-standing, strong local popularity and support of rugby across all ages makes it a fitting host for Rugby World Cup 2019.
Venue – New National Stadium Japan, capacity 80,000
Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, is the capital city of Japan and one of its 47 prefectures. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world. It is the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese government. Tokyo is in the Kantō region on the south…Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, is the capital city of Japan and one of its 47 prefectures. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world. It is the seat of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese government. Tokyo is in the Kantō region on the southeastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Formerly known as Edo, it has been the de facto seat of government since 1603 when Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters. It officially became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from the old capital of Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo.
Kanagawa Prefecture and Yokohama City
Venue – International Stadium Yokohama, Capacity 72,327
Yokohama’s long international connections go back to when its port was opened to the United States, the Netherlands, Russia, England and France in 1859. Beginning with these countries, the international influences shaping Yokohama’s culture have created a truly unique and enjoyable city. It was the link to England that resulted in the origin of rugby in Japan. British soldiers stationed in Yokohama began playing rugby for amusement, leading to the founding of the Yokohama Football Club in 1866. A match took place here in 1873 between garrisons, England versus a Scotland-Ireland combined team. Yokohama’s international sports events since have grown in scale and sophistication, including the final of the FIFA World Cup 2002. Yokohama is confident that it will present Rugby World Cup 2019 with a fitting stage for many passionate fans.
Venue – Ogasayama Sports Park Ecopa Stadium, capacity 50,889
As a tourist destination, Shizuoka is known for its scenery (it is one of the two prefectures straddled by the iconic Mount Fuji), tea orchards and hot springs resorts. For Japanese sports fans, Shizuoka is known for producing star athletes in such sports as soccer, tennis, baseball, basketball and rugby. The Shizuoka Rugby Club was founded in 1929 and is active to this day, joined by four other rugby clubs (including one for players age 40 and older). The Japan Rugby Top League is also popular here, and tag rugby is on the curriculum for many elementary school students in the prefecture.
Aichi Prefecture and Toyota City
Venue – Toyota Stadium, Capacity 45,000
Not surprisingly, Toyota is called the “City of Automobiles” stemming from one of the world’s top car manufacturers having its headquarters here. Located at the geographic centre of Japan, Aichi Prefecture and Toyota can also lay fair claim to being the centre of Japanese rugby. The club team affiliated with that automaker has won a number of national championships over the years and enjoys wide popularity. The venue, designed exclusively for field ball sports, is the largest of its type in Japan and has hosted professional soccer league games and matches at the FIFA World Cup 2002. In rugby, the venue is a stage for some Top League and international matches. Local residents and officials are experienced in supporting large international sports events, and will be a great asset in staging a successful Rugby World Cup 2019.
Osaka Prefecture and Higashi Osaka City
Venue – Hanazono Rugby Stadium, capacity 30,000
Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with over 19 million inhabitant…Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with over 19 million inhabitants. Situated at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay, Osaka is the second largest city in Japan by daytime population after Tokyo's 23 wards and the third largest city by nighttime population after Tokyo's 23 wards and Yokohama, serving as a major economic hub for the country.
Venue – Kobe City Misaki Park Stadium, capacity 30,312
With mountains on one side and the sea on the other, Kobe is a favorite of foreign visitors and residents alike. No stranger to major international sports events, Kobe has hosted such diverse events as the 1985 Summer Universiade to the FIFA World Cup 2002. The city looks to Rugby World Cup 2019 as its latest opportunity to deliver a top-class tournament to a global audience. Furthermore, this is also a way to tell the world about Kobe’s full recovery after a disastrous earthquake, and to bring its residents closer with rugby and its traditions as the common theme. Rugby already has a solid base in Kobe and it is home to one of Japan’s most venerated clubs.
Venue – Hakatanomori Football Stadium, capacity 22,563
Fukuoka is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture, situated on the northern shore of Japanese island Kyushu. It is the most populous city on the island, followed by Kitakyushu. It is the largest city and metropolitan area west of Keihanshin. The city was designated on April 1, 1972, by government ordinance. Greater Fukuoka, with a population of 2.5 million people, is part of the heavily industrialized Fukuoka–Kitakyushu zone as well as Northern Kyushu. Fukuoka is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture, situated on the northern shore of Japanese island Kyushu. It is the most populous city on the island, followed by Kitakyushu. It is the largest city and metropolitan area west of Keihanshin.
Venue – Oita Stadium, capacity 40,000
Oita and its venue are no strangers to major international sports events, having hosted matches for FIFA World Cup 2002 and creating an internationally covered human interest story featuring the Cameroon national team and the village that hosted their camp. The strong bonds that developed between the village and Cameroon expanded to include the entire prefecture. Oita’s rugby players are recognised for their accomplishments from their youth at the all-Japan high school rugby championship and later at the industrial league level. The prefecture welcomes many overseas visitors with its numerous famous hot springs resorts and other sights; it looks to feature Rugby World Cup 2019 as its latest attraction to the world.
Kumamoto Prefecture and Kumamoto City
Venue – Kumamoto Prefectural Athletic Stadium, capacity 32,000
Kumamoto is home to some of Japan’s most exquisite scenery and national parks. In addition to natural beauty, Kumamoto has such renowned man-made attractions as the 400-year-old Kumamoto Castle, one of the largest in Japan. In the Japan rugby community, several top players have come from Kumamoto. Rugby World Cup 2019 represents a special chance for the Kumamoto rugby community to encourage greater participation and further expand the popularity of the sport throughout the prefecture.