Excitement builds as official Team Welcome Ceremonies begin

Official Team Welcome Ceremonies begin on Friday 13 September with Argentina, Fiji, Ireland and hosts Japan among the first teams to be officially welcomed.

The build up to Asia’s first Rugby World Cup takes another exciting step on Friday as the first official Team Welcome Ceremonies take place across Japan exactly a week ahead of the tournament kick-off on 20 September.

Argentina, Fiji, Ireland and hosts Japan will be the first four teams officially welcomed to Japan 2019 in a special and uniquely Japanese welcome ceremony, which all 20 teams will receive from 13-19 September.

The ceremonies will take place in iconic locations spread across the length and breadth of Japan, from the northern island of Hokkaido to the tropical island paradise of Okinawa, more than 2,600 kilometres to the south.

Locations for the 20 ceremonies include the famous Zōjōji Temple at the foot of Tokyo Tower in central Tokyo, an historical sumo wrestling hall in Osaka and one of the finest examples of European neo-classical architecture from Japan’s Meiji era, the Bunshokan in Yamagata City.

During the ceremony, all 31 playing team members will receive their Rugby World Cup 2019 Cap (a rugby tradition), while the entire team, including coaches and management will receive the Rugby World Cup 2019 Participation Medal.

Japan are already demonstrating their passion for rugby and spirit of hosting as team arrivals and community engagement events have been a huge hit with the local populations around team camps.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “Rugby World Cup 2019 will be a truly unique celebration of Japanese culture and tradition and rugby’s character-building values and the teams are at the heart of the story. The official welcome ceremonies symbolise the start of the tournament and will showcase the truly nationwide warmth of the support that the world’s best teams and their fans will receive in Japan. Japan are already proving to be very warm and enthusiastic hosts with some wonderful scenes from community events around the team’s arrivals into their team camps.”

Team Welcome Ceremonies





 Friday, 13 September

 Abashiri City, Hokkaido


 Friday, 13 September

 Chiba City, Chiba Pref.


 Friday, 13 September

 Fukushima City, Fukushima Pref.


 Friday, 13 September

 Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo

 New Zealand 

 Saturday, 14 September

 Minato Ward, Tokyo

 South Africa 

 Saturday, 14 September

 Urayasu City, Chiba Pref.


 Saturday, 14 September

 Kamitonda Town, Wakayama Pref.


 Saturday, 14 September

 Saitama City, Saitama Pref. 


 Sunday, 15 September

 Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi Pref.


 Sunday, 15 September

 Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Pref.


 Sunday, 15 September

 Sakai City, Osaka Pref.


 Monday, 16 September

 Yamagata City, Yamagata Pref.


 Monday, 16 September

 Miyazaki City, Miyazaki Pref.


 Monday, 16 September

 Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Pref.


 Wednesday, 18 September

 Nagato City, Yamaguchi Pref.


 Wednesday, 18 September

 Yomitan Village, Okinawa Pref.


 Wednesday, 18 September

 Ebetsu City, Hokkaido Pref.


 Wednesday, 18 September

 Nagoya City, Aichi Pref.


 Thursday, 19 September

 Sapporo City, Hokkaido Pref.


 Thursday, 19 September

 Kitakami City, Iwate Pref.


Limited Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets are currently available at www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets.

Official Supporter Tour and Hospitality programmes can be found via www.rugbyworldcup.com/supportertours and www.rugbyworldcup.com/hospitality.

When purchasing tickets, fans will be able to opt-in and donate to the ChildFund Pass It Back programme. In partnership with World Rugby’s Impact Beyond programme, Pass It Back inspires positive social change through the delivery of an integrated life-skills and non-contact tag rugby curriculum, educating children and young people in areas of leadership, problem-solving, gender equality, conflict resolution and life preparation. For more details visit www.childfundpassitback.org.