Take some time to plan and understand more about travelling in Japan before you arrive. A key thing to remember is there are considerable distances between some of the match venues. Visitors often underestimate the size of the country so please take this into account when planning your travel.
The following advice is not exhaustive. It is intended as a brief insight into things to consider when travelling in Japan.
As with any international travel there are certain requirements you must satisfy when entering Japan. Further information is available from Japan Customs
If you intend travelling by air:
- Japan is well connected by air, both internationally and domestically. Japan’s four major international airports are near Tokyo (Narita and Haneda), Osaka (Kansai) and Nagoya (Chubu).
If you intend to travel by public transport in Japan:
- Consider buying a Japan Rail Pass if you are making multiple journeys by train during tournament time. While some restrictions apply, it can make rail travel much easier and far cheaper.
- For local train, subway and bus journeys you are advised to obtain a prepaid travel card or IC Card upon arrival in Japan. These cards are available for different regions and can be pre-loaded with credit. You simply scan the card at the ticket gate at the start and end of your journey and the correct fare is deducted from the card. They can be purchased at most stations through ticket machines. They can even be used for purchases at Japan’s convenience stores and for paying taxi fares.
- Some rail services, including the Shinkansen bullet train and other express services, require separate reservations at additional cost prior to boarding the train. Please check with the relevant company before you travel
- Japan has an extensive network of longer distance highway buses that offer a low-cost alternative to the train for regional travel. Many services run overnight and operators offer a Japan Bus Pass for additional discounted travel for multiple trips. Please check with the relevant company if you would prefer to travel via highway bus
- Most towns and cities offer good quality local bus services, many of which can be paid for using the relevant prepaid travel card for that region. Check the relevant host city section for more information when it becomes available closer to tournament time
If you intend to drive in Japan:
- It is not possible to drive in Japan without a Japanese Driving Licence or a valid International Drivers Permit (IDP) to accompany your home country driving licence. An IDP must be obtained before arriving in Japan. You will not be able to hire a car in Japan without a valid driving licence and IDP. Please note that not all driving licences are valid in Japan. Please check in your home country to confirm the licence requirements.
- Japan has an extensive high-quality road network which, with the exception of Expressways, is toll free. If you intend to rent a vehicle while in Japan, your rental company should be able to advise you further on paying for tolls
- Vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road and most road signs are in Japanese and English
- Please note that, with the exception of spaces for those that have purchased a wheelchair match-day ticket, there is no dedicated spectator parking at or near match venues. Park and Ride will be available at some locations but must be booked in advance. Further information will be available for the host city you are intending to visit closer to tournament time
- There are parking and road restrictions adjacent to many match venues and roads are expected to be busier than usual. Check before you travel and allow extra time to get around
We have also prepared some general hints and tips on getting to the tournament. More detailed information will be available closer to the tournament on getting around each host city. Either check back later or follow us on Twitter @Japan2019_ENG (English) or @Japan2019_JP (Japanese) and we will let you know when it becomes available.
If you want to know more out more about travelling in Japan, why not download the Official Rugby World Cup 2019 App and check out our Japan Guide for city and venue information, itineraries, attractions and more. Furthermore, the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) has lots of additional information available for international visitors.