Rugby: Big in Japan

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Rugby World Cup Exhibit – Shinjuku Government Building (2018)

Japan will be hosting the Rugby World Cup in September 2019. This is the first time the country will be hosting the event in its first official match held in 1866 (Rugby being invented in 1845). Matches will take place in 12 stadiums that span across multiple cities throughout Japan.

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Location of the 12 stadiums to host rugby matches throughout Japan. (Credit: Wikipedia)

The sport of Rugby has continued to gain popularity throughout the years in Japan. The Japanese national rugby team Cherry Blossoms who also goes by the name Brave Blossoms founded in 1926. The stakes are higher for the Cherry Blossoms as they have never made it to the World Cup Finals. Their most notable contest was back in 2015 when they defeated the South African powerhouse team Springbok in an emotional 34-32 upset.

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Star player Ayumu Goromaru at the Rugby World Cup vs Samoa (Credit: ESPN 2015)

The Cherry Blossom’s most notable player is Ayumu Goromaru with over 708 points scored for the Japanese National Rugby team. Ayumu first debuted when he was 19 years old in a match against Uruguay in 2005. He became the face of the team and the pride of Japan when he scored 24 points in a historic win against South Africa in 2015.

Japan will have 10 months to not only prepare for the Rugby World Cup in 2019 but also the largest global sports event in 2020, the Summer Olympics. The previous Olympics (Rio, 2016) had a total of 3.8 million attendees. The large mass of attendees caused logistical strains and was a public relations headache for Brazil.

Japan is expecting roughly 400,000 foreign visitors and has been plagued by a few miscues. Such as test matches in Oita prefecture running out of beer before halftime and a broken roof at Toyota Stadium led to fans getting stuck in the rain in a Japan vs. Georgia test match. With a few miscues this year, Japan is still confident and using technology to their advantage in order to prepare for the increased tourism.

Japan has utilized multiple language translating apps for their volunteers to be utilizing when greeting visitors. Along with the use of apps, Tokyo in particular has streamlined travel across the nation by providing maps in multiple languages within train stations.

Lastly, what’s a post about Japanese sports without showing you their mascots for the RWC.

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Ren-G: Lions basted on the mythical beast called the Shishi

Japan’s love for Rugby has caught fire, and it will be interesting to see Japan bounce back from hosting two enormous national events back to back. As more and more tourists begin to discover Japan, the Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Summer Olympics will test how ready Japan is to bring international guests to its shores. How do you think the increase in tourism for Japan will pan out for locals? Will you be flying into Japan for any of these events? Feel free to leave your thoughts below.

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Thank you and Otaku on.

Daniel

Otaku-Station Begins!

Yo!

間もなく、オタクです。

Welcome to Otaku-Station.

Today marks the day that I begin to share my thoughts, interests and ideas about everything and anything Japan.

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Godzilla @ Toho Cinemas in Shinjuku

It was summer June of 2014 when I first landed in Narita Airport for the first time in my life. I had recently just graduated from college (Uni for others) and I decided on traveling to the country I had set my sights on since childhood.

My first trip was a simple 14 day itinerary that allowed me time within Tokyo and even a weekend trip to the historic city of Kyoto. Throughout the trip, I had visited the scenic temples within Tokyo’s inner city, to the bustling Nishiki Fish market in Kyoto. This experience led me to experience a Japan that I had only previously dreamed of.

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Ma Zhu Miao Taoist Temple in Yokohama

Since then, I have been to Japan a total of 3 separate occasions. With each visit, finding a hidden gem in a new city, or a new food experience that defines whats fresh about eating fish in Japan. Although i’m no expert on everything that goes on in Japan, I hope that my open perspective on everything I love (and hate) about Japan comes across as genuine and real.

I chose a blog as the best method of carrying my idea out because I still believe that there are authentic and wholesome content that can be freely expressed through this medium. This will be my first time attempting to maintain this space and hopefully fill it with engaging content for all audiences. This space will change and evolve im sure, and I hope that you are ready to join me to discuss, experience and share what we all love about Japan.

I look forward to sharing and discussing interesting things about Japan without the snootiness!

Daniel