Captain's Run Japan

Guide For Rugby Fans
First time visiting Japan?
Here are 10 things to prepare in advance!

10 things to know in order to make your first visit to Japan comfortable and enjoyable!

  • 1. Fall weather and what to wear

    Rugby match will be held in the fall. It’s hard to give a simple description of fall weather in Japan, since the islands that make up the country range from the far north to the sub-tropical south. There is a large temperature difference between the northern and southern parts of Japan. Please take these differences into consideration, especially if you plan to travel between northern and southern Japan while watching the matches. In Japan, autumn lasts from September to November. It gets colder and colder during this period. For example, the temperature difference in the daytime in Tokyo between September and November can be four to five degrees Celsius.

    During this time the autumn foliage in Sapporo, Hokkaido is at its peak. This is the only place among the host cities where you can enjoy fall foliage. By this time, old man winter is already approaching Hokkaido, so a thick jacket, scarf and gloves are necessary for watching matches and sightseeing in this cold weather.

    The Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, Yokohama and Shizuoka, and the Kansai region, which covers Nagoya, Kobe and Osaka, are still enjoying the last days of summer in September and are relatively warm. It will still be handy to have a light jacket that you can wear in the early mornings and at night. In October, although light clothing is fine during the day, the mornings and evenings can be cold. It is a good idea to wear a sweater or a hoodie that is easy to get on and off, since it’ll be warm while you’re watching matches during the day.

    While the Kyushu area, which includes Fukuoka, Oita and Kumamoto, is warmer than other areas of Japan, it is still worth bringing a jacket. It might be a good idea to use warmer, but breathable undergarments to cut down on the clothes you need to pack.

    Take note that August and September are typhoon season in Japan. In other words, be sure to bring a raincoat in case of heavy rain or strong winds.

    The most important clothing item is shoes. Japan is a country where you take off your shoes many times during a day, including when you enter a Japanese-style room at a Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), when you enter a temple or other traditional buildings, and when you enjoy a meal at an izakaya (affordable Japanese gastro-pub). Therefore, it is an absolute necessity to wear trainers that are easy to put on, take off and walk in. Also, it is not acceptable to enter an important place barefooted. Due to these rules, it is safer to bring socks with you even if you don’t wear them around.

    Click here to check the weather forecast in Japan

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  • 2. Volatage standards and electrical plugs

    Be aware that the voltage and electrical plug shape are different in Japan compared to other countries.

    Japan uses 100 volts nationwide (lower than most countries). Additionally, the outlet and plugs take the shape of two rectangular holes that line up horizontally. Please bring an A Type conversion adapter (safety standards: Japan Industrial Standards).
    While iPhone and iPad devices, computers and digital cameras support the voltage of foreign countries, it is recommended to check the voltage use of your products in advance.

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  • 3. Japanese currency and currency exchange

    The Japanese currency is “yen.” The “¥” sign is often used to denote yen. There are six different coins: one, five, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen. Four different bills are used: 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10000 yen. Currently, 2000 yen bills are rarely used. The consumption tax in Japan is 8% (as of November 2017), and price can be indicated with or without tax included. Numerous vending machines accept 10-yen coins to 1000-yen bills. Train ticket machines that accept up to 10,000 yen are increasing. Most stores accept credit cards, but there are still many stores that only accept cash. 100-yen coins will be needed for services such as coin laundry (in case of a long stay) or using a locker at a station to hold your baggage while sightseeing. Be sure to prepare some cash when you visit, as this is a necessity for any tourist in Japan.

    When you need more cash, it is possible to withdraw Japanese yen by ATM with a debit card or credit card issued in your country. ATMs are very handy and can be found at convenience stores such as Seven Eleven. You can use them anytime and anywhere.
    It is advisable to change currencies either in your country before traveling or at an airport after arriving in Japan. This is because you will need cash to get on a train or bus when leaving the airport. Also, the currency exchange shop at the airport has the advantage of supporting several languages. In big cities, use the mega banks or the hotel where you are staying. It is possible to exchange currencies at some sightseeing spots that attract many international tourists. There are not many automatic currency exchange machines. It is also hard to exchange the currencies in rural towns. Considering this, it is strongly advised to plan your currency exchanges carefully and in advance.

    SEVEN BANK

    World Currency Shop

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  • 4. Internet Access

    As the number of the foreign tourists increases, the Japanese government and companies are starting to provide more free Wi-Fi access points. However, there are still many places where you can’t connect to Wi-Fi. For example, there are only a few sites that provide Wi-Fi environments while you watch rugby matches, as of 2017 (it is possible more will be added as they approach the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games). While airports, hotels, airplanes, some trains, cafes (such as Starbucks), and manga cafes are considered spots with easy access to Internet, it is safe to guess that most ryokan (traditional Japanese inns), hotels and small towns haven’t prepared Wi-Fi environments yet. Nonetheless, it is likely you will need the Internet while travelling to research transportation and shops, contact family members and friends in your home country, and for work.
    Consequently, it is important to carefully research and prepare cellphone data and Internet access plans in advance.

    Access to Internet

    Japan free wi-fi

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  • 5. Purchase a JR Pass before visiting Japan

    Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) is a pass provided by six JR groups in Japan and is an economical ticket for travelling across Japan by train. A JR Pass is valid for three different durations—7 days, 14 days or 21 days—and you can choose between two different types of ticket—Green Car (reserved seating) or ordinary (non-reserved seating). You need to purchase a JR Pass in advance, in your own country, before visiting Japan. Decide which dates you’ll be using be using the pass, receive a purchase order, and exchange that order for a pass at a JR office once you arrive in Japan. Make sure to confirm beforehand if you are eligible to purchase a JR Pass. Although there are some limitations on the pass—for example the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen “Nozomi” and Kyushu Shinkansen “Mizuho” are not included—you can use Tokyo Monorail, local bus lines run by JR Bus companies, and a ferry connecting Miyajima Station in Hiroshima to Miyajima-guchi, in addition to trains. This is a must-have item for travelling in Japan. Compared to purchasing tickets individually as-needed, a JR Pass saves costs and boosts efficiency!

    JR Pass

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  • 6. Arrange accommodations before visiting Japan

    There are many different types of accommodations in Japan such as capsule hotels, vacation rentals, guesthouses, hotels and ryokan. In Japan, many people travel during Golden Week (consecutive holidays in May), Obon (an August holiday), Silver Week (consecutive holidays in September), the year-end & New Year holidays and three-day weekends. There will likely be many people travelling to the international competition, domestically and abroad, so you should confirm the availability of the accommodations at least six months in advance.

    Staying in Tokyo allows for day trips as far as Yokohama and Saitama. If going to Shizuoka, you will need to stay at least one night if you are planning to do sightseeing in the area. As for Fukuoka, Oita, and Kumamoto in Kyushu, it is easy to imagine that many people will choose to stay a night in each city. For this reason, it is advisable to plan your RWC 2019™ trip as early as possible!

    Click here to reserve hotels/Ryokan hotels

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  • 7. Get important information at local sightseeing information centers

    How do you plan your trip? There are many foreign tourists who travel depending on their mood that day. Tourists who like to plan on the fly can use local sightseeing information centers. You wil gain valuable first-hand information that you can only get at these local centers, and you may have a toursit experience that you would have never known about from a guidebook. In addition to providing information, these centers can help you find and reserve accommodations and arrange tours and activities. If there is a sightseeing information center, stop by and find up to date, seasonal information.

    JTB Tourist Information Center

    Visit Tourist Information Centers in Japan

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  • 8. Difference between tax-free and duty-free

    There are four main types of tax that a foreign tourist pays in Japan: consumption tax, liquor tax, bathing tax and customs. We’ll briefly explain how these taxes are affected by the tax-free system.
    Tax-free and duty-free are two terms you may want to remember. Tax-free means you are exempted from consumption tax. This system is used at drugstores, Don Quijote department stores, and other stores in cities. Duty-free, on the other hand, means exemption from consumption tax/customs/liquor tax/tobacco tax, and it is basically used at duty-free shops in departure areas in international airports. Note that you need to go through an application procedure to use the duty-free system.

    Japan Duty Free

    Japan tax-free Shop

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  • 9. Go to a 100 yen shop if you forget to bring something

    If you realize that you forgot to bring something, go to a 100-yen store. They sell almost everything. Since most 100-yen stores don’t accept credit cards, bring cash. You will be surprised by the number of products available for cheap prices, including everything from cosmetics, toothbrushes, towels, dishes and kitchen products, to shopping bags, wrapping paper, stationary to toys. All of these items are 100 yen. Their household goods are widely used in Japanese homes, and they are essential stores among DIY enthusiasts. Furthermore, you can use 100-yen stores as a convenient place to buy souvenirs. These shops definitely deserve your attention!

    The best ¥100 shops in Tokyo

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  • 10. Travel light and enjoy sightseeing empty-handed by checking your baggage

    While trains are the main form of transportation in Japan, Japanese trains and stations are generally not suitable for tourists with lots of luggage. There are many occasions where foreign tourists have struggled to go up the stairs with heavy suitcases or have had a hard time finding space for their luggage while riding trains. This has become a common problem in Japan. While railway companies have been working to improve the situation by creating baggage zones in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, nonetheless, the lighter your baggage, the better.
    If you are following your favorite team from the first to final match, it will take more than a month, meaning you are sure to have many bags.
    It is a smart idea to check large pieces of luggage that might be troublesome to carry with you after arriving in Japan. A service called “Luggage-Free-Travel,” provided by JTB, makes it possible to send your baggage to your first hotel from the airport, then on to the next hotel, and finally back to the airport. It is easy to reserve shipping via your smartphone and all you have to do to receive your bag is show the receipt that was provided when you checked it. For example, if you check your bag before 11:00, it will be shipped to your hotel by 18:00 on the same day. Once you try this kind of service, you are sure to use it again.

    LUGGAGE-FREE-TRAVEL

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