05 September 2019
The Rugby World Cup gets underway in Tokyo this month (Friday 20th) as hosts Japan take on Russia. 2019’s tournament marks the first time that the competition has been held in Asia and it looks set to break records with the action being broadcasted to over 800 million homes worldwide. Additionally, the opening match is predicted to be the most watched rugby event ever in Japan.
With 20 nations competing, we’ve hand-picked some of our favourites you could consider visiting…
The land of the rising sun may not be high on most people’s lists of rugby-playing nations but having competed in every World Cup since its incarnation in 1987 yet never getting past the group stages, Japan will be looking to capitalise on its home advantage. Coming off the back of a recent run of good results in the Pacific Nations Cup, this is the perfect opportunity for them to kick on and show why they deserve a place amongst the elite nations.
Fans travelling to Japan are incredibly fortunate to be visiting such an intriguing and stunning country, where ancient traditions meet ultra-modern technology to form a beautifully rich culture that welcomes travellers from across the globe. Japanese culture is one of the most unique in the world, and one that its people are very proud of. During your visit, learn about the history of the noble samurai warriors, experience the world of the Geisha, read hand-drawn Manga, and be entertained by Japan’s distinctive theatrical productions.
Wintertime in Japan tends to deliver a thick blanket of snow to the north island of Hokkaido, which brings its world-class ski resorts to life. The promise of powdery snow, beautifully traditional log cabin accommodation and daring ski routes is just too much to resist for even the most well-travelled ski-enthusiast.
The cup holders and competition favourites New Zealand are giants of the rugby world, having won the Rugby World Cup a record three times.
A land where adventure can be found at every turn, and often with an unbelievably scenic mountain landscape as the backdrop, New Zealand is a must-visit for thrill-seekers and lovers of the great outdoors. From the sub-tropical north to the temperate south, New Zealand is blessed with natural marvels to rival anywhere.
Queenstown is a hub of adventure activities. Venture here to take on the world’s first bungee jump at Kawarau Bridge, swoop down on the famous Nevis swing, navigate your way through the white waters of the Kawarau River and ski the slopes of the aptly named Remarkables.
The Wallabies are coming into the competition following a heavy defeat to their neighbours from across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand, but the two-time champions will be eager to add some more silverware to their cabinet.
A nation of natural wonders and stunning contemporary cities, where sport is king, and kangaroos and koalas roam freely. This huge country is almost a continent in its own right, with verdant tropical forests in the north, lush vineyards scattered across the south, bucolic mountain landscapes in Tasmania and beautiful white sand beaches lining the east and west coast. Australia is a sports lover’s paradise and its cosmopolitan coastal cities present the perfect backdrop whether you prefer to spend a day at the cricket in lovely green Adelaide, an evening at ‘The G’ in stylish Melbourne or catching a game of rugby up in sunny sub-tropical Brisbane.
The Springboks have a proud history in the Rugby World Cup with two titles including the famous 1995 win on home soil that was iconic enough for the silver screen, serving as the basis for the 2009 film ‘Invictus’.
Exploring South Africa would be a real varied journey from the unspoilt white sand beaches of Cape Town, and the vast stretches of vineyards in the uplands to the culturally diverse Durban and the thought-provoking apartheid museum in Johannesburg. However, nothing exemplifies South Africa’s majesty better than the nations wildlife.
Opportunities to spot the big five here, as well as many other species including the springbok, are second to none and there’s no better place to do it than at the Kruger National Park where visitors can observe these creatures in their natural habitat.
Rugby Union is the national sport of Fiji and when the Fijian Flyers are in action the country pauses in admiration. Fiji has drawn a tough group with world number one team Wales and two-time champions Australia in their group, but as a small nation that is used to punching above its weight on the rugby pitch, that will not deter the team.
Fiji looks like a place that was crafted for postcards. Sitting in the heart of the South Pacific, the Fijian archipelago is perfect for beach fans, thanks to its powdery white sands, perpetual sunshine, top-level surfing and coral-laden waters which house hundreds of species of exotic rainbow-coloured fish. Set your watch to island time here as you move at your own pace through this haven of tranquillity.
Fiji’s natural beauty is superbly complemented by the excellent selection of luxury resorts available and the warm and welcoming locals who will make your stay extra memorable.
The pumas have flown the flag for South American rugby for a long time now and have narrowly missed out on an appearance in the final on two occasions with their best finish coming in 2007 when they finished third in France.
It’s the home of tango music, Gaucho culture and tantalisingly delicious cuisine - the variety that Argentina’s culture offers visitors is second to none. Admire the colonial architecture of Cordoba, peruse the vineyards of Mendoza, get lost in the cosmopolitan coastal capital of Buenos Aires or take in the natural beauty surrounding Ushuaia, one of the world’s most southerly cities.
The cultural variety of Argentina is matched only by its natural beauty with Patagonia serving as the focal point for many visitors. The rugged and remote region spans some 400,000 square miles and features breath-taking glaciers, the vast Andes mountains, majestic breaching whales and the bucket-list-worthy RN 40 road trip.
To book your rugby-inspired trip, contact your Travel Counsellor today and take advantage of a range of benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your trip.