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Rugby World Cup 2019

Guidance and tips for fans travelling for the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

Travel Aware - Rugby World Cup 2019

Many fans will be travelling to Japan to watch the tournament. Here are some tips to help make your visit safe and enjoyable.

Before you go

Below is information to help you plan your visit to Japan. Subscribe to our travel advice and follow our social media channels for important updates.

Facebook: UKinJapan

Twitter: @UKinJapan

Helpful Information for your trip to Japan

The following publications contains our key tips and information which you can download before your trip.

Useful tips to avoid pitfalls from Award-winning, UK-based Japanese comedian Yuriko Kotani

Official World Cup information

Information on venues, matches and ticketing can be found on the official Rugby World Cup website and ‘RWC 2019’ app.

You can also follow this twitter account for live information during the tournament @Japan2019_ENG.

Bronze Final and Final

The bronze final is held at Tokyo stadium on Friday 1 November and the final will take place at the International Stadium Yokohama (NOT Yokohama stadium). Check these links for transport information. Allow enough time to get to the stadia as trains may be crowded and delayed closer to kick off time.

Passport/Carrying Identification

Make sure you carry your passport at all times during your trip to Japan. It is a legal requirement and local police may ask to check your identification. Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

British tourists can enter Japan visa free for up to 90 days. If you plan to travel to other countries in Asia during your trip, be sure to check the passport validity requirements visa requirements of each country.

Lost your passport?

You will need to apply and pay for an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) in order to return home or continue your onward journey, this may mean change or delay your travel plans. You will need to apply for a full replacement passport.

ETDs are issued in Tokyo only.

You can apply online or contact us on +81(0)3-5211-1100.

The embassy will be closed on Monday 4 November, as it is a bank holiday in Japan.

Local laws and customs

“Travel global, think local”

Travel aware: local laws and customs

  • Be responsible and respectful

  • There is a zero tolerance towards all drugs including recreational drugs such as marijuana. Penalties for possession, use and trafficking of illegal drugs can result in long jail sentences and heavy fines. For further information, please refer to our Travel Advice page

  • Penalties for most offences tend to be more severe than in the UK. Detention, including for minor offences, is generally longer than in the UK

  • Drinks and meals are paid for at the end of your visit. In some places, prices can be high. Disputes over bills can lead to arrest

  • Bowing is the common way for Japanese people to greet each other and show respect. Public displays of affection are less common than in the UK

  • Tipping is not customary

  • Be aware that English is not widely spoken outside of Tokyo

  • Tattoos have a historical association with organised crime in Japan. You may be refused entry to hot springs, gyms or swimming pools if you have one

Staying and travelling in Japan

There will be an increased demand for flights, trains and hotels in Tokyo in the run up to the final. Plan ahead and book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Check the official tournament website and useful information from the Japan National Tourism Organisation.


On the run-up to the World Cup, accommodation facilities might fill up to capacity really fast, especially in more remote areas like in Southern Japan.

If you haven’t secured accommodation, you should aim to do so quickly. Accommodation is at a premium, especially in Southern Japan. Please check the list of RWC 2019 Hosting Cities (PDF, 71.2KB, 1 page) websites that can help you with your search. Accommodation in Oita is particularly limited.

Did you know? In Japan there are a number of different type of accommodation:

  • Hotels are mostly of western standard.
  • Ryokans are a Japanese-style inn, with traditional flooring and futons to sleep on. It has been an important part of Japanese culture for centuries, and often include onsen (Japanese hot-springs). There are many styles, for every budget, but English may be limited. Please be mindful that some onsen will not accept customers with tattoos.
  • Capsule hotels are very popular. Budget friendly, they are a good place to rest for one night if you find yourself needing urgent accommodation. To note: the capsule hotels are rarely mixed.
  • Airbnb, due to strict home-sharing regulations, has a very limited supply of listings.


If you plan to hire a vehicle during your stay, check the Japan Automobile Association website for information on driving licence requirements and road safety rules in Japan.


The standard of medical facilities in Japan is high but can be costly. Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers pre-existing conditions and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. In some hospitals you may need to pay in advance before claiming back from your insurance company. Find more advice on getting the right travel insurance.


Japan is a cash-based society and overseas cards may not always be accepted. ATMs in convenience stores are available 24 hours a day and should accept overseas credit cards. Amount of cash per withdrawal will be limited. You might want to advise your bank you are travelling abroad to ensure your cards will be operational in Japan. Check our travel advice for information on using cash, credit and debit cards in Japan.


Homosexuality is not illegal in Japan; currently there are no provisions in Japanese law guaranteeing freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Find more information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender foreign travel advice.

Prescription and over-the-counter medicines

The use or possession of some common prescription and over-the-counter medicines are banned under Japan’s strictly enforced anti-stimulant drugs law and ignorance may not be considered a defense. More advice and information on banned medicines can be found on our travel advice and on the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare webpage.

Watch Travel aware: bringing medication to Japan

Typhoon season and earthquakes

Be prepared before your trip to Japan: read up on how to stay safe in the event of an earthquake or other natural disasters. Make sure you follow our travel advice for updates.

For live updates in English, check out the Safety Tips app and subscribe to the JNTO twitter account @JapanSafeTravel

Emergency contacts

Most visits to Japan are trouble free but if you do need emergency assistance, call 110 for police and 119 for ambulance (Kyukyu-sha) or fire services (Kaji). Ask for English language assistance.

Hosting cities websites

RWC 2019 Hosting Cities (PDF, 71.2KB, 1 page)


This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.

Published 14 September 2018
Last updated 30 October 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added information for Bronze Final and Final

  2. Quarter final information removed

  3. Added information for Quarter final matches in Oita

  4. Updated due to typhoon Hagibis

  5. Added downloadable Z-card and leaflet

  6. Updated with further information to prepare for the world cup 2019.

  7. First published.