The Planning Begins...
With the Rugby World’s worst kept secret out of the bag, the real fun starts – negotiating with the other half for some time off!
Joking aside, my wife isn’t a “rugby widow” as she regularly attends Wasps with me, but when we go on holiday, especially now we have a child in tow, she prefers to do more normal stuff than go to the rugby. What that basically means, is planning is an open book that will later be edited down to a short story!
Whilst the Scots and Irish sat there hoping they would get Japan on opening night, I was hoping for the exact opposite. In a group which contains “Europe 1” and “Play-off Winner”, it seemed a smart move to give Japan a chance of a confidence booster and give the country something upbeat to get behind. Given Samoa are likely to win the play-off the best option was Europe 1, and so it was written.
Opening night – Japan v Romania. Or Spain. Or Russia. Or...
I care not, however, as this is where I hope to start my adventure, with almost 50,000 other people cheering on, I’d imagine, the Cherry Blossoms.
And this is where it starts to get interesting. The day after, there is another game in Tokyo and nearby Yokohama... but I fancy Sapporo, in the far north and home to Japan’s oldest beer. A Saturday and Sunday double-header in Sapporo? Yes please!
After that, my rugby plan becomes a holiday one for a few days as we’ll head back to the central region and spend some time around Osaka and Kobe as a family. I was SHOCKED, totally SHOCKED to see that England were playing in Kobe at the same time I’d planned some quality family time. I almost couldn’t bring myself to mention it.
From there, the plan means my wife heads home and I get a week of squeezing in as much rugby as one man can manage. Or 8 games in 9 days, but who is counting.
Toyota, Kumagaya, Kobe, *sightseeing in Hiroshima (an amazing place, everyone should go, just not on October 1)*, Ōita, Kobe, Shizuoka, Tokyo and Tokyo... that’s a good use of a 7-day JR pass right there. More on those bad boys in a later blog – no panicking on those, you can only buy them 3months in advance anyway!
After that intense session of mostly evening games (leaving days open for sightseeing, aha!), I’ll be heading home.
It all sounds so simple... but I spent about 4 hours getting this far and I haven’t got anything to show for it other than a spreadsheet, a dream and a budget hole.
Part of the planning process involved the simplest question – how easy will I get tickets? The RWC sells tickets as packages (by stadium, or team) and then individual matches. To maximise my chance of tickets, I’m going to go in early and the advantage of the games I’ve picked is I can look at stadium packages for Tokyo, Kobe and Sapporo, hopefully beating the individual rush later on.
For now, my plan looks like:
More ticketing information can be found at the below links, for now, but I’ll be providing you more info nearer the time!
Schedule and prices: https://info.tickets.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets/docs/schedule_pricing_EN.pdf?_ga=2.167270330.547087378.1509709187-1174059817.1509709187
Stadium seat maps: https://info.tickets.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets/docs/Seatingplan_Summary_EN.pdf?_ga=2.167270330.547087378.1509709187-1174059817.1509709187
Bundle ticket prices: https://info.tickets.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets/docs/packticket_pricing_EN.pdf?_ga=2.124629134.547087378.1509709187-1174059817.1509709187
And some general ticketing info:
So come on then, where will I see you when I’m in Japan? Let me know and I’ll be happy to share a beer along the way!