Fukuroi, Shizuoka Prefecture
Blessed by the gods with bountiful nature and the iconic Mount Fuji.
Located along the Pacific coast in the south of the Chubu region, Shizuoka Prefecture is home to the unmistakable national symbol of Japan—Mount Fuji. Nestled in this natural landscape an hour away from Tokyo is Fukuroi, where four 2019 Rugby World Cup matches will be held.
Surrounded by sprawling greenery, the 50,889-capacity Ecopa Stadium hosted three matches during the 2002 FIFA World Cup including the rowdy England vs. Brazil quarterfinal.
What to do before and after the Rugby World Cup
Fukuroi Autumn Festival
Expect shrouds of men and women wearing demon masks riding on top of portable shrines and beating drums at this seasonal harvest festival. Watch the shrine parades and load up on street food and drinks during the lively spectacle.
- Fri. Oct. 1 to Sun. Oct. 13
- Takao, Fukuroi, Shizuoka 437-0023 - Map
Hattasan Sonei-ji Temple
A visit to this ancient temple dating back to 725 will bring you good fortune and dispel bad luck, so you might want to come here and pray the team you’re rooting for wins their RWC match!
Have a moment of tranquility exploring the quiet temple garden and pond before your rugby madness begins.
- Hours 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- 2777 Toyosawa, Fukuroi, Shizuoka 437-0032 - Map
- Getting there: From Fukuroi Station take the Entetsu bus to Hattasan bus stop. From there it’s a 10-minute walk to the temple.
What to eat
Beer, gyoza, and eel pie. Trust us on this one.
Gyoza and beer go together like sushi and wasabi. Stuff yourself full of these chewy pork dumplings after the game—they’re extremely popular in nearby Hamamatsu city.
Ishimatsu Gyoza is a well-known chain with several branches, but the one near Hamamatsu Station is conveniently located only 19 minutes away from Fukuroi.
- Hours 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- 430-0926 Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Naka-ku, Sunayamachō, 6-1 May One Ekimachi West 1F - Map
- Getting there: From Fukuroi Station take the Toyohashi line to Hamamatsu Station. The shop is on the first floor of the May One shopping mall’s west side.
These sticky rice cakes covered in red bean paste are rumored to protect the person who eats them from evil. Enjoy these sweet, chewy treats at Dango Chaya, which is a snack stand right next to Hattasan Sonei-ji Temple!
- Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 2777 Toyosawa, Fukuroi, Shizuoka
Unagi means eel in Japanese, but thankfully these thin, flaky crips don’t really taste like the sea snake.
While powdered eel is kneaded into the cookie-like pastries, the flavor is like a delicate, buttery cookie covered in sugar. You’ll find these popular souvenirs all over Shizuoka Prefecture in gift shops, train stations, and even convenience stores.
Sightseeing around Shizuoka
This historical castle has a 360-degree viewing deck on the third floor where you can catch a breathtaking glimpse of Mount Fuji on a nice day.
The inside of the castle is filled with an eclectic collection of historical artifacts from the Hamamatsu area. Even if you don’t go inside, the castle grounds offer relaxing views where you can take a step back in time to Japan’s romantic past—extremely popular during cherry blossom season.
- Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- ¥200 for adults; free for children under 15
- 100-2 Motoshirocho, Naka, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka - Map
- Getting there: Take the local Hamamatsu line to Hamamatsu Station from Fukuroi Station. From there, catch the bus to Shiyakusho Minami (Hamamatsuichi bus stop).
How to get there
- Take the Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Kakegawa Station which takes about an hour and 45 minutes. From there, you need to catch a train to Aino Station and then walk 15 minutes to the stadium.
- Fukuroi is about three hours away via the Tomei Expressway.
- The closest airport is Mount Fuji Shizuoka Airport.
From Mount Fuji Shizuoka Airport
- Take the airport shuttle bus to Shimada Station and then the local train to Aino Station. The stadium is a 15-minute walk from there.