Four hours away from Sendai in northern Japan, Kamaishi will host two 2019 Rugby World Cup games: Fiji vs. Uruguay, and Namibia vs. Canada.
In 2011 the town in Iwate Prefecture was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami which left over 1000 people dead in Kamaishi alone.
The story of Kamaishi is not a tragedy though — it’s one of unrelenting perseverance and an undying spirit. Through the world cup, the locals hope to see the town filled with joy and laughter again.
Come for the rugby, and stay for some of the freshest seafood available, friendly locals, a huge Buddha statue and more!
Kamaishi Unosumai Memorial Stadium
Of Japan’s 12 host cities, Kamaishi is the only one that had a stadium built for the Rugby World Cup.
Standing on the site where the local elementary and junior high schools were destroyed during the disaster, the Kamaishi Unosumai Memorial Stadium is a symbol of the town’s journey to reconstruction.
Surrounded by forests on one side, ocean on the other side, and green hilltops as far as the eye can see, there’s no other place like it in the world.
What to do before and after the Rugby World Cup
Party in the Fanzone
Watch all the RWC games on a huge screen surrounded by hundreds of excited fans at the Kamaishi Civic Hall. Enjoy live performances, local food and drinks, and play a bit of rugby yourself!
Gold-speckled tigers will come to life before your eyes at the Kamaishi Festival from Oct. 18 to 20. Performers in tiger costumes will dance down the streets of Kamaishi and there’s even a boat parade! The final day of the festival also includes a kagura performance — a wildly energetic traditional dance that tantalizes the senses.
Check the Kamaishi Rugby website for a full schedule of events.
What to eat
Heaps of fresh raw oysters, salmon, shrimp, and fish roe atop a steaming bowl of rice is the local specialty.
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