Tokyo set to host two of the world’s biggest sporting events the Rugby World Cup and the Olympic 2020 Summer Games Japan’s capital is making final preparations for the global spotlight.

Tourism in Tokyo is already booming. Annual foreign visitor arrivals to Japan trebled in the years from 2013 to 2018 to over 31 million with around 10 million stopping in Tokyo. That’s supposed to top 40 million in Olympic 2020. Olympic Fans who want to watch the live competition of Olympic Rugby can get Olympic Rugby Tickets online.

The city’s Olympic readiness will get a test run when the Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 at Tokyo Stadium. Matches will be held in 12 Japanese cities and around 600,000 international rugby fans are expected to descend on the country, taking one-third of tickets.

It was a perfect start for Japan at their home Rugby World Cup, defeating Russia 30-10 in the first game of the tournament in Pool A.  A stunning Opening Ceremony at Tokyo Stadium, with on-pitch light show, a model of Mount Fiji and former New Zealand captain Richie McCaw hoisting the trophy aloft welcomed around 50,000 spectators to the first Rugby World Cup in Asia.

Japan, ranked 10th in the world, was hot favorites against the 20th-ranked Russians, but it was the minnows that made the better start.  Within just six minutes of referee Nigel Owens’ first whistle, Russia’s winger Kirill Golosnitsky took advantage of a mistake by Japan fullback William Tupou to score the opening try.

The conversion was landed by Yury Kushnarev and very quickly the hosts were 7-0 down. But it didn’t take long for Japan to hit back, as outside-center Timothy Lafaele delivered a sumptuous no-look pass to Kotaro Matsushima who went over for the five-pointer. 

After a frenetic opening, play gradually began to settle down, although handling errors were commonplace. As the game approached half-time, Japan increased the pressure and was unlucky when Matsushima just failed to ground a chance in the corner. But a couple of minutes later he made no mistake for his second try and the conversion gave Japan a 12-7 half-time advantage. 

The crucial score came within seven minutes of the restart as flanker Pieter Labuschagne broke through a tired-looking Russia defense and sent the crowd into raptures with Japan’s third try.

Tokyo 2020: Dream start for hosts Japan at Rugby World Cup
Tokyo 2020: Dream start for hosts Japan at Rugby World Cup

Penalties were exchanged before Matsushima put the icing on the Japanese cake, rounding off his hat-trick with a clinical right-wing finish and delivering a bonus-point fourth try. 

With Ireland, Scotland and Samoa also in Group A, Japan are still outsiders to qualify for the quarter-finals as a top-two finisher, but couldn’t have asked for a more perfect opening 80 minutes.

Tomorrow’s games are sure to ignite the tournament with Australia first up against the talented Fijians France playing Argentina, and the undoubted game of the weekend New Zealand versus South Africa. 

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