It is the venue for the annual high school rugby selections held in April, and also hosts Top League and college rugby in the winter.
The stadium is dedicated to rugby, having hosted three matches in the 2019 World Cup: Russia vs Samoa, Georgia vs Uruguay, and Argentina vs USA.
Getting to the Stadium
If you are coming from far away by train, the nearest station is Kumagaya Station. Kumagaya Station is served by the Shinkansen bullet train, limited express trains, the Takasaki Line, and the Shonan Line.
Get off at this station and go out the north exit.
Basically, on days when there is a game, there is a shuttle bus that leaves from Kumagaya Station.
This bus is the most common way to get there.
From the station to the stadium, there is a single road, but the 4 km walk here is somewhat strenuous, especially on bad weather days. Please make your decision based on the weather and the shuttle bus service on the day.
About the bus stop
On the day of the game, the staff will guide you where to take the shuttle bus, so please follow the instructions. Basically, Kumagaya Station has a north exit and a south exit, but there are no buses except for the north exit, so you should go to the north exit anyway.
If you want to go to the stadium only on days when there is no game, go out the north exit and take bus No. 3, which is bound for Kumagaya Dome or Kumagaya Culture and Sports Park.
About the Stadium
Kumagaya Rugby Stadium is essentially a single-tier stadium.
The appeal of a rugby-only stadium is that, because it does not have the track that an athletic stadium has, seats close to the field can feel the power of the game, and seats away from the field have the advantage of being able to watch the development of the game as the main attraction.
In terms of sections, the East E side is the Main Stand.
The back row of this main stand side has a roof, so basically, if the rugby is held in winter, this is the area you want to be aware of.
Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
Location: 810 Kamikawakami, Kumagaya City, Saitama Prefecture, 360-0004
Kumagaya Rugby Stadium when the World Cup is held in 2020
The end zones were set up with temporary seating for the World Cup. These temporary seats are no longer in place.
Kumagaya Rugby Stadium after the World Cup in 2020
The temporary seats in the end zone are gone.
The Kumagaya Rugby Stadium as of November 2020 will look like the following picture.
About the seat
The Kumagaya Rugby Stadium is basically a free seating category for matches other than Japan's national team and the World Cup.
In the case of the Top League in 2020, there are two types of seats: central seats (free within the area) and unreserved seats. If you choose central seats and get there early, you can watch the game under the roof of the main stand.
View from the front row
There is a height in the stand and the field, and there is not a track like the athletic field. Therefore, I think that it is a stadium that is not extremely difficult to see because it sees in front.
Because it is a free seat, I think that it will be fun to go early and watch it in the front.
View from the middle row
This is an image of around row 17.
Although it is a little higher than the first row, it is still very close to the field, so if you are playing on this side of the field, it is a great distance to watch the game.
If you are too close to the field to see the entire play, but still want to see the intensity of the game live, this is a good place to be.
View from the rear row
In the case of the Kumagaya rugby stadium, because it is on one level, there is an aisle where you come out of the tunnel, and from there you can either go to the field side or go up.
For example, in the back stands, the aisle is behind the 17th row, and you can go up from there.
For the Main Stand, the aisle is behind the 10th row, so the 11th row is the upper block.
The back row is the front row in a big stadium, so it is just the back row in Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, but if you want to see the whole game, you may find it easier to see in this category.
View from the corner seats
This is the image of how it looks like at the last seat in the corner.
In the end zone, there is room to walk in front of your seat, and the ground is not so close to the field of play because the try zone is wider.
If you buy an unreserved seat and can't get into the side, try to find a position you like by comparing the front and back.
The end zones (N, S) and the back stand side (W) are basically seats that are affected by the weather as they do not have roofs.
What to bring
Compared to countries such as the U.S., events in Japan are relatively free in terms of what you can bring in, and there are very few venues where you cannot bring in a backpack.
There are few venues where backpacks, etc. are not allowed. I'm not sure if the Kumagaya Rugby Stadium accepts very large bags, but most events allow people to bring in bags that are generally large enough to hold everyday items.
As for drinks, please note that there are some events where you cannot bring in cans or bottles.
Opening of the gate
This may vary depending on the event, so please check the ticket you have purchased. The gates will usually open about two hours before kickoff.
With unreserved seating, popular events can have quite a line to get in. Even the September 2019 match between Japan and South Africa, where all seats were reserved, had quite a line.
Many events in Japan allow re-entry, but it depends on the event.
Kumagaya Rugby Stadium may also depend on the event, so please check the event you will be watching.
*Events such as the Japan vs. South Africa game were not allowed to re-enter.
Food and Drink
On match days, there is a zone where you can buy food and drinks after entering the venue.
Around the venue
Since the spring high school rugby tournament will be held here, the players and winning teams for each tournament are displayed. There are also several other monuments related to rugby.
A store called "Cap Rugger's CLUBHOUSE KUMAGAYA" will open at the Kumagaya Rugby Ground in June 2020.
It will sell rugby equipment, etc., and will also serve food and drink in a cafe-like style.
Due to the effects of the coronavirus, it seems that food and drink cannot be served inside the store for the time being, but you can see inside the stadium from this store, so if you can have a meal even when there is no game, you can spend a moment while watching the stadium.
Cap Rugger's CLUBHOUSE KUMAGAYA
Location: 810 Kamikawakami, Kumagaya City, Saitama Prefecture, 360-0004, Japan
This store is attached to the rugby stadium.
Kumagaya Sports Culture Park, where Kumagaya Rugby is held, is the largest park in the northern part of Saitama Prefecture, with a rugby field, several rugby grounds, the Kumagaya Dome, an athletic field, and other facilities.
Therefore, it is quite a distance just to move around the park, so it is not necessarily close because it is in the park, but there is a restaurant called Kumadon in the Sports Culture Park.
However, there is also a restaurant called Kumadon in the Sports Culture Park, where you can eat udon noodles, etc. If you don't mind walking, you should try it. From the rugby field, head towards the dome side, and it will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Farmer's Restaurant Kumadon
Location 810 Kamikawakami, Kumagaya, Saitama 360-0004, Japan
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The restaurant is located in the park, but it is at least a 10-minute walk from the rugby field.
Travel Tips & Information
Here is the basic information about Saitama as a reference for planning your trip.
1. "Getting there & Around" Kumagaya, Fukaya, Honjo
This is the northern area of Saitama Prefecture.
For access by train, the "Kagohara Station" on the Takasaki Line is a key point. This Kagohara becomes the first station of the Takasaki Line to Tokyo or an additional station of the train.
Therefore, it makes Kagohara a border and the convenience to Tokyo changes extremely.
In the Fukaya station and the Honjo station from Gunma than Kagohara, the number of the Takasaki Line is few, and the waiting time becomes long by the separation work.
Kumagaya is a station where the Shinkansen stops, and there is also a connection to the JR conventional line, but be aware that Honjo-Waseda station is about 2 km away from Honjo station, and there are no other options other than the Shinkansen.
Basically, in the northern part of the prefecture, you need a car.
Therefore, it is better to take the train to Kumagaya and rent a car to get around the area.
2. "Where to Stay" in Kumagaya, Fukaya, Honjo
It's not an area where you can stay and do things.
There are a few business hotels in front of the station.
In the case of Fukaya Station, there is the Grand Hotel near the station, which is a little higher in rank than a business hotel, but basically the last train to Tokyo goes until about 11pm, so please consider the merits of staying there before making a reservation.
3. "What to Do & See" in Kumagaya, Fukaya, Honjo
The memorial hall of Shibusawa Eiichi, the man whose name was printed on the 10,000 yen bill, is located in Fukaya City.
However, it is about 10 kilometers away from Fukaya Station, which is a bit far.
The indoor pool, Patio, is one of the largest indoor pools in the northern Kanto area.
In Kumagaya, there is a famous temple in Menuma, Menuma Shotenzan.
However, Menuma is in Saitama, which is more like Gunma, so getting there from the station can be a challenge.
The nationally famous Gali Gali Kun(ice cream)used to have a factory in Fukaya, but now they have built a new factory in Honjo City, which seems to be the main factory.
For factory tours, etc., visit the Honjo Senbon Sakura "5S" Factory in Honjo City.
4. "What / Where to Eat" in Kumagaya, Fukaya, Honjo
Fukaya is famous for its niboto.
Of course, there are stores that serve niboutou in the city, but most Fukaya residents eat niboutou at home by simmering udon noodles and vegetables, and probably do not go out to eat it. For this reason, even if you were to ask for a famous restaurant that serves nibbou, most citizens would probably not be able to find it right away.
You can buy a pack of Shinkichi at a supermarket (Belk, Yaoko, Ario) and try making it at home, or you can refer to the Fukaya City website for restaurants where you can eat it.
Kumagaya is "fry", I guess.
Fry is a kind of grilled food like okonomiyaki.
It is different from the jelly fries of Gyoda.