Japan Top League Rugby

The Rugby Top League in Japan is a league of corporate teams that started in the 2003-2004 season. The top league is the highest league with 16 teams, the second division is the top challenge league, and below that are the regional leagues. Some of the players who play in the league have professional contracts, but it is said that 20% of the players are professionals and 80% of the players are company employees.

Japan's Top League does not overlap with Super Rugby, so you can watch the world's superstars play. In the 2021 season, very famous players such as Beauden Barrett (Suntory), Greig Laidlaw (NTT Com), and Michael Hooper (Toyota) will compete in the Top League.

Japan Rugby Top League
Teams Prefecture
Canon Eagles Tokyo
Hino Red Dolphins Tokyo
Honda HEAT Mie
Kobelco Steelers Hyogo
Kubota Spears Chiba
Mitsubishi Sagamihara DynaBoars Kanagawa
Munakata Sanix Blues Fukuoka
NEC Green Rockets Chiba
NTT Communications Shining Arcs Chiba
NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes Osaka
Panasonic Wild Knights Gunma
Ricoh Black Rams Tokyo
Suntory Sungoliath Tokyo
Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo
Toyota Verblitz Aichi
Yamaha Júbilo Shizuoka
Stadium Prefecture
Ajinomoto Stadium Tokyo
Akigin Stadium Akita
Best Denki Stadium Fukuoka
Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium Tokyo
Ecopa Stadium (Ogasayama Sports Park Stadium, Shizuoka Prefecture)
Edogawa City Track & Field Stadium Tokyo
Egao Kenko Stadium Kumamoto
Fuchu Asahi Football Park Tokyo
Higashi-Osaka Hanazono Rugby Field
Ishikawa Athletics Stadium Ishikawa
Iwagin Stadium Iwate
K's Denki Stadium Mito Ibaraki
Kagawa Prefectural Soccer and Rugby Stadium Kagawa
Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium Iwate
Kashiwanoha Stadium Chiba
Komazawa Olympic Park Stadium Tokyo
Kumagaya Rugby Stadium Saitama
Machida GION Stadium  Tokyo
Mie Kotsu G Sports Forest Ise Athletic Stadium
Mie Kotsu G Sports Mori Suzuka Soccer Rugby Stadium
Mikuni World Stadium Kitakyushu Fukuoka
Nara Prefectural Kashihara Koen Athletics Stadium Nara
National Stadium (Tokyo) Tokyo
ND Soft Stadium Yamagata Yamagata
NHK Spring Mitsuzawa Football Stadium Kanagawa
Nissan Stadium Kanagawa
Noevir Stadium Kobe Hyogo
Pocari Sweat Stadium Tokushima
Prince's Mountain Athletic Stadium
Rohto Field (Kounoike Athletic Stadium)
Sagamihara Gion Stadium Kanagawa
Showa Denko Dome Oita Oita
Sunpro Alwin Nagano
Tochigi Green Stadium Tochigi
Toyohashi City Stadium
Toyota Stadium Aichi
Yamanashi Chuo Bank Stadium Yamanashi
Yanmar Field (Nagai Nagai 2nd Athletic Stadium)
Yokaichi City Central Athletic Stadium
Yumenoshima Stadium Tokyo
Yurtec Stadium Sendai Miyagi

Prior to the start of the Top League, Japanese rugby was played in a format where the winner of the National Corporate Rugby Football Tournament and the winner of the National University Rugby Football Championship would battle it out in the Japan Rugby Football Championship to determine the best in Japan. Since then, the format has been changed in various ways as the difference in ability between the corporate teams and the university teams became more apparent.

There are many teams that have a long history even before the Top League started, and unlike professional baseball, the number of Top League championships alone does not reveal the history of a team. Kobe Steel Corp, for example, has won the Top League championship twice but has won nine times in the National Corporate Rugby Football Tournament. Toyota Motor Corporation has never won the Top League championship but has won the National corporate Rugby Championship five times.

It has decided to create a new league in the fall of 2021, and this one seems to be moving toward full professionalization.

Top League Championships

Toshiba Brave Lupus (5 times)
Suntory Sungoliath (5 times)
Panasonic Wild Knights (4 times)
Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers (2 times)

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