5 steps to seeing the Springboks in Japan


By Sundesh Mahes Time of article publishedOct 14, 2019

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Thousands of fans flocked to Japan to watch the Springboks take on the rest of the world and experience the Japanese culture. 

So what do fans wanting to watch the Springboks in the quarter-finals need to know about getting into Japan?

Step 1

Book your flights and accommodation

Return flights with Emirates to Tokyo could set you back around R13 000  for an economy class experience. Accommodation, depending on your budget, you could score decent accommodation from R1 500 per night. Richie McCaw, the ex-New Zealand skipper, is currently staying in a room that is R86 000 pn. 

Step 2

Visa application process

The Japanese Embassy was thoroughly helpful. The visa took three working days to be approved. There are two offices, one in Pretoria and one in Cape Town. 

Step 3

Foreign exchange

The rand is not the greatest at the moment, so converting to Yen is necessary for all your shopping and transport needs on the ground. 1000 yen = R138.80 so you divide the yen by 7.2 to check your rand value.

Sundesh Mahes reveals simple steps to travel to Japan. Picture: Supplied

Step 4

When you arrive 

Transport: The trains are extremely efficient and safe. There are certain rules: 7-8 am is for women only, and trains run from 5am to midnight. Costs of the trains are reasonable. A full-day pass with as many rides as you require is 600 Yen = R83.30. If you would not want to use the train service, there are cabs, which are pricey and Uber works well too. The costs of Uber are much more than we pay for it in SA.

Step 5

Rugby tickets

The tickets can be purchased on the

Here’s some information you need: 

The culture:

The Japanese locals don’t speak much English, so google is going to be your best friend while you are exploring. Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama are safe and secure, and there is no litter anywhere. Women are walking the streets without any fear, and there are vending machines on the roads. The Japanese have some of the best industries in the world. Some of them include Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Sony, Panasonic, Minolta and Casio. 

The dress code:

This is not one of the style capitals in the world for nothing: The men and women are super trendy. Clothes are pricey, but the locals are wearing top brands such as Gucci, Fendi, Armani, Lacoste. I am a massive sneakerhead, and the sneaker culture is huge. It is very American influenced. For example, the Nike Airmax 90 and air vapormax is available in very different colourways from SA, but pricing is similar. Adidas Yeezy’s and Asics Tigers are also very popular. 

The food:

As an Indian South African who has a mother-in-law living with me, it was a real struggle. The Japanese food is very bland and has a slimy texture. Noodles and soup are popular, and the sushi was fresh. Western foods are available but there are not many outlets. There was one McDonalds and one Burger King in the Shibuya and Roppongi districts. A big Mac costs: 980 Yen = R136.00

Party time:

Shibuya is the biggest party and shopping district in Toyko. The famous Shibuya crossing is where over 1 million people cross daily. This place does not sleep over weekends. I went into a club, which accommodated over 5 000 people. It featured RnB and hip hop. Lots of alcohol was consumed, Saki and beers are popular. Drinks are pricey, and only over 21-year-olds are allowed to consume alcohol. 


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