Rugby World Cup: Japanese pub chain at the ready

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 22, 2019 - Duration: 01:28s

Rugby World Cup: Japanese pub chain at the ready

Thousands of fans are expected to arrive in Japan for the Rugby World Cup later this year, with some local pubs ready to cash in.

Francis Maguire reports.


Rugby World Cup: Japanese pub chain at the ready

400,000 rugby fans are expected to turn up in Japan this summer for the World Cup.

Finding a place to drink in shouldn't be an issue, But tracking down somewhere to watch a game might be.

Most bars are venues known as izakayas where people sit and chat,...and don't watch sport.

Some of these bars said they won't screen games during the World Cup... while others are ready to cash-in.

This chain of British-style pubs in Japan known as 'Hub' is one place ready to serve rugby fans.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) HUB CO.

PRESIDENT, TSUYOSHI OHTA, SAYING: "For example, when the British people come and their teams are playing they will go and see those games.

But I expect that they will be staying in Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya so I hope that they will come and visit the pub in between games." A study by Japan Rugby 2019 predicts the World Cup could bring in $1.9 billion to the economy, It's a boost Hub's President has seen before - when Japan co-hosted the 2002 football World Cup.

It was here he got a taste of the western drinking habits.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) HUB CO.

PRESIDENT, TSUYOSHI OHTA, SAYING: "We found in 2002 that foreigners drink in the daytime, whereas the Japanese drink at night.

So, we've decided to open the bar from noon, and we would like to offer a casual setting for people to drink from lunchtime." Hub has encouraged its staff to take up English lessons for fans due to arrive in the country for seven weeks later this year.

The World Cup runs from September 20th to November 2nd.

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