Japan: land of the rising sun. Home to Mount Fuji, sushi, anime, strange food vending machines, Samurai, Bonsai trees and, of course this year, the impending Rugby World Cup.
As fans around the globe start to pack up their grossly expensive replica tops into suitcases, the excitement levels will be rising. However perhaps that will be tinged with slight fear about taking a step into the unknown.
Having visited a couple of times, Japan is about as unique a destination as it comes. and very different to what you’d find in Rose Street on a Six Nations day.
For the uninitiated there may be a little trepidation on how they will cope with the language, the food and, crucially for a rugby away trip, getting drunk with their hosts and discussing the merits of Rob Kearney/Kurtley Beale/Amanaki Mafi/Ryan Wilson until the wee small hours.
Well, fear no more!
A new travel companion, Gamba’re, has been released precisely to help guide the visiting rugby fan.
It has been designed to be small enough to fit into your back pocket and covers most likely situations you could meet in Japan. It gives information on language, local etiquette, money, travel, tourism, food and drink focused specifically on the World Cup.
A helpful introduction on how to pronounce words properly (by way of the Vowel Haka) sets you up nicely and able to pick up some useful words and phrases with ease.
For those that know me I’ve never been considered to be a cunning linguist of any sort, however even I was able to count from ichi (1) to ju (10) with ease…. essential when it comes to getting a round of beers in!
There is a whole section dedicated to the matchday experience and key rugby terms which means you’ll be able to scream ofu-sa’ido (offside) at New Zealand or Wales and ki’ken na takkuru (dangerous tackle) at Owen Farrell or Peter O’Mahony and be understood by this the locals, who will instantly join in lambasting your enemies!
If you are lucky enough to be heading out to Japan for the World Cup, or indeed for any rugby-related trip to the land of the rising sun in the future, Gamba’re is well worth a few pounds to help you on your way. I’ll be taking mine for sure!
You can grab a copy from their official site or here on Amazon using the link below – there’s still time to get one on Prime and stick it in the suitcase ahead of your trip.
(Full disclosure: we may receive a minor commission from Amazon for purchases via the above link)
You can find some helpful videos aimed at learning some Japanese useful for the travelling rugby fan here on the book’s official site.