42nd Hokkaido Rugby Championships

by Andy (U.K.)

Believe it or not, there is a thriving rugby scene in Hokkaido. Last weekend, over 60 teams from all over the island competed in the annual Hokkaido Rugby Championships.

A few expats play for Iwamizawa RFC who were in action on Sunday at Jozankei Sports Ground. After a strong performance last year, we were a seeded team, so automatically were put through to the semi final, where we faced the Tokachi team. The first half of the game was rather slow, and frustrating for both teams, the only points coming from an early penalty kick, putting Tokachi three points in the lead.

After half time, Iwamizawa turned on the pressure and we found our rhythm. Within ten minutes, we had scored and converted a try, which gave us the boost we needed to take control of the game. The forwards worked hard to win possession of the ball, allowing the backs to make darting runs through the Tokachi defence. Two more tries followed for Iwamizawa in the second half, and at the final whistle the scoreboard read 19 - 3 to Iwamizawa.
The final will take place next Sunday, July 8th at Nopporo Rugby Ground, where Iwamizawa will face either Kushiro RFC or Hokkaido Medical University. Kick off is at 12:00. If you can, please come down to Nopporo to watch the game!


  1. I would be interested to see the game, but don't know where Nopporo is. I live out on the east coast of Hokkaido in the Hidaka area. Can you tell me where it is, or provide an address in Japanese I can put into the car's GPS. Cheers Greg

  2. nopporo is in ebetsu a small city near sapporo, take train to tomakomai-sapporo then local train bound for ebetsu, get off at nopporo sta. then you can ask where to take bus to "Nopporo Sports Park"