Well, this weekend brought something not even remotely on the radar of my Japan “todo” list – a rugby union match! I had no idea, but it turns out it’s quite popular here in Japan. The match up was the Japanese “Cherry Blossoms” vs the “Classic” All Blacks:
I was pretty stoked to find out who was playing, since I had never seen the All Blacks play before. Actually, slight correction – I had never seen the Classic All Blacks play. And before I got all huffy about not getting the real deal, Jonah Lomu and Carlos Spencer were playing – the only two All Black players I actually know, so that actually worked out quite well.
The vibe of the game was very different – a lot more reserved than the Australian Rugby League and Union games I’ve been to. A lot less alcohol, a lot less shouting, no booing, and far more polite clapping. It was all very refreshing actually, and everyone seemed to be having a lovely afternoon with some perfect weather.
In line with most expectations, Japan got rolled, but I think they acquitted themselves quite well in spite of the 6-36 scoreline. And no-one went home empty handed, at least – I got lots of shots of the game which you can see at the gallery.