The IRFU Charitable Trust Walk & Cycle in Japan during the 2019 Rugby World Cup

It all began in Dublin on the 28th of July in 2009 when the IRB announced Japan would host the 2015 Rugby World Cup: the seed was sown for a Charity Walk & Cycle in Japan to help raise funds for our seriously injured players. When Ireland’s pool was drawn on the 10th of May eight years later – we were off!

Twenty eight people completed the Charity Walk or Cycle catching Ireland’s final pool match (v Samoa) and Quarter Final 2 (New Zealand v Ireland) and Quarter Final 4 (Japan v South Africa) on an incredible journey from Fukuoka in the South, up through Hiroshima, Mount Fuji and Kyoto to name a few, to finally the capital Tokyo. Although Ireland did not get the result we were all hoping for, we were honoured to witness the final game for Ireland for our Ambassador Rory Best, as well as one of the Trust’s most avid supporters, Joe Schmidt. Thank you Joe and Rory and we wish you the very best for your futures.

The Cyclists completed approximately 320 kilometres (plus a lot of walking!) touring stunning locations including Fukuoka, Shimanami Kaido cycling route in Onomichi and staying on one of the Shimanami Islands, Mount Fuji and Yananakako Lake with some braving the streets of Tokyo. Thank you to our Cycling Guides Dai and Mitt.

The Walkers completed approximately 160 kilometres walking some of the most beautiful sites in Fukuoka and Dazaifu, Hiroshima and Miyajima Island, Fukuyama and Tomonoura, Kurashiki, Okayama and Himeji, and Kyoto including the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Fushimi Inari Shrine and Gion District; and even got to meet a Geiko. Ending in Tokyo walking the vibrant streets of an amazing city; as well as Kabukicho and Shinjuku Park. Thank you to all our Walking Guides but in particular Bruce.

A very heartfelt thank you to all our Walkers and Cyclists for raising much needed funds for our seriously injured players; and for being wonderful company on such an amazing trip.

Very special thanks also go to:

  • Bank of Ireland, our main sponsor for the Charity Walk and Cycle
  • and the Irish Daily Mail for being a wonderful media partner
  • Killester Travel for arranging the itinerary but in particular the stunning Walks and Cycles
  • Canterbury for generously providing both the Walkers and Cyclists with specially branded IRFU Charitable Trust Japan 2019 gear
  • Sports Surgery Clinic and Tekno Surgical for sponsoring the cyclists

To view the many photographs and videos from both the Walkers and Cyclists, please visit our facebook page by clicking here.

Finally, a massive thank you to Japan and the Japanese people we all met on our journeys through their beautiful country. It was a privilege to be part of a remarkable sporting occasion in a country packed with deep culture and history, and people who welcomed all nations with such open arms and who could not do enough for you; and who made this Charity Walk and Cycle, in aid of our seriously injured players, very special.