The 45,000-seat Toyota Stadium is home to Nagoya Grampus Eight football club (the J1 club formerly of Gary Lineker and Arsene Wenger fame), and one of the most architecturally impressive of the lot. Yes, it’s the same Toyota as the car company – Toyota is in fact the name of the city where the company is based (Toyota-shi), now an outlying suburb of Greater Nagoya. Toyota will host 4 pool matches in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Access to Toyota Stadium is via the Meitetsu railway (aka Nagoya Railroad), a privately operated train network covering the greater Nagoya region. Meitetsu Nagoya Station is just next to the main JR Nagoya Station, and it’s 50 to 60 minutes from there to Toyota-shi Station with a change at Chiryu.
You can also transfer to Meitetsu from JR at Toyo-hashi (possibly useful if coming from points east, it’s a shinkansen stop but note the faster Nozomi & Hikari trains skip it).
If you’re coming from within Nagoya but not staying near the Meitetsu terminus at Nagoya Station, it’s probably best to use the blue subway line as there are actually direct trains to Toyota-shi where the subway train runs through onto the Meitetsu tracks. This means you don’t need to physically change trains, but you do still have to pay both companies for a ticket – easiest way to do this is by using an IC card which works it all out automatically when you tap in & out. Also note that not every subway train runs through, with some terminating at Akaike – if your train does this, just hop off at Akaike and wait for the next train going on through to Toyota-shi.
Sound complicated? As always, check Hyperdia for train route details and just follow the suggested route (see here for an explanation on using Hyperdia). IC cards are accepted on all of the Meitetsu, JR, and subway lines; if you get a card in Nagoya it’ll be Toica (if issued by JR) or Manaca (if issued by non-JR companies), but they can be used interchangeably and all the IC cards from other regions also work e.g. Tokyo’s Suica and Pasmo cards. See here for more on IC cards.
Once you reach Toyota-shi Station it’s just a 15-minute walk east to the stadium over the futuristic Toyota Bridge crossing the Yahagi River.
Hotels near Toyota Stadium
For easiest access to the stadium, base yourself locally in Toyota-shi if you can (don’t expect too much by way of nightlife though, other than a reasonable selection of restaurants); search & book hotels in Toyota
If you prefer to be near the main nightlife, shopping, and city sights of Nagoya, Sakae would be a good call (search here), as would Osu-Kannon (search here). Staying near Nagoya Station (search here) is best for all-round convenience (easy access from other cities, easy access to the stadium, easy access to Sakae), or failing that anywhere with easy access to the blue subway line should work fine.
Airbnb is also a great option in Japan, in fact in Japan it seems to work particularly well – most hosts arrange self-checkin & checkout systems, allowing you to arrive & leave flexibly without needing to meet someone for the keys (the key’s often left in a lockbox for you). The wifi is always super-fast, and I’ve never had an Airbnb nightmare in Japan (have had a few elsewhere). There was a crackdown in 2018 with the introduction of new regulations which led to a collapse in the number of listings available and accordingly a jump in prices, with a lot of travellers reporting that their reservations were suddenly cancelled as a result. It was all a bit of a mess at first, but you can be confident that any listings remaining on there at this point are legit. Prices went up unfortunately, but then so did standards, and Airbnb is still my usual go to for accommodation in Japan.
New users can get a $35 discount from their first Airbnb rental through Rugby Guide Japan, simply click here and sign up.