(Reuters) – Brief profiles of the 12 stadiums chosen to host matches at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan:
Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo
The imposing multi-purpose venue is the stage for the opening ceremony and the first game of the tournament between hosts Japan and Russia.
The stadium will host eight World Cup games, including two quarter-finals, and also the Rugby Sevens event at next year’s Olympics.
Yokohama Stadium, Yokohama
The cauldron-like International Stadium was the venue for the 2002 soccer World Cup title clash between Brazil and Germany and will also host the Rugby World Cup final on Nov. 2.
Yokohama was not on the original shortlist of venues bidding to host matches but was included once it became clear the new stadium being built for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo would not be ready in time.
Sapporo Dome, Sapporo
The fully enclosed, futuristic stadium was completed before the 2002 soccer World Cup in Japan and South Korea and hosted three group stage matches.
Designed to host baseball games on an underlying artificial turf, the venue transforms to accommodate a retractable grass pitch — which is grown outdoors — for soccer and rugby.
Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Osaka
As the oldest dedicated rugby stadium in the country with a rich history going back 90 years, the venue is considered by players and fans as the spiritual home of the sport in Japan.
The historic stadium underwent large scale renovation in 2017-18 to prepare for the four matches it will host during the Rugby World Cup.
City of Toyota Stadium, Toyota
The swanky Toyota Stadium, another venue used during the 2002 soccer World Cup, offers fans a stunning view of the on-field action thanks to its steep stands.
Unsurprisingly, the city is also the headquarters of the Japanese automotive manufacturer.
Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Kumagaya
Used exclusively for rugby, the stadium hosts national university championships, the annual springtime national high school tournament as well as Top League matches.
It is part of the Kumagaya Sports & Culture Park and has been completely renovated ahead of the World Cup.
Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Kamaishi
The picturesque stadium was built on the site of the former elementary and junior high schools that were destroyed by the 2011 tsunami and earthquake.
Construction of the stadium, surrounded by densely forested mountains with views of the sea, began in April 2017 and was completed a year later.
Fukuoka Hakatonomori Stadium, Fukuoka
Surrounded by a forest but within the cosmopolitan city of Fukuoka, the stadium is part of a larger sports complex that contains athletics, tennis and baseball venues.
It hosted four games during the IRB Junior World Championship in 2009.
Kobe Stadium, Kobe
Located in the sophisticated port city of Kobe, the compact stadium is one of Japan’s most picturesque sports facilities, with mountains on one side and the sea on the other.
It hosted three matches during the 2002 soccer World Cup and is where Spanish soccer player Andres Iniesta currently plys his trade for club Vissel Kobe.
Shizuoka Stadium, Fukuroi
One of two prefectures straddled by the iconic Mount Fuji, Shizuoka will stage four World Cup pool stage matches.
Nestled in among green hills overlooking tea plantations, the stadium was the venue for Brazil’s 2-1 quarter-final victory over England in the 2002 soccer World Cup.
Oita Stadium, Oita
The striking Oita Stadium was another venue used for the 2002 soccer World Cup and was one of the few domes with a retractable roof.
Set in the parkland outside Oita City, the facility is the largest World Cup venue on the southern island of Kyushu and will host five matches.
Kumamoto Stadium, Kumamoto
Also located in Kyushu, the stadium is set among forested hills and agricultural land and will host two World Cup matches.
Kumamoto is also home to Mount Aso, one of the world’s largest active volcanoes.
Full list of fixtures
(Compiled by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney)