Destinations

Japanese city urged to bolster beer supply ahead of Rugby World Cup

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

With hundreds of thousands of international travellers starting to descend on Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, one city in particular has been warned to stock up on its alcohol.

There will be a sea of Australian, Kiwi, Brit and Welsh supporters in Oita, Japan for the tournament and, according to ABC News, the Kyushu city could face a shortage of one ‘key’ commodity as a result.

Takuma Shin, who’s responsible for ensuring the region doesn’t run out of beer, said Oita is stock-piling beer in anticipation of the hoardes of rugby fanatics.

“We’ve been told by the World Cup organising committee that foreign rugby fans drink about four to six times more than Japanese people, so we will need to secure at least that much beer,” Takuma Shin told ABC News.

“If there’s a beer shortage and that makes foreign visitors unhappy, we worry that they won’t visit Oita again. So, it’s very important for us to make sure beer will not run out.

“Beer is one of the important things in omotenashi [Japanese hospitality].”

One operator, Masashi Sano, usually offers an all-you-can drink package called a nomihoudai at his izakaya (Japanese for ‘bar’), but he won’t be during the Rugby World Cup, according ABC News.

He said there’s just not enough room for all the beer he would need or enough glasses.

“I’ve heard rugby fans drink about seven or eight times more than Japanese people,” he told ABC News.

“It’s an unimaginable amount and we’re a bit lost about what to do … I really need to do something so that won’t happen and everybody can drink fairly.

“I want everyone to enjoy Oita, so I’ll offer one glass at a time and stop the nomihoudai.”

Apparently, these are very generous litre-sized glasses of beer.

Travel Weekly has reached out to the Japan National Tourism Organization for comment.

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