TOYOTA TRIUMPH

Last night, Japan ran away with the match in the last ten minutes to take a bonus point win over Samoa. That made it three wins from three for the Brave Blossoms, although qualification for the knockout stages is not yet in the bag.

Unless Ireland or Scotland slip up in their next games, which seems unlikely, it will all be on the Japan vs Scotland game next Sunday, the last of the group stages, to determine who qualifies.

The match took place in Toyota, the home of the car of the same name. My mother always opted for this make when I was a child, so I’ve travelled many a mile in Corollas, her model of choice.

If you’re a fan of Toyota yourself, its headquarters are located here and factory tours of three different manufacturing plants are available in English and Japanese.

The closest major city to Toyota is the metropolis of Nagoya, positioned halfway between Tokyo and Osaka. It has a very big city feel, which I am personally not so into, but the castle is beautiful, especially in cherry blossom season.

It’s also conveniently located if you want to make trips into Mie, Gifu, Shiga, Nagano or Shizuoka. Kyoto is not too far away either.

The other two matches yesterday saw an expected win for Australia over Uruguay and a victory for England against an Argentina side that had to play nearly the whole match with fourteen men following an early red card.

That effectively ended the match as a contest before it had even begun and England are now guaranteed a quarter final spot. The South American neighbours did both manage a try towards the end of their encounters, but it was little more than consolation.

Today, the All Blacks are in action against Namibia, which could well lead to a cricket score. Following that, France will take on Tonga. A win for the French would see them qualify for the quarters and definitively knock Argentina out.

Today’s picture is from the Magome Tsumago hike in Gifu prefecture, which is a short train journey from Nagoya.

Yesterday’s Matches
Australia 45-10 Uruguay (Oita Stadium, Oita)
England 39-10 Argentina (Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo)
Japan 38-19 Samoa (1930 JST) (Toyota Stadium, Toyota)

Today’s Matches
New Zealand vs Namibia (1345 JST) (Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo)
France vs Tonga (1645 JST) (Kumamoto Stadium, Kumamoto)

Expression of the day
運転免許を取りましたけど、ペーパードライバーです。(unten menkyo wo torimashita kedo, pe-pa- doraiba desu)
Which means…
I’ve passed my test, but I’m a “paper driver” (somebody who never actually drives)!

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