WMG 2021 KANSAI Example Itinerary 1 - Experience Sports, Sightseeing, and Cultural Exchanges in a Single Trip!

  • Jan 16, 2020
  • May 27, 2020
  • Monique Lu

The WORLD MASTERS GAMES (WMG) is a giant international sports convention in which any sports lover over the age of 30 can participate. From the 14th until the 30th of May 2021, WMG will be held in Asia for the first time in Japan's Kansai region.

A total of 35 sports of 59 different disciplines including field and track, badminton, basketball, and swimming, will be held throughout the 9 prefectures of Fukui, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, Tottori, and Tokushima.

By paying the basic registration fee*, you are eligible to participate in 5 of the 59 disciplines available. One of the most appealing points of WMG 2021 is that you’re not limited to only one discipline. From here, we will introduce example itineraries 1 through 3 for those who want to participate in multiple sports and events.

In this first article, we will introduce a 12-day travel itinerary for people who sports like track and field and cycling. We hope our all-in-one schedule that includes sports, sightseeing and cultural exchanges will help you enjoy WMG 2021 to the fullest!

*Depending on the sport/event, there may be additional fees. If you only wish to spectate the event, there is no fee or registration required for entry. 

Schedule (Outline)

12-day duration from 5/13 (Wed) to 5/24 2021 (Mon)

Participation Events (Outline) 

・Cycling: Mountain Biking / Team Race (5/15/21 (Sat) )

Cycling Competition (Mountain Biking Important Information 👉

・Track and Field: 10KM Road Race (5/23/21 (Sun) )

Track and Field Competition (10KM Road Race Important Information 👉

*Please make sure to check all contest rules, safety information and important information listed at the above links. 

Day 1 - Arriving at Kansai International Airport - Heading to Opening Village (5/13/21 (Wed) )


Your exciting travels within Kansai will begin just a day before the opening ceremonies of WMG 2021 on the 13th of May 2021. After arriving at Kansai International Airport, also called the "entrance to kansai", the first thing you’ll need to do is make your way to Kyoto where the opening ceremonies will be held. After reaching Kyoto, head toward the Opening Village set up prior to the start of the event. Here, you can register for your events and pick up your participation kit. Once you pick up your travel pass, your mission for the day will be completed!

There are other "villages*" spread throughout the 9 other prefectures hosting events, such as "Masters Villages" located in each of the 9 prefectures and the "Center Village" located in Osaka. All of these villages provide event information as well as support event registration.

*Since the opening period and functions of the village are different, please check the WMG 2021 KANSAI official website for details.👉

Participation Goods Information 👉

Travel Pass Information 👉

On your first day in Kyoto, take time to relax and prepare for the upcoming events at a traditional Japanese inn. Don’t forget to try their traditional Japanese cuisine which has been recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage.  

Day 2 - Official Practice and Opening Ceremonies (5/14/21 (Fri) )

Another important part of the competition’s program is the opening ceremonies in which flowers and trees from the ordinance-designated cities of the prefectures participating in WMG 2021 will be used for a special opening performance called the “Ikebana Relay”. This event also includes the athlete's oath of fair play as well as the announcement signifying the beginning of the games. There are parades for each sport. Since the parades are separated by sport and not country, it could be a great opportunity to enjoy cultural exchanges with WMG participants and sports-lovers from all over the globe. Why not use this as a chance to make friends to enjoy sightseeing and dining out with as well?

                                                                                     (Picture: Images of Previous Events) 

On the same day as the opening ceremony on the 14th of May (Fri) from 10am to 4pm, official training for the mountain biking event will take place. Those participating in the event are required to join the trial run, so please use the travel pass you acquired at the Opening Village to travel to Kyoto's Kamo Station and ride the shuttle bus for 45 minutes heading directly to the mountain biking venue—"Yubune Forest Park". After participating in the trial run and getting a feel for what the actual event will be like, you can return to Kyoto and take part in the opening ceremonies.

Day 3 - Mountain Bike Race Day (5/15/21 (Sat) )

Show the results of your training by giving it your all on the day of the race!

A few other events will take place at the same venue as the mountain biking competition.

To see further details, please check the official homepage here👉

Day 4/5 Take in the beauty of Japan in Kyoto (5/16/21 (Sun) - 5/17/21 (Mon) )

Reward yourself after giving it your all during the games by enjoying sightseeing around Kansai. Experience the various sights and sounds Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, and Shiga Prefecture have to offer before the next event begins.

You can start at the same location the mountain biking event was held in Kyoto. Visiting the various historic shrines and temples in the area surrounded by beautiful natural mountains and bamboo forests will make you feel a unique sense of serenity you can only experience in Japan. (Take advantage of the KANSAI ONE PASS to freely use Kansai's bus and railway system) 

Read about other places to see and things to do in Kyoto with ball games here👉

Read about other places to see and things to do in Kyoto bike here👉 

Read about other places to see and things to do in Kyoto badminton here👉 

Day 6/7 Fall into a food coma with Osaka's many delicious dishes! (5/18/21 (Tue) 5/19/21 (Wed) )


Next, use the JR limited express train to go to Osaka (use the Kansai WIDE Area Pass to travel for less). When people think of Osaka, they imagine a place that’s close by and has plenty of reasonably-priced places to eat. From takoyaki to kushikatsu (deep-fried skewered meat), you’re sure to find plenty of tasty but affordable restaurants to eat at in the area! 

Read about other things to see and do in Osaka here👉 

Day 8/9 Let's go meet the deer of Nara (5/20/21 (Thu) - 5/21/21 (Fri) )

You can get to Nara from Osaka Station in approximately 1 hour using the JR limited express train (using the Kansai WIDE Area Pass). There are around 1388 deer living on the grounds of Nara Park, one of Nara's most famous sightseeing spots (as of 7/17/19). These deer are referred to as “shinroku” and recognized as "messengers of the gods" since they have been raised on temple grounds. Visit these shinroku to gain the strength of the gods and ensure victory in your next event!

Read about other places to see and things to do in Nara here 👉 

Day 10 - Rouse your fighting spirit in Shiga! (5/22/2021 (Sat) )

Next, let's head to Hikone City in Shiga Prefecture, also the location for the 10KM road race, by heading for JR Nara Station through JR Kyoto Station. (Travel for less by using the Kansai WIDE Area Pass.) Once you reach Hikone City, pay a visit to Hikone Castle. Enjoy the beauty of Lake Biwa from atop the castle. The historic castle grounds are sure to rouse your fighting spirit and give you motivation to win the 10 KM road race tomorrow!

Read about other places to see and things to do in Shiga with canoe and boating here👉

Read about other places to see and things to do in Shiga with baseball here👉

Day 11 - Track and Field 10 KM Road Race - Race Day (5/23/21 (Sun) )

On race day, you’ll finish registration from early morning, take part in the opening ceremony and then begin the race.

There are other events being held in Shiga Prefecture where the Track and Field (10 KM Road Race) takes place. You can check all of the details on the WMG 2021 KANSAI Official Website here👉

Day 12 - Heading Home (5/24/21 (Mon) )

It's time to head home with all the amazing memories you created and shared at WMG 2021!

We hope this 17-day sports event was not only a great opportunity to share your love of sports with others, but to also experience the charm of the various areas of the Kansai region. Thank you for taking our example outline for enjoying sightseeing in Kansai into consideration. We’ll be creating other such examples of how to enjoy Kansai during WMG 2021 KANSAI in the near future, so we hope you look forward to it! 

The application for WMG2021 Kansai will start on February 1st, 2020. Applications are closed on a first-come, first-served basis. Let's pick the event to participate in January and prepare for the application.

Click here to learn about sports

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Visa Exemptions by Country and Region (Short-term Stay): Citizens of countries other than Indonesia, Thailand (15 days), Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia (90 days), must register for a visa prior to visiting Japan. There may be changes to visa exemptions and short-term stay durations, so please confirm the latest information with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate general.
  • Travel passes can only be used after registering for the competition. All transportation related fees required to reach the registration window from plane touchdown must be covered by participants.