WMG 2021 KANSAI Example Itinerary 3 - Experience Sports, Sightseeing, and Cultural Exchanges all in a Single Trip

WMG 2021 KANSAI Example Itinerary 3 - Experience Sports, Sightseeing, and Cultural Exchanges all in a Single Trip

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 10 prefectures of Osaka, Okayama, Kyoto, Shiga, Tokushima, Tottori, Nara, Hyogo, Fukui, and Wakayama.

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.

FUN! JAPAN will introduce 3 different example itinerary articles in this series, each introducing different events to participate in and locations to visit. In this article, we will introduce a 12-day itinerary including the triathlon event, which was popular in previous competitions, as well as open water swimming. We hope this itinerary will be useful for people who train regularly but have yet to participate in a race overseas. 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 5/20 (Thurs) to 5/31/2021 (Mon)

Participation Events (Outline)

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

Day 1 - After arriving in Japan, head for Center Village (5/20/21 (Thurs))

After arriving in Japan, head to “Center Village” located next to JR Osaka Station. Once you have arrived, you can finish your registration for the event, receive your Original Participation Kit and travel pass, then head toward Tokushima where the triathlon will be held. From Osaka Station, take the shuttle bus for competition participants. When travelling within Tokushima, you can utilize the 5-day all-you-can-ride pass (excluding certain areas and railways) to travel within the prefecture.

There are “Masters Villages” in each of Kansai’s 9 prefectures which serve as cultural exchange points.

These villages can also assist you with registration and provide information regarding events.

※The dates each individual village is open varies, so make sure to check the WMG 2021 KANSAI Official homepage for more information. 👉

Day 2 - Swimming Course Practice Races & Opening Ceremony (5/21/21 (Fri))

(Image provided by Hiwasa Umigame Triathlon Event Executive Committee)

Before the triathlon begins, there are plenty of things you’ll need to take care of, like participating in the opening ceremony, testing the swimming course, checking out the bike course, and attending pre-event gatherings. It’s important to make sure you have enough time to take care of everything. Start your first day in Tokushima by finishing registration at Minami Town Hall (location subject to change), then go and try out the swimming course before heading to the event’s opening ceremony.  See the triathlon guidelines for details.

Day 3 - Triathlon (Standard) Pre-event Briefing / Bike Course Preview / Gathering (5/22/21 (Sat))

(Image provided by Hiwasa Umigame Triathlon Event Executive Committee)

Around 1 p.m. on your second day in Tokushima, take the bus for triathlon participants headed for the biking course to check it out before the actual race. All athletes participating in the event are required to attend the event briefing (in English) held at 3 p.m. on the day of the race, so don’t forget! After the event briefing ends around 5 p.m., there will be a get-together to give participants a chance to get to know their fellow athletes. This could be a great chance to make friends with other participants from different countries.

Day 4 - Triathlon (Standard) Race Day (5/23/21 (Sun))

(Image provided by Hiwasa Umigame Triathlon Event Executive Committee)

It’s finally race day. It’s time to put your practice up until now to use and try your best to complete the whopping 51.5 km triathlon race to come. The race consists of 1.5 km of swimming, 40 km of cycling, and finally, 10 km of running. Event sponsors will be providing a bicycle transport service for participants in the event, so don’t forget to make use of it if you want to relax after the event is over. Event details and correspondence may vary, so please contact event representatives via the WMG 2021 KANSAI Official Homepage Contact Form located here if you have any questions or concerns.

(Image provided by Tokushima Tourism Association)

Now that you’ve finished the race, treat yourself to something nice by seeing the sights Tokushima has to offer! Ohamakaigan in Minami, the location of the triathlon event, was chosen as #1 out of Japan’s 100 most picturesque seaside landscapes. Every year from mid-May to mid-August, sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Although this usually happens at night, if you’re lucky, you may find yourself witness to this emotional wonder of nature!

Day 5 – See the World’s Biggest Whirlpools at the Naruto Strait (5/24/21 (Mon)

Tokushima is overflowing with beautiful natural scenery. If you’re visiting the area, you can’t afford to miss the Naruto whirlpools, some of the largest whirlpools in the world. You can use the event’s participant-only Tokushima JR pass to get to Naruto Station before riding the public bus (separate fee) to reach Uzu no Michi, a bridge floating above the sea. You can see the center of the whirlpools from the 45-meter-high bridge. If you’d like to see them a little closer, then we recommend riding one of the sightseeing boats operating in the area. Don’t miss the chance to experience this strange and wonderful natural phenomenon while you’re in Tokushima!

Day 6 - Traveling from Tokushima to Osaka (5/25/21 (Tues))

You’ll need to head back to Osaka for both the open water event and the closing ceremony. The train lines you can take with your travel pass are limited in Osaka, so please confirm which are included in the pass beforehand. The KANSAI ONE PASS will allow you to use all of the main train lines within the Kansai area without having to buy a single ticket. If you’re okay with only using the JR lines within the Kansai area, you can get the 7-day all-you-can-ride JR KANSAI Wide Area Pass. Figure out where you’d like to visit beforehand to get the best tickets for a cheaper and more affordable sightseeing journey!

Day 7 - Visit the Longest Shopping Street in Japan (5/26/21 (Wed))

Use your JR Kansai Wide Area Pass to ride on the Osaka Loop Line to reach Tenmae Station and head towards Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street. This massively long shopping street begins in Tenjinbashi and extends north for a total length of 2.6 kilometers! Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street is the longest shopping district in all of Japan and it takes around 40 minutes to walk from one end to the other. Experience a day in the life of a local Japanese person by exploring the various old-school restaurants and eateries here!

Day8 - Relaxing Before the Open Water Race (5/27/21 (Thu))

David Austin English Rose Garden at Flower blossom farm

In Sennan City, the location of the open water race, there is an agricultural park called Hanasaki Farm. 「David Austin English Rose Garden」is directly operated by「David Austin Roses」company from UK. The「David Austin Roses」is the only one in the world outside the UK. over 3000 roses cultivated by this company which will bloom from mid-May. Let the beautiful petals and relaxing aroma of the park’s roses melt away your fatigue from your travels and previous events.

Day 9 - Open Water Practice, Event Briefing and Pre-event Gathering (5/28/21 (Fri))

To prepare for your 2nd event, the open water race, we recommend registering before the day of the race to avoid crowds and any registration delays. Make sure to attend the briefing and warm up to get a feel for the pool before the day of the race. There will also be a pre-event gathering for the open water event, so take this chance to mingle with other participants and maybe even make a few new friends!

Day 10 - Open Water Opening Ceremony and Race Day (5/29/21 (Sat))

On race day, you’ll first join the opening ceremony to signal the start of the event. Put your training to the test and give it your all in the race!

There are plenty of other events planned in the Osaka area besides the Open Water event. Check out more details about game venues and other events on the WMG 2021 KANSAI Official Site here👉

Day 11 - Closing Ceremony (5/30/21 (Sun))

(Image: scenes from previous closing ceremonies)

The games are finally over, so it’s time to celebrate at the closing ceremony in Osaka-Jō Hall in Osaka Castle Park. You’ll attend the closing ceremony with fellow athletes and sports-lovers from around the world, as well as friends you’ve met in your races, so make sure you get the chance to hang out and celebrate together before it’s over! You might even want to make plans to get together again in 2025 at the next WMG event!

Day 12 - Heading Home (5/31/21 (Mon))

Cherish the struggles, triumphs, and new friendships you made during the events as you get ready to head home after the games!

We have introduced 3 different itineraries so far, however, please keep in mind that they are only examples. Make sure to confirm the details of your schedule to create a travel plan that works for you when participating in WMG 2021 KANSAI.

Registration for WMG 2021 begins the day after tomorrow on 1st of February 2020. Registration is first-come-first-served basis per competition type. and will end once all of the spots have been filled. If you intend to participate, make sure to decide which events you want to join and register as soon as possible! 

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.
  • The itinerary introduced in this article is simply a suggestion. Please make sure to create a schedule based on your plans.
  • The times and locations of events may change in the future. Please check the Official WMG 2021 Website for all of the latest details about WMG 2021.
  •  For any questions or concerns regarding events and participation, please use the official WMG 2021 KANSAI Inquiry/Contact Page