We’ve had some amazing weather recently! I think this is perhaps the nicest cherry blossom season weather I can remember for years! This is a perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy walking around and checking out new areas; which is exactly what I was doing when I decided to… learn more about Higashi Hanazono 東花園 which is very near to Smiths School of English in Fuse. （スミス英会話布施校）
I have several students from Higashi Hanazono 東花園 studying with me at Smiths School of English in Fuse and coincidentally the topic of the Kintetsu Hanazono Rugby Stadium （近鉄花園ラグビー場）came up just last Saturday in the school lobby before one of the classes.
Personally I am not very well informed on the technical rules of the sport but anything that looks even a little like what we call “soccer” in the U.S. is fun watching for me.
So, armed with my camera I set off to find this hub of rugby in Kansai, the Kintetsu Hanazono Rugby Stadium a couple of days ago. （東花園 の 近鉄花園ラグビー場）
The weather was absolutely perfect!
As I approached the stadium I noticed many groups of people enjoying a nice cherry blossom viewing party（お花見）in the gardens in front of the park. I was quite surprised at the large size of the stadium and the surrounding gardens.
As I got closer to the stadium I began to hear the sound of fans from inside the stadium and realized that I was lucky! I had chosen to come to the stadium on a game day!
I had never before seen a rugby game live so I wondered if perhaps I could buy a ticket for a reasonable price and enjoy the game. I entered the stadium and looked for the ticket window; it was closed so I asked a nearby person how I could buy a ticket to enter the stadium and to my delight he informed me that the game was free to watch.
He further informed me that you can often enter and watch the games for free.
There was a rugby tournament being held and the games were being played all day. I was delighted at my luck and entered the stadium, found a good seat and stayed for about an hour watching two teams battle it out. （ラグビートーナメント・ラグビー大会）
Did I mention the weather was perfect?
Also, take a look at the picture. That’s Mt. Ikoma in the background; such a beautiful setting. I enjoyed chatting with a couple of people around me and I noticed many passionate rugby fans in the stands. I also learned a little about the professional rugby team owned by the Kintetsu Company, the Kintetsu Liners. (近鉄ライナーズ )
Many children were also there, most of them were cheering for their fathers who were doing their best on the field. It was very cute!
If you are ever in this area I recommend you stop by this stadium and check out a game; especially if you are a rugby fan. It’s about a 20 minute ride on the Kintetsu Nara Line from Kintetsu Namba Station. (近鉄難波駅)
There are several interesting shops selling rugby gear along the way to the stadium which is about a 10 minute walk from Kintetsu Higashi Hanazono Station North Exit. （近鉄東花園駅 北出口）
In addition to visiting this stadium, you can also enjoy a seemingly never-ending walk along the river, which at the moment is full of cherry blossom trees in full bloom.
I guarantee you will enjoy the open space and fresh air in this area.
I felt very happy with my decision to visit the Kintetsu Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Higashi Hanazono and I look forward to chatting about my trip with my students from this town next time at Smiths School of English in Fuse. （東花園 の 近鉄花園ラグビー場）
Can anyone else recommend any good sports venues?
Are there any rugby fans out there?
Alessandro “Alex” Stanciu
Smith’s School of English Fuse
月謝制 の スミス 英会話 布施 校