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2003 World Cup Venues
Held in Japan since 1977 the Asian country brings to the tournament some of the finest state-of-the art sports complexes in the world.
The city of Tokyo:    

Tokyo Metropolitan
Capacity: 10,000

National Yoyogi Stadium
No. 1 Gymnasium

The city of Nagano: 

Nagano Arena
(White Ring)
Capacity: 5,000

The City of

Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center
Capacity: 10,000

The city of Osaka:

Namihaya Dome

Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium
Capacity: 6,000

The city of Fukuoka:


Marine Messe Fukuoka
Capacity: 9,000

The city of Okayama:

Okayama General and Cultural Gymnasium
Capacity: 8,000

The city of Kagoshima:

Kagoshima Arena
Capacity: 5,000

The city of Nagoya:

Nagoya Rainbow Hall
Capacity: 9,000

The city of Hamamatsu:

Hamamatsu Arena
Capacity: 5,000

The city of Sendai:

Sendai City Gymnasium
Capacity: 7,000

The city of

Hiroshima Green Arena, Capacity: 8,000

The city of

Toyama City Gymnasium, Capacity: 5,000

Japan's capital city, Tokyo, where the
men's opening and final matches will be staged, and whose entire population is well over eleven million, is the centre of the political and financial life in Japan. Tokyo will host the World Cup for the eighth time this year since both the men's and women's World Cups were first staged in Japan in 1977. The National Yoyogi Stadium with 12,000 seats, where the opening and final matches of the Site A will be performed, was built for the 1964 Olympics and is the only national stadium in Japan. The Tokyo Metropolitan gymnasium, the competition venue for the final matches of Site B, was refurbished in 1990 and is equipped with high-tech machinery and 10,000 seats.

Nagano, where the opening match of the Men's
Site B will be played, is the capital city of Nagano prefecture and has a population of 360,000. The Winter Olympic Games in 1998 have made Nagano well known internationally; however, surprisingly, the World Cup in 1999 was the first major Volleyball event which Nagano hosted. "White Ring" was the competition venue for figure skating and short track in the Olympic Games and the quality of its facilities was apparent then.

has hosted the World Cup three times in the past and will host the women's tournament this year for the third time. Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido, has flourished as the hub of Hokkaido's development since the Meiji era. Having reached a population of 1.84 million today, Sapporo is the fifth biggest city in Japan. Getting to the competition site (nickname: KITAYELL) from Chitose Airport, the main entrance to Hokkaido, is very easy and practical. Go to Sapporo Station by rapid train (36 minutes) and change to the Toho-line
(underground) and get off at Toyohira Koen Station. The Sports Centre is
directly connected to the station. Volleyball fans are advised to enjoy the World Cup in winter clothes because the first snowfall of the season can usually be seen at the beginning of November.

The finale of the 2003 women's World Cup will be performed in Osaka
, which, like Tokyo, is a mammoth city, has been flourishing as a commercial centre for a long timeand its business people have been called "Naniwa-Merchants" - Naniwa is the former name of Osaka and it still clings to its traditions. Many Volleyball teams that compete in the V-League, the Japanese Volleyball Premier League, are based in the Kansai-area in the centre of Osaka. Moreover, the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium is the regular competition site for the annual National Volleyball Championships in spring. The Namihaya Dome, which was a competition site for the 98 World Championships and will be the stage for the women's finale this year is a huge sports complex with 10,000 seats and can be converted into a swimming pool in summer and a skating rink in winter. In the other seasons, it is used for various sports activities such as Volleyball.

Making the most of its geographical advantage of being the closest city to
the Korean peninsula and China, Fukuoka has flourished as a base
for accepting foreign culture and whose population exceeds 1,360,000.
Furthermore, Fukuoka, as a centre for exchanging cultures and
information internationally, has many convention centres
which are well adapted to hosting big international events staged here every year.
One of the
biggest facilities is the Marin Messe Fukuoka, which is located at the
central pier in the port of Hakata and it is only 2km away from the centr
al business district, Tenjin. Fukuoka Airport and Hakata Station are also within a
short distance
making access easy and swift.

Okayama will host the World Cup for the second time this year. The last
time, in 1999, the Women's World cup was held at the same gym as this year. Okayama is one of the major cities in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions and has a population of 630,000. Facing the Inland Sea, Okayama has a mild climate with many beautiful days, particularly in spring and autumn. The Okayama General & Cultural Gymnasium, which was built in 1982 and holds 8,000 seats, has an annex and a public library with 30,000 volumes. The facilities are the centre of culture and sports in Okamaya.

Kagoshima, where the opening match of Site B of the Women's tournament will be played, is the
southernmost city on Kyushu Island and is well known as the place which produced many political heroes in the Meiji era, such as Takamori Saigo and Toshimichi Okubo. Kagoshima has been prospering as the economy and culture centre in Kyushu and has been visited by a large number of tourists coming to see the sublime scenery of the volcano Sakura-jima in the Bay of Kinkou. This year's World Cup in Kagoshima will be the third time the southern city has hosted a World Cup event following two men's tournaments in 1995 and 1999. The Kagoshima Arena, which was built in 1992 commemorating its centennial municipal system, is a sports complex with a main arena (5,700 seats), a sub-arena and a training room and can be reached by a 15-minute bus ride from JR Nishi-Kagoshima Station.

Nagoya with its population of over two million is the core-city of Japan's
midlands and has flourished since the Edo-era as one of the major cities following Tokyo, Osaka and Kyo (present-day Kyoto). Aiming to be an international city, Nagoya is sister cities with Los Angeles and Sydney, and has been actively hosting international events. The 1977 Men's World Cup visited Nagoya for the first time and since then Nagoya has hosted the World Cup five times. This year's invitation will be the sixth and the third successive year for the women's tournament. The Nagoya Rainbow Hall is well known as the competition site for the Nagoya Tournament in Sumo and it is easily accessible from Nagoya Station (10-minute travel by train).

Hamamatsu, which is the central city of the western part of Shizuoka
prefecture and whose population has reached 600,000, is famous for the car manufacturers, HONDA and SUZUKI, and for the musical instruments
manufacturers, YAMAHA and KAWAI. What's more, these days,
Hamamatsu is an industrial city with a lot of optical firms and laboratories and is the city where the largest number of Brazilians in Japan live. As the biggest city in the production of musical instruments, Hamamatsu hosts many musical events; however, with regard to sport events, Hamamatsu will host the World Cup this year for the second time following the World Championships in 1998.

Sendai, whose population exceeded one million in 1999, is the only ordinance-designated city in
the Tohoku district, the northern region of Japan's main island, Honsyu and has been flourishing as the political, economic and cultural centre of the Tohoku district. In 1953 Sendai's involvement in Volleyball started and it organized its first international Volleyball competition the same year, All Hong Kong vs. All Sendai. Since then, almost every year some international competitions have been hosted. Two men's tournaments and three women's tournaments took place in Sendai so far and this year's tournament will be the 6th. The Sendai City Gym is a well-equipped sports complex with the first gym (three Volleyball courts), the second gym (one Volleyball court) and a swimming pool in an annex. It is 6km from Sendai Station and is easily accessible by underground.

Hiroshima has recovered from the horrific disaster of the atomic bomb
and is now a city of one million people, which prays for world peace. Since the war, Hiroshima has produced many famous Volleyball players, such as the late setter, Mr. Katsutoshi Nekoda who won a gold medal in the Munich Olympics in 1972. This year, Hiroshima will host the World Cups for the seventh time following in the footsteps of Tokyo and Osaka which have been hosts for eight successive times. The competition venue, Hiroshima Arena, was filled to capacity for the Asian Games in 1994 and for the Volleyball World Championships in 1998.

Just like the previous World Cup in 1999, the women's tournament will take place in Toyama, which is a city that is surrounded by the native beauty of Japan's scenic mountains, the Northern Alps, and the Bay of Toyama, which is famous for the mirage - the altitude drop between them is 3000m. Toyama has been well known for its pharmacies for over 300 years and there are many pharmaceutical laboratories. In Toyama, people are extremely enthusiastic about Volleyball and a great number of international competitions have been staged. The Toyama City Gym was completed just before the previous World Cup and was the main competition site for the National Athletics Meet in 2000. As it is very easily accessible - five to six minutes walk from JR Toyama Station - it is assumed that many Volleyball enthusiasts from the Kansai area will visit Toyama.