Wales’ World Cup campaign had a spectacular lift-off in Kitakyushu on Monday when 15,000 people attended an open training session.
Kitakyushu Stadium was packed to the rafters as tournament fever gripped a city that has been turned into a home from home for Wales’ squad.
Former Wales captain and triple Grand Slam winner Ryan Jones has been a driving force in establishing strong rugby links between the Welsh Rugby Union and Kitakyushu.
The city centre, meanwhile, had long been decked out in Welsh flags and “Go, Go Wales” banners.
Jones added: “We couldn’t have picked a better partner. The people, the city, have just been magnificent.
“It has shown what impact can be made by having very much a can do attitude, that rugby is for everyone. It has grown every time we have been here.
“When you look back on things in your career, establishing this has been magnificent.
“Seeing the guys (players) when they arrived at the welcome party the other night, and seeing their faces here, they didn’t comprehend it. They have never seen anything like that and they will remember it forever. I know we will be back – and long may it continue.”