Watch A Japanese Soccer Game

Watch A Japanese Soccer Game


2017.03.17

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Watch A Japanese Soccer Game
  • 01

    Whether you’re a fan of football or not, a visit to a local stadium to catch Japan’s finest footballers in action is well worth the effort.

    Soccer is one of the most popular sports here and Japanese fans are some of the most passionate on the planet. Both the men’s and women’s national teams are ranked among the highest of the Asian teams, and additionally the women’s team hoisted the World Cup trophy in 2011 – the first Asian team to do so – and were runners up in 2015. The nickname for the men’s team is the “Samurai Blue” after their jersey’s color, and for the women’s team it’s “Nadeshiko Japan” after a type of flower tied to the symbol of the ideal Japanese woman.

  • 02

    Japan’s Premier Football League

    International games are few and far between but luckily the local league games are very festive affairs, full of color and endless singing of elaborate anthems. The creme of the crop play in the top level of football called the J.League, made up of three divisions each comprising between 12 and 24 teams, playing in a season that runs from March to December. Most teams have a handful of foreign signings so you may recognize a few faces!

    First division matches are usually played on Saturday afternoons during the spring and autumn months. However as temperatures begin to soar in summer, most games are played in the early evening.

    Japan’s Premier Football League

    Japan’s Premier Football League

  • 03

    Getting A Ticket

    Due to growing interest in J.League outside Japan, the official website is now offered in English allowing you to catch up on the latest news, check up on league standings and most importantly, check the match schedules and purchase tickets. Prices for tickets differ depending on which stadium you are visiting (there are 18 J.League stadiums across Japan), ranging from 2000 to 8000 yen for adults, and 500 yen to 2000 yen for children under 15. Tickets can also be purchased at the stadiums on match days or in advance from convenience stores, though some Japanese ability may be necessary here. Getting to the stadiums is very easy as most are located just a short walk from the train station. Maps to the stadium are on the J.League website and in the train stations themselves. But perhaps the easiest way to get to the stadium is to follow the throngs of noisy fans wearing their team colors!

    Getting A Ticket

    Getting A Ticket

  • 04

    What’s On The Menu?

    If you’re feeling hungry, a mix of Japanese snack foods such as yaki-soba, tako-yaki, curry rice and bento boxes. Western fare like fried chicken, hot dogs and french fries can also be found at most venues. You can also bring along your own snacks, but if you are bringing drinks in, you will be asked to pour the contents into a paper cup and throw away the bottle or can that it came in. If beer is what you are after, the roving beer girls (biru no uriko) with portable kegs strapped to their backs, are easy to spot and soft drinks are also readily available around the stadiums.

  • 05

    Families Welcome

    It’s important to note that there is almost a complete absence of hooliganism and violence at Japanese football matches. Opposing teams are seen as rivals but not enemies and match days are very much family affairs with roving mascots, games and activities set up outside the stadium specifically for children. All in all it makes for a great day out.

    Families Welcome

    Families Welcome

  • J.League Site (tickets, matches, news in English)

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