Soccer in Japan

by Kevin R Burns
(Kanagawa, Japan)

Soccer in Japan is very popular. It wasn`t as popular 24 years ago when I first came to Japan. At that time, baseball and sumo were king. Now however, soccer is either number 1 or two in popularity here and many boys play soccer. Sadly there aren`t so many teams for girls and there seems to be a bias against the girls when they do play.

The J. League & Japan`s National Teams

If you like the beautiful game you can get your fix of it live by watching Japan`s national team when they play or of course there is Japan`s pro league called the J-League.

Japan of course routinely plays in the World Cup and is one of the top Asian playing soccer nations.

The J-League features many of Japan`s top players and some of the best from around the world. There are many J-League teams intwo divisions, so chances are there will be one near where you live in Japan.

The J. League`s Makeup

The top division is called J-1 and the bottom division is J-2. The top team from J-2 gets promoted to J-1, and the last place team in J-1 goes down to J-2. Good soccer is played in both leagues but J-1 has the best teams of course.

My family has been to a few J League games both J-1 and J-2.We are fans of Shonan Bellmare in Hiratsuka. It was fun to watch them, and the fans probably had even more fun than the players. They have very enthusiastic soccer crowds in Hiratsuka.

The cost of J. League tickets varieds and sometimes you can even get free tickets through a newspaper or other contest. We in fact got free tickets each time.

It is worth experiencing the beautiful game in Japan.

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