Soccer in Japan
While Japan isn’t yet up there with Brazil, Spain, or Italy, it definitely became a force to be reckoned with in the world of soccer. In the past, baseball was always the number one sport to play and watch in Japan, but football has steadily increased in popularity. Read this interview
Interview About Soccer in Japan
Q: What is Japanese football like?
A: In 1993 the Japanese league – J-League – was inaugurated, and from that year onwards, all the footballers who previously were part of amateur teams belonging to different companies became professionals.
Q: How many teams belong to the J-League?
A: In 1993 there were ten teams, the following year two more were admitted. And in 1995 two were awarded. So in total fourteen teams make up the league at the moment.
Q: In Spain, the league of the First Division begins in September and ends in March. Is it the same in Japan?
A: No. The Japanese league is divided into two stages. The first one starts in March and ends in July, and the second one lasts from August to December. All teams, in each stage, must play 26 matches. Because each of them has to face 13 teams not only at home but also away. The champion of the first stage and the champion of the second stage play two matches and thus the league champion is determined.
Q: The system of the Japanese League is quite different. Has the level of Japanese football risen a bit since the J-League began?
A: I think so. Years ago, Japanese footballers were amateurs and now they have to make a living playing well as professionals. We have also been joined by many famous foreign footballers, for example, Zico, Schillaci…
At the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Japan was in the poule with Brazil, Croatia, and Australia. We lost the first match to Australia, the second game was a draw with Croatia, the last team to Brazil was lost. Japan’s boss was Zico from Brazil.
Your Japan Tour
If you are thinking about making a trip to Japan, as seasoned Japan experts we can help you create your perfect Japan tour, including experiences like a soccer match of J-league clubs. Contact us to start planning your unforgettable holiday to this fascinating country full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, culture, history, nature, and delicious food!