Vegalta Sendai!

by Mitchell on November 22, 2011

This weekend I had a chance to get my feet wet (literally) at my first J-League Football (soccer) game.
Vegalta Sendai was playing the Urawa Reds (the home team). I attended at the invitation of my co-worker
Sasaki-San and as a result found myself cheering for Sendai (his team). I arrived slightly late as I had miscalculated the time it took to get to the stadium.

The stadium itself was massive. It was built in 2002 for the World Cup and I think the capacity is around 65,000.
On that rainy Saturday there were a mere 55,000 people in attendance for an ordinary league game.
Saitama Soccer Stadium

Japanese soccer fans are great!

I managed to find my way into the right area of the stadium and was soon surrounded by throngs of yellow and blue supporters cheering, shouting, and singing. There were no assigned seats and everyone was standing up for most of the game. This definitely didn’t fit the stereotypical view of the calm and reserved Japanese. I thought things couldn’t get much crazier in terms of fan support until i looked across the field and saw the Urawa Red supporters. About 300 of them had their shirts off and were waving them around and singing. I’m not sure if this were the rain or an abundance of enthusiasm but this lasted for most of the game which was a 0-0 scoreless draw.
Sendai Soccer Fans vs. Urawa Reds

After the game, everyone trekked back to the train station (a 20 minute walk) as the shuttle buses for some reason only took people to the game and not from it.

All in all this was one of the most enjoyable soccer games I’ve been to despite the pouring rain. Check out the video below to see how Sendai fans “get down”. This Kiss inspired cheer was one of my favourites and I’ve been humming it non-stop since.

So that just about wraps up my first Japanese League soccer game experience.

Big thanks for to Kouhei Sasaki for taking me along. Check out his Sendai soccer blog post for more great Sendai songs and clips.

Got your own wild soccer stories? Share them in the comments below?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dai November 23, 2011 at 5:55 am

Thanks for came to Saitama Studiam!
I’m a Sasaki-san’s ex-co-worker.

If you’d like to watch the game at Urawareds side, I always wait for you, Any time come with him!!

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Mitchell November 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Sounds awesome! I’ll have to go to another game and see things from the other side!

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