Japan is renowned for its vibrant culture, rich history, and unique traditions. However, what many people may not know is that Japan is also home to a thriving professional sports scene. From baseball to sumo wrestling, Japan has a wide range of sports that are loved and followed by millions of people. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of professional sports in Japan, delving into the history, culture, and significance of these sports, as well as the stars and teams that have made them famous. So, let’s get ready to dive into the thrilling world of Japanese professional sports!
An Overview of Professional Sports in Japan
History of Professional Sports in Japan
Professional sports in Japan have a rich and fascinating history that dates back over a century. The modern era of professional sports in Japan began in the late 19th century, with the emergence of baseball as a popular sport.
One of the earliest professional baseball leagues in Japan was the Tokyo-Kanto Regional League, which was established in 1920. This league was followed by the formation of the Japanese Baseball League (JBL) in 1936, which was later rebranded as the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league in 1949.
Football, or soccer as it is known in some countries, also has a long history in Japan. The Japan Football Association was established in 1921, and the first national football league, the Japan Soccer League, was formed in 1992.
Rugby is another popular sport in Japan, with the Japan Rugby Football Union established in 1920. The Japan national rugby union team has competed in several international tournaments, including the Rugby World Cup.
Other professional sports in Japan include basketball, volleyball, golf, and sumo wrestling, among others. Each of these sports has its own unique history and culture, and they all play an important role in the world of professional sports in Japan.
Types of Professional Sports in Japan
Professional sports in Japan encompass a wide range of disciplines, each with its own unique culture, history, and fan base. Some of the most popular professional sports in Japan include baseball, football (soccer), basketball, golf, and sumo wrestling. In addition to these well-known sports, Japan also has a thriving sports industry for sports such as horse racing, cycling, and table tennis.
Baseball is by far the most popular professional sport in Japan, with a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. The Japan Professional Baseball League (JPBL) is the top league for baseball in Japan, featuring teams from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and other major cities. Japanese baseball is known for its high level of skill and strategy, with a unique style of play that differs from the game in other countries.
- Football (Soccer)
Football (soccer) is also a popular professional sport in Japan, with a dedicated fan base and a growing number of players. The J.League, established in 1992, is the top professional football league in Japan, featuring teams from all over the country. Japanese football has been gaining recognition on the international stage, with Japanese teams competing in various Asian and world tournaments.
Basketball has been growing in popularity in Japan, particularly in recent years. The B.League, established in 2016, is the top professional basketball league in Japan, featuring both Japanese and international players. Japanese basketball has been producing talented players who have gone on to play in the NBA and other top-level basketball leagues around the world.
Golf is another popular professional sport in Japan, with a long history and many world-class golf courses. The Japan Golf Tour is the top professional golf tour in Japan, featuring both Japanese and international players. Japanese golfers have been successful on the international stage, with many winning major tournaments and representing Japan in international competitions.
- Sumo Wrestling
Sumo wrestling is a traditional Japanese sport that has been practiced for centuries. It is a physically demanding sport that requires strength, agility, and mental focus. The Japan Sumo Association is the governing body for sumo wrestling in Japan, and the top professional sumo wrestlers compete in the annual tournaments held in Tokyo, Osaka, and other major cities.
- Other Sports
In addition to the sports mentioned above, Japan also has a thriving sports industry for sports such as horse racing, cycling, and table tennis. These sports have their own professional leagues and tournaments, and attract dedicated fans and participants from all over the country.
Popular Professional Sports Leagues in Japan
The J.League is the top professional soccer league in Japan, founded in 1992. It is composed of two divisions: the J1 League and the J2 League. The J1 League is the top division, featuring 20 teams, while the J2 League has 22 teams. The league operates on a system of promotion and relegation, where the top teams from the J2 League are promoted to the J1 League, and the bottom teams from the J1 League are relegated to the J2 League.
The J.League season runs from February to December, with each team playing a total of 40 matches. The league also features a cup competition known as the Emperor’s Cup, which is held annually and open to all levels of Japanese football.
The J.League has seen a rise in popularity in recent years, with many Japanese soccer players now opting to pursue careers in Europe and other top-level leagues. Despite this, the league remains a strong and competitive force in Asian soccer, with several Japanese teams making it to the Asian Champions League.
Some of the most successful teams in the J.League include Kashima Antlers, Gamba Osaka, and Urawa Red Diamonds. These teams have consistently performed well in both the league and cup competitions, and have also achieved success in international competitions such as the AFC Champions League.
In conclusion, the J.League is a vital part of the professional sports landscape in Japan, and continues to grow in popularity both domestically and internationally. Its unique structure and exciting competition make it a must-watch for any soccer fan visiting Japan.
Japan Professional Baseball League
Overview of the Japan Professional Baseball League
The Japan Professional Baseball League (JPBL) is a premier baseball league in Japan, featuring teams from various cities across the country. Established in 1936, the JPBL has a rich history and has produced many successful players who have gone on to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States.
Teams in the Japan Professional Baseball League
The JPBL currently consists of six teams, each representing a different city in Japan. These teams are:
- Hiroshima Toyo Carp
- Tokyo Yakult Swallows
- Yomiuri Giants
- Hanshin Tigers
- Chunichi Dragons
- Nippon Ham Fighters
Each team has its own unique identity and fan base, and they compete against each other throughout the season in a variety of games and tournaments.
Gameplay and Rules in the Japan Professional Baseball League
The JPBL follows standard baseball rules, with some modifications to accommodate the unique aspects of Japanese baseball culture. For example, the size of the ball used in games is slightly smaller than in MLB, and the pitching distance is shorter. Additionally, there are specific rules regarding the use of foreign players, which limit the number of non-Japanese players that can be on a team’s roster.
Fan Culture and Stadiums in the Japan Professional Baseball League
Japanese baseball fans are known for their passion and enthusiasm, and attending a JPBL game is a must-do experience for any sports fan visiting Japan. Stadiums are often packed with fans wearing team-branded gear and cheering on their favorite players. Many stadiums also offer unique fan experiences, such as watching batting practice from the stands or getting autographs from players after the game.
Famous Players and Moments in the Japan Professional Baseball League
The JPBL has produced many successful players who have gone on to have successful careers in MLB, including players such as Hideki Matsui and Shohei Ohtani. There have also been many memorable moments in JPBL history, such as the famous “Mr. Japan” home run by Tiger’s player Randy Bass in 1989, which helped clinch the championship for his team.
The B.League is Japan’s top-tier professional basketball league, founded in 2016. It was established through the merger of the bj League and the National Basketball League (NBL). The league comprises 36 teams, divided into two conferences: the East Conference and the West Conference. Each conference consists of 18 teams, with each team playing a total of 60 games throughout the regular season.
Gameplay and Rules
The B.League follows most of the rules of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), with some modifications. Teams have five players on the court at a time, with a maximum of three non-Japanese players allowed per team. Games are played in four quarters, each lasting 12 minutes, with a 15-minute halftime break.
Points are scored by shooting the ball through the basket, with teams attempting to outscore their opponents. Teams can also score by making free throws, which are awarded for fouls committed by the opposing team.
Fans and Culture
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Japan, and the B.League has gained a significant following since its inception. Fans of the league are known for their passion and enthusiasm, with many teams boasting dedicated fan bases.
Game day experiences in the B.League are unique, with fans dressing up in team colors and cheering on their favorite players. Japanese culture plays a significant role in the B.League, with traditional elements such as sake ceremonies and taiko drumming being a part of the game-day experience.
Players and Teams
The B.League features a mix of Japanese and international players, with many top-tier players from around the world choosing to compete in the league. Some of the most notable players in the league include Atsushi Sakurai, Yuta Tabuse, and Nick Fazekas.
There are several successful teams in the B.League, with the Tokyo Jets, San-En NeoPhoenix, and Akita Northern Happinets being among the most popular. The league has also seen a number of success stories, with teams such as the Utsunomiya Brex and the Kagoshima-LA 95ers winning championships in recent years.
Overall, the B.League is a thriving professional basketball league in Japan, with a passionate fan base, exciting gameplay, and talented players from around the world.
Famous Sporting Events in Japan
The Tokyo Marathon is one of the most prestigious marathon events in the world, attracting runners from all over the globe. The event takes place in Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, and is known for its fast and flat course, making it an ideal race for record-breaking attempts.
History of the Tokyo Marathon
The Tokyo Marathon has a rich history dating back to 1978 when it was first held as a race with just 700 participants. Since then, the event has grown significantly, with over 36,000 runners participating in the 2022 edition of the race. The Tokyo Marathon is now one of the six World Marathon Majors, along with the Boston Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon, and New York City Marathon.
Course and Format
The Tokyo Marathon is a 42.195-kilometer (26.219-mile) race that takes place in central Tokyo, starting and finishing in the famous Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. The course is known for its flat and fast terrain, which makes it an attractive race for elite runners looking to set world records.
The event is open to both professional and amateur runners, with a time limit of 7 hours for the full marathon. The race is divided into several waves, with each wave starting at a different time to ensure that runners are evenly spread out along the course.
Notable Runners and Records
The Tokyo Marathon has seen some of the fastest marathon times in history, with several world records set on the course. In 2019, Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge set a new world record in the marathon, finishing in 2:01:39 at the event. Other notable runners who have competed in the Tokyo Marathon include Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah and marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe.
In addition to elite runners, the Tokyo Marathon also attracts a large number of amateur runners from around the world. The event has a strong culture of support and encouragement, with spectators lining the course to cheer on runners throughout the race.
The Tokyo Marathon has become a significant cultural event in Japan, with thousands of runners and spectators coming together to celebrate the sport of running. The event has also become a symbol of the resilience and determination of the Japanese people, who have faced numerous challenges in recent years, including natural disasters and a global pandemic.
In conclusion, the Tokyo Marathon is a world-class sporting event that showcases the best of Japanese culture and the sport of running. Whether you are a seasoned marathoner or a first-time runner, the Tokyo Marathon is an event that should be on every sports enthusiast’s bucket list.
Japanese Grand Prix
The Japanese Grand Prix is one of the most anticipated events in the world of professional sports in Japan. It is a motor racing event that takes place at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, Japan. The event is part of the FIA Formula One World Championship, which is the highest class of single-seat open-wheel motor racing that takes place around the world.
The Japanese Grand Prix was first held in 1987 and has since become a staple on the Formula One calendar. The event attracts thousands of fans from all over the world who come to witness some of the best drivers in the world compete on one of the most challenging circuits in the world.
The Suzuka Circuit is a 3.647 km (2.263 mi) circuit that consists of a figure eight layout, which makes it unique compared to other circuits in the world. The circuit has a combination of high-speed corners, long straightaways, and technical sections that require drivers to be at the top of their game.
The Japanese Grand Prix is also known for its unpredictable weather, which can make the event even more challenging for the drivers. The event has seen its fair share of drama and excitement over the years, with many memorable moments and epic battles taking place on the track.
The event is also a significant boost to the local economy, with thousands of people traveling to the area to attend the event. This influx of visitors helps to support local businesses and provide a boost to the local tourism industry.
Overall, the Japanese Grand Prix is a must-see event for any sports fan visiting Japan. It is an exciting and challenging event that showcases the best drivers in the world and provides a unique and unforgettable experience for those in attendance.
All Japan High School Baseball Championship
The All Japan High School Baseball Championship, also known as the Koshien Tournament, is one of the most prestigious high school baseball tournaments in Japan. The tournament is held annually and features the top high school baseball teams from across the country.
History of the Tournament
The tournament was first held in 1915 and has since become a highly anticipated event in the world of Japanese sports. The tournament is named after the Koshien Stadium in Osaka, which has been the host venue for the championship game since 1924.
Format of the Tournament
The tournament is divided into regional qualifying rounds, with teams from each region competing against each other to advance to the national championship game. The tournament is double-elimination format, meaning that a team that loses a game is eliminated from the tournament, but can still advance if it wins its next game.
Significance of the Tournament
The All Japan High School Baseball Championship is considered a stepping stone for many aspiring professional baseball players in Japan. The tournament is highly regarded for its intense competition and the level of skill displayed by the participating teams. Many players who have excelled in the tournament have gone on to play in the professional leagues in Japan and abroad.
The tournament is also significant for its cultural and social impact in Japan. The championship game is broadcast live on national television and attracts a large audience, making it a major event in the Japanese sporting calendar. The tournament is also known for its tradition of singing the national anthem and the playing of the national flag during the championship game.
In conclusion, the All Japan High School Baseball Championship is a highly respected and anticipated event in the world of Japanese sports. The tournament is a platform for aspiring professional baseball players to showcase their skills and for high school baseball teams to compete at the highest level.
Japanese Athletes in International Competitions
Olympic Medalists from Japan
Japan has a rich history of success in the Olympic Games, with its athletes winning a total of 272 medals since the country first began participating in 1904. Here are some notable Olympic medalists from Japan:
- Gymnastics: Japan’s most successful Olympic gymnast is Kohei Uchimura, who has won a total of 19 medals in his career, including four gold medals. He is known for his consistency and skill in both individual and team events.
- Judo: Japan has a strong tradition in judo, and some of its most successful Olympic competitors include Yasuhiro Yamashita, who won gold in 1984, and Tadahiro Nagashima, who won gold in 1996.
- Swimming: Japan has produced many successful swimmers, including Kosuke Kitajima, who won two gold medals in the 100m and 200m breaststroke events in 2004.
- Volleyball: Japan’s women’s volleyball team has had great success in international competitions, including winning the Olympic gold medal in 1996 and 2012.
- Marathon: Japan’s most successful marathon runner is Takeshi Soh, who won gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Other notable Japanese marathon runners include Yuki Kawauchi and Miki Takihara.
These are just a few examples of the many successful Japanese athletes who have competed in the Olympic Games.
Famous Japanese Athletes in Other Sports
While baseball and sumo wrestling are two of Japan’s most popular sports, there are many other sports in which Japanese athletes have achieved international recognition. Here are some examples of famous Japanese athletes in other sports:
Naomi Osaka is a professional tennis player who was born in Osaka, Japan, and moved to the United States at a young age. She rose to fame in 2018 when she won the US Open, becoming the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title. Osaka has since gone on to win several other major tournaments, including the Australian Open in 2019 and the US Open again in 2020.
Yuichi Yokoyama is a former soccer player who played for the Japanese national team from 1998 to 2010. He is considered one of the greatest soccer players in Japanese history and is known for his speed and technical skills. Yokoyama played for several clubs in Japan and Europe, including Celtic in Scotland and FC Tokyo in Japan.
Daisuke Takahashi is a retired figure skater who competed for Japan in several Olympic Games. He won a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, and then went on to win a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Takahashi is known for his elegant style and expressive performances, and he was a fan favorite both in Japan and around the world.
Kohei Uchimura is a gymnast who has won numerous Olympic and world championship medals for Japan. He is considered one of the greatest gymnasts of all time and is known for his incredible strength and precision. Uchimura has won numerous individual and team medals in both the Olympics and the World Championships, and he has set several world records in various events.
Yuki Kawauchi is a marathon runner who gained international attention in 2018 when he finished second in the Boston Marathon, despite being an amateur runner who works as a school teacher. Kawauchi has since gone on to compete in several other major marathons around the world, including the Tokyo Marathon and the New York City Marathon. He is known for his unique training methods and his dedication to the sport.
The Impact of Professional Sports on Japanese Culture
Sports as a Unifying Force
Professional sports have long been a unifying force in Japanese culture. They bring people together from all walks of life, creating a sense of unity and belonging. In this section, we will explore how sports serve as a unifying force in Japan.
- Sports as a Common Interest
Sports are a common interest among the Japanese people, and they provide a platform for people to connect and share their passion for the game. Whether it’s baseball, soccer, or basketball, sports serve as a common ground for people to bond over.
- Community Sports Events
Community sports events, such as local baseball tournaments or marathons, bring people together from different neighborhoods and backgrounds. These events foster a sense of community and encourage people to come together to support each other.
- National Pride
Sports also evoke national pride in Japan. When the Japanese national team competes in international competitions, such as the World Cup or the Olympics, the entire country comes together to support their team. Victories are celebrated as national triumphs, and defeats are felt by the entire nation.
- The Role of Sports in Schools
Sports also play a significant role in Japanese schools. Physical education is a mandatory part of the curriculum, and many schools have sports teams that compete against other schools. This encourages students to develop a love for sports and promotes a sense of teamwork and camaraderie.
Overall, sports serve as a unifying force in Japan, bringing people together and fostering a sense of community and national pride.
The Economic Impact of Professional Sports in Japan
Professional sports have a significant impact on the economy of Japan. This impact can be seen in various aspects, including the revenue generated by sports teams and events, the employment opportunities created, and the contribution of sports to the country’s GDP.
Professional sports teams in Japan generate substantial revenue through ticket sales, merchandise sales, and broadcasting rights. The revenue generated by these teams contributes to the overall economic growth of the country. For instance, the Japanese professional baseball league, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), generates over $2 billion in revenue annually. The revenue is shared among the teams, and it helps to sustain the league’s operations.
Professional sports in Japan also create employment opportunities for many people. The sports industry employs coaches, trainers, sports analysts, marketing and public relations specialists, and other support staff. Additionally, the sports industry in Japan supports a range of businesses, including sports equipment manufacturers, sports retailers, and hospitality businesses.
Contribution to GDP
Sports also contribute to Japan’s GDP. The sports industry generates revenue through ticket sales, merchandise sales, and broadcasting rights, which boosts the country’s GDP. Moreover, sports tourism is a significant contributor to the country’s economy. Japan hosts several international sporting events, such as the Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo Olympics, which attract visitors from around the world. These visitors spend money on accommodation, transportation, food, and other goods and services, thereby contributing to the country’s GDP.
In conclusion, professional sports have a significant economic impact on Japan. The revenue generated by sports teams and events, the employment opportunities created, and the contribution of sports to the country’s GDP are some of the ways in which sports impact the Japanese economy.
Exploring Sports Travel in Japan
Stadium and Venue Tours
- Discover the Behind-the-Scenes Action
- Gain exclusive access to locker rooms, press boxes, and other off-limits areas
- Get a feel for the pulse of the sport and the intensity of competition
- Learn About the History and Tradition
- Explore the rich heritage of Japanese sports, from sumo wrestling to baseball
- Discover the unique cultural aspects that make each sport special
- Meet Legends and Heroes
- Interact with famous athletes and coaches
- Get inspired by their stories of dedication, hard work, and success
- Create Unforgettable Memories
- Imagine the thrill of standing on the pitch or court where your favorite teams play
- Capture memories with friends and family that will last a lifetime
Remember, stadium and venue tours are a great way to immerse yourself in the world of professional sports in Japan. With this comprehensive guide, you’ll have all the information you need to plan your next sports travel adventure.
Sports Training Camps and Clinics
If you’re looking to improve your skills in a particular sport, Japan offers a variety of sports training camps and clinics that cater to athletes of all levels. These programs provide an opportunity to learn from experienced coaches and train alongside other dedicated athletes.
Benefits of Sports Training Camps and Clinics
- Personalized Coaching: With smaller participant numbers, you’ll receive more individual attention from coaches, enabling them to tailor their instruction to your specific needs.
- Networking Opportunities: Training alongside other athletes can help you build connections and friendships with like-minded individuals, creating a supportive community for your athletic journey.
- Access to World-Class Facilities: Many sports training camps and clinics in Japan have access to top-notch facilities, including state-of-the-art training equipment and stadiums.
Types of Sports Training Camps and Clinics
- Youth Sports Camps: These camps are designed for young athletes looking to develop their skills and build confidence in a sport.
- Adult Sports Camps: Adult sports camps cater to individuals looking to improve their skills or simply stay active and engaged in a sport they love.
- Specialized Sports Clinics: These clinics focus on specific aspects of a sport, such as shooting or passing in basketball, serving in tennis, or pitching in baseball.
Popular Sports Training Camps and Clinics in Japan
- Japan Basketball Camp: This camp offers a comprehensive program for both boys and girls, with experienced coaches providing individualized instruction and guidance.
- Japan Soccer Camp: The camp focuses on developing technical skills, tactical awareness, and physical fitness through a combination of training sessions, matches, and cultural experiences.
- Japan Baseball Camp: This camp provides an opportunity for players to learn from experienced coaches and train in world-class facilities, focusing on all aspects of the game, from hitting and pitching to fielding and base running.
When selecting a sports training camp or clinic, consider factors such as the level of instruction, facilities, and cultural experiences offered. With so many options available, you’re sure to find a program that meets your needs and helps you achieve your athletic goals.
Sports-Themed Tours and Activities
In addition to attending professional sports games, sports enthusiasts traveling to Japan can participate in a variety of sports-themed tours and activities. These experiences allow visitors to immerse themselves in the culture of Japanese sports and engage in unique experiences that showcase the country’s passion for athletics. Some popular sports-themed tours and activities include:
- Golfing in the Kansai Region: The Kansai region of Japan is home to several world-class golf courses, many of which are open to visitors. Golfers can enjoy playing on lush, scenic courses surrounded by natural beauty, while also experiencing the unique culture of Japanese golf.
- Baseball Training Camps: Baseball is a beloved sport in Japan, and visitors can join training camps to learn from experienced coaches and improve their skills. These camps offer a unique opportunity to learn about the sport from a Japanese perspective and train in state-of-the-art facilities.
- Running Tours in Tokyo: Tokyo is a vibrant city with a thriving running scene, and visitors can join running tours to explore the city’s landmarks and parks while getting in a workout. These tours offer a unique perspective on the city and a chance to meet other runners from around the world.
- Martial Arts Training: Japan is known for its rich history of martial arts, and visitors can participate in training sessions with experienced instructors to learn techniques and principles of disciplines such as judo, karate, and kendo. These experiences offer a chance to immerse oneself in the culture of Japanese martial arts and gain a deeper understanding of the sport.
- Cycling Tours in Hokkaido: Hokkaido is a popular destination for cycling enthusiasts, with its scenic roads and mountainous terrain. Visitors can join guided cycling tours to explore the region’s natural beauty and experience the unique culture of Japanese cycling.
These are just a few examples of the many sports-themed tours and activities available to visitors in Japan. Whether you’re a golf enthusiast, a martial artist, or simply looking for a unique experience, Japan offers a wealth of opportunities to engage with the country’s rich sports culture.
1. What are some popular professional sports in Japan?
Japan is home to a wide variety of professional sports, with some of the most popular being baseball, football (soccer), basketball, and sumo wrestling. Baseball is often considered Japan’s national sport and has a huge following, with many professional teams across the country. Football, or soccer, is also quite popular, with Japan hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2002. Basketball has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, thanks in part to the success of Japanese players in the NBA. Sumo wrestling is another unique and ancient Japanese sport that has a dedicated following and is enjoyed by many.
2. How does the Japanese sports culture differ from other countries?
Japanese sports culture is known for its strong sense of tradition and respect for the sport and its participants. This is especially evident in sports like sumo wrestling, where the wrestlers must adhere to strict rules and traditions. In addition, sports in Japan are often seen as a way to bring people together and promote teamwork and camaraderie, rather than just a means of competition. There is also a strong emphasis on training and discipline, with many young athletes starting their training at a very young age.
3. Are there any Japanese athletes who have achieved international success?
Yes, there have been many Japanese athletes who have achieved international success in a variety of sports. For example, tennis player Naomi Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam champion and has been ranked as the number one player in the world. Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu is also a multiple Olympic medalist and has set several world records. In addition, Japanese athletes have had success in sports like gymnastics, judo, and table tennis.
4. What is the state of women’s sports in Japan?
Women’s sports in Japan have been growing in popularity in recent years, with more opportunities and support available for female athletes. There are now professional leagues for sports like basketball, volleyball, and football, and the Japanese women’s national team has had success in international competitions. However, there is still work to be done to ensure equal pay and opportunities for female athletes in Japan.
5. How can I attend a professional sports game in Japan?
Attending a professional sports game in Japan can be a fun and exciting experience. Tickets can typically be purchased online or at the stadium, and prices can vary depending on the sport and the level of competition. It’s a good idea to arrive early to get settled in and take in the atmosphere of the stadium. You may also want to consider purchasing a Japanese sports team jersey or other merchandise to show your support for your favorite team.