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In Japan, they work hard, so when they have leisure time, they want to enjoy it as much as possible. Their approach to sport is much different then in the West; we like to go and vent our frustrations at the referee, taunt the opposing team, and above all, see our team win!

The Japanese, however, take a different approach. They want to forget their worries, forget their jobs, and have some fun! Which is why, taking in a game or match whilst you are in Japan is an unforgettable (and very different) experience.

Picture this: It's the beginning of the match. The away team comes onto the field. Do the home team hiss? Boo? No! With the encouragement of their mascot, they help the away fans sing their anthem! As they say, only in JapanÖ

From being ringside at a Sumo tournament, sitting with the cheer squad at a football match or watching the cars go round and round at the F1, there really is something for everyone.

However, watching sport in Japan is not just a sporting experience. It is a rare opportunity to see the Japanese letting their collective hair down. Itís also a great opportunity to meet people and have a cracking time. Donít know the rules? Donít worry; youíre not the only one! When everyone stands, you stand. When everyone cheers, you cheer. Got it? Easy! Game on!

The most popular sport in Japan by far is baseball. Introduced by the Americans in the early 20th ecntury and taken to heart by the Japanese almost immediately, hundreds of thousands attend games on a daily basis. Japanese fans are like no others and tickets to the big game are certainly a great addition to any trip.

Sumo is the traditional sport of Japan and if this is a must for you we can offer tickets to the six annual tournaments or the chance to visit a stable for early morning traning.

For all the details on the full range of sporting experiences on offer from InsideJapan Tours, choose from the options below. And if you don't see what you are looking for here, please drop us a line to ask.

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Tickets to a soccer match


Since co-hosting the World Cup in 2002, football (known as soccer in Japan) has enjoyed a surge of popularity in Japan.  Whilst baseball is still firmly entrenched as the No. 1 sport, expect soccer to challenge this in years to come as more and more young people take up the sport.

Many Japanese players now ply their trade in the top leagues in Europe, which explains why you may see young Japanese wearing Celtic (Shunsuke Nakamura) or Saint Etienne (Daisuke Matsui) shirts, although the majority of the Japanese National team play in Japan in the J. League. Recently, an influx of Brazilian players has added excitement and flair to the competition. 

Sitting with the cheer squad is the highlight of any J. League match, with a carnival-like atmosphere.  The organization is perfect, exactly what you would expect in Japan.  However the enthusiasm in infectious, and before long you will find yourself joining in with the chants. Don't worry about the language barrier though, as most of the chants involve singing the team name over and over again - although with names like Kyoto Purple Sanga and Nagoya Grampus Eight, this may not be as easy as it seems!

We recommend trying to catch an Urawara Red Diamonds game. Although not the best team in the league, they are certainly the most supported, and sitting with the Red's cheer squad is a truly amazing experience!

And as the 'football hooligan' doesn't exist in Japan, taking in a J. League match is exactly what sport should be - good, clean fun.

The J. League season begins in March and ends beginning of December.

The best places to catch a game are Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka, although with 18 teams playing in the J. League, you shouldn't have to go far to watch a game.

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Plan your trip

Many thanks for taking the time to browse our web-site. We very much hope you are enjoying the site we have put together and that it has inspired you to contact us and take the first steps towards your holiday in Japan!

There are many things to consider when planning your Japan trip: time of year you wish to travel; how long you have available; where in Japan you want to go; the things you wish to experience; what budget you have available to name but a few.

Our Tailored Trip Enquiry Form is designed so we can get as clear an idea as possible as to what will make the perfect Japan trip for you.

After we have received your enquiry, one of our Japan-expert travel consultants will get in touch to discuss your trip in more detail so as we can out together a proposal for you. We donít ask for any money upfront to put together a quote and most importantly, every quote we do is 100% tailored for you.

Click for the Tailored Trip Enquiry Form

Donít have time to fill in our Fully Tailored Trip form? Submit a quick Email Enquiry instead.

Inside Japan Tours - Independent British Travel Awards 2011 - Best Tour Operator To East and Central Asia
The Guardian, The Observer - Travel Awards 2010 Winner - Best tour operator (small)
Inside Japan Tours - Silver at the British Travel Awards 2009