Guide: How to Buy Soccer Tickets and Watch a game in Japan

Most of you might not know this but soccer is one of the most popular sports in Japan. Making J League games very popular among foreigners and locals. And it has received greater attention from the world in recent times, with the arrival of many famous World Cup and Champions League winners such as, Andres Iniesta, Fernando Torres, David Villa and Lukas Podolski. It is also a very popular tourist attraction. For more tourist attraction picked by locals, check out this article. The atmosphere at matches are also very intense and lively. Many fans show up with their team’s jersey and with their faces painted. Throughout the matches you will hear the chants, songs to cheer on the team. There’s always a leader that stands in front of the crowd for the entire game to keep the crowd going. So, how do you buy soccer tickets and watch a game in Japan?

Many foreigners come to Japan to watch these J League soccer games, but it may be hard to find a way to buy these tickets. But there are several easy ways in which you can buy these tickets.

Where should I buy tickets ?

1. Buying tickets using the ticket machines at any convenience store in Japan

a. There is always a green or white ticket machine in convenience stores. Most of the time it will be next to the ATM where you can charge your Suica or Pasmo, and in the area of the photocopy machine. This machine will usually be set in Japanese, so you will need to change it to the language of your preference.

b. In the first screen you should click the “buying ticket” option. Which will bring you to a page with different categories. To buy soccer tickets you will need to click the “sports” category.

c. Then you will need to find soccer in the list of sports. You should finally see the list of J League soccer tickets that are available, and find the one you are looking for. 

d. You will then need to bring the paper that the machine will print out to the cashier and make your payment there. You will need to bring this ticket that you receive on the day of the match. So don’t lose it! 

2. Through the J League official website

Another easy way to buy a J League ticket is to buy it online through the J League official website. This is a more convenient and reliable way for foreigners to buy tickets ahead of time because the games sell out quickly. The tickets also come in QR code form meaning, that you won’t have any trouble losing your ticket. You will also be able to send this ticket to a friend without directly meeting them.

3. Buying tickets at the stadium on the day of the game

This is another option, but it is the least reliable way for you to get your hands on a ticket. Most J League games sell out very quickly, even before the day of the game. If you are thinking of watching a big game, I don’t recommend for you to use this method.

4. Buying Tickets on Private Chat Boards and Fan Clubs

This is also not as reliable and hard to navigate, especially if you don’t speak Japanese. Often, fan clubs and groups stock up on tickets for their group to all be able to go to the game. These tickets usually do get bought up, but sometimes they may have spares.

What Ticket Level should I buy?

There are three ticket levels: 

Non-reserved Tickets

These tickets are the cheapest and most popular tickets by supporters. These seats are behind the two goals. These tickets don’t have assigned seating and many times, the stadiums sell more of these tickets than there are seats. Making it hard for latecomers to find seats. If you bought this ticket, it is best to go a couple hours early to the stadium and find a seat for your group. 

Reserved Tickets

These seats are on the two sides of the stadium where it is much easier to see the whole game. These tickets are more expensive than the non-reserved tickets, but you won’t need to worry about going early and getting a seat! 

Executive Tickets

These seats are the most expensive, but they have the nicest view. They are also located on the sides of the field, as the reserved tickets are, but they have a nicer view and are in the center of the side of the field. 

 

Last Remarks: 

  • Plan which game you want to watch ahead of time, so that you won’t miss out on tickets. They sell out fast! 
  • Make sure to show up 1 or 2 hours early if you bought a non-reserved ticket 
  • Don’t lose your tickets, or buy the tickets on the official J League Website for the QR codes
  • If you are an exchange student or working here for a longer period of time and love soccer, we recommend you the season passes that can be purchased at club stores and online that will let you go to every game of the season! Guides for mobile plans for exchange students are available on this article.
  • Lastly, make sure to have fun!