Saturday, 26 January 2013

Watching Football in Japan 2013

Barry Barry writes

Here it is, people! The 2013 updated version of last year's début edition. Watching Football in Japan 2013.

2013 Edition

So, how's it different? Let me tell you.
  • 18% more pages.
  • 30% more pictures. Greater in number and better looking.
  • Several J2 stadia now profiled along all of 2013's J1 stadia.
  • More information, updated where relevant. 

Currency fluctuations notwithstanding, the price remains the same as last year. Being print-on-demand it's always going to be higher priced than a major publication, but at the bottom line you're looking at:


All purchases can be made directly via Blurb. Click here to visit our Blurb book store. Significant discounts can be made by a quick websearch for coupons. Click here for various coupons. I once made a saving of nearly $100 on a bulk order, so it's really worth your time having a quick look.


Unlike last year, a PDF is available for a much reduced price. You can purchase this for a measly:


Regarding the PDF, please get in touch directly at, or leave a message here and we can sort that out.

Any questions, please don't hesitate to ask

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

First Two Weeks Confirmed / Takagi

Barry Barry writes

The J. League finally confirmed today what was leaked a fortnight ago; our opening weekend fixture is away at Omiya. They also decided to release the second week's fixtures, and for our first home game we'll welcome near neighbours Yokohama F. Marinos. So that's:

第1節     3/2 Sat  (A) Omiya Ardija (Nack5)
第2節     3/9 Sat  (H) Yokohama F. Marinos (Nihondaira)

When can we expect kick off times and the rest of the fixtures? Next Friday afternoon. It seems we have this whole first-couple-of-weeks-getting-leaked process every year. Are they really they badly organised? So it would appear.


In addition to the above dates-for-your-diary, here's a couple more. Once we're back from Kagoshima (more details here), we have Jubilo on February 16th at the Ashitaka athletics ground in Numazu. We play pre-season games there from time to time, but it's by no means an alternative for Nihondaira. Check it out a little here, or you can see an above shot here. Three banks of grass is pretty old skool, and if it was warmer I'd quite fancy spreading out with a few beers while watching S-Pulse take Jubilo apart.

Anyway, another friendly, this one at Nihondaira, has been organised against last-day-of-the-season survivors Albirex Niigata (who, it's worth remembering, stayed up at Gamba Osaka's expense!). The game is Sunday, February 24th and kicks off at 2pm. There's also a reserves game before if you're interested in that sort of thing.

Toshiyuki Takagi

While I'm here, it was announced that Takagi has signed a new contract, which is of course excellent news. Can't wait to so see how he compliments new signing Bare.

I've also been reading all kinds of rumours regarding further signings, so I don't think we're done yet. Stay tuned!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Opening Week Omiya (A) & Ins and Outs & Camp

Barry Barry writes

Afternoon all! The season may be over, but there's been plenty of activity off the pitch the last few days. Here's a quick round up.

Opening Week

Firstly, our season will start away to Omiya on March 2nd after the opening fixtures were leaked last week. Kick off time is set to be confirmed along with the second week's fixtures on the 22nd. The full fixtures are expected at 5pm, Friday 1st February. Why they can't manage to do it all in one go is anyone's guess.

Anyway, as soon as the fixtures are out I'll get them up here. Or more likely, I'll initially make them known on Twitter. (@spulseukultras) The UKU are planning a pre-season meeting the night of the 1st to plan away days for 2013, so a full list on here may be the next day or so. Oita looking like fun, and maybe a Tosu in there too? Can't wait.

Ins and Outs

In addition to earlier transfer news, there's been a few incomings and outgoings over the last few days. In summary:


GK Takeda - to Cerezo Osaka
FW Takahara to Tokyo Verdy
DF Iwashita to G. Osaka
FW Nagasawa to Matsumoto on loan (has been on loan for the last two years at Kumamoto & Kyoto)
MF Kang to Kyoto on loan


DF Hiroi - back from loan at Kumamoto
MF Takeuchi - back from loan at Kitakyushu
DF Okane - back from loan at Yamagata 
MF Tachibana - back from loan at Matsumoto
MF/DF Lee Min-Soo - back from loan at Shonan
FW Higuchi - back from loan at FC Gifu
GK Toshiyasu Takahara - signed from Sapporo 

Training Camp

One last thing, out annual Kagoshima training camp will commence on February 2nd until the 11th. We'll face the following teams while there:

5th Ilhwa Chunma
8th FC Seoul
9th tbc
10th Matsumoto Yamaga

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year - New Signings!

Barry Barry writes

Happy new year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's Eve. May I also wish you all the best for the upcoming 12 months.

I was away this last week in San Francisco enjoying the wedding of two great friends (not to mention whale watching, redwood trees, clam chowder, cable cars, some of the many local beers - the list goes on), so we have some catching up to do!

The biggest news is the capture of prolific goal scorer Bare. He scored over 100 goals over six seasons in Japan from 2003-08, which is an impressive average of 17 a season. Could he be what we've been missing?

Another incoming is Kenta Uchida. A midfielder signed from Ehime FC. The 23 year old has been an important part of the Ehime set up these last two years, so I'm looking forward to seeing how he makes the step up.

Players who were out of contract but have signed extensions include, most notably, Kawai, Jong-a-Pin, Lee, Ishige, Muramatsu and Hiraoka.

There's been some out goings too. Firstly Tsujio, who was on loan at Hiroshima, has been released at the end of his contract and has joined newly promoted Oita Trinita. Secondly, keepers Yamamoto and Usui have joined J2 teams Kobe and JEF Chiba respectively. 

The countdown to the new season starts here! Two months to go...