Photo by Shoji Kudaka
Photo by Shoji Kudaka

Pro soccer gears up on Okinawa

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

When it’s winter on the mainland, major league baseball players aren’t the only ones to travel to the islands for off-season training. Okinawa is also a destination for professional soccer players looking to tune up their kicks and tricks for the upcoming season.

Starting in mid-January, you’ll find 20 teams from the J-League, Japan’s professional soccer league, practicing and holding exhibitions through the end of February.

This is a great time to catch some professional soccer around the island. And if you’re lucky you might catch well-known players like Andrés Iniesta with the  Vissel Kobe and Jô with the Nagoya Grampus, showing off their skills on the field.

Best of all, the practices and games are free to watch, so don’t miss out on J-League spring training while you’re on the island!

J.League (Division 1)

Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 
Dates: Feb. 3 - 15
Location: Kin Town Athletic Stadium (near Camp Hansen) 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.453745, E 127.912870

Vegalta Sendai 
Dates: Jan. 13 - 28 
Location: Nishizaki Sports Park 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.146818, E 127.660798

Urawa Reds
Dates: Jan. 14 - Feb. 9 
Location: Kin Town Football Center (near Camp Hansen, Jan. 14 - Feb. 2), Kochinda Sports Park Soccer Field (Feb. 3 - 9)
GPS Coordinates: N 26.458429, E 127.943065 (Kin Town Football Center), N 26.157036, E 127.716582 (Kochinda Sports Park Soccer Field) 

FC Tokyo
Dates: Jan. 7 - 21 
Location: Kaigin Field Kunigami
GPS Coordinates: N 26.725281, E 128.161727 

Kawasaki Frontale
Dates: Feb. 2 - 9 
Location: Gosamaru Athletic Field
GPS Coordinates: N 26.258929, E 127.793832

Gamba Osaka 
Dates: Jan. 13 - Feb. 1  
Location: Tapic Kenso Hiyagon Stadium (Jan. 13 - 22), Gosamaru Athletic Field (Jan. 25 - Feb. 1)
GPS Coordinates: N 26.308545, E 127.821276 (Tapic Kenso Hiyagon Stadium), N 26.258929, E 127.793832 (Gosamaru Athletic Field)

Vissel Kobe
Dates: Jan. 26 - Feb. 2 
Location: Zanpa Premium Zanpa Misaki Ball Park (near Torii Station)
GPS Coordinates: N 26.437010, E 127.716666

Sagan Tosu 
Dates: Jan. 17 - Feb. 3 
Location: Yomitan Athletic Field (near Torii Station and Kadena Air Base) 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.399455, E 127.745315

Nagoya Grampus
Dates: Jan. 31 - Feb. 8 
Location: Koganemori Koen Athletic Field 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.189998, E 127.733070

Yokohama F. Marinos
Dates: Jan. 12 - 20 
Location: Ishigaki City Soccer Park Akanma
GPS Coordinates: N 24.424758, E 124.210235

 

J.League (Division 2)

FC Mito Holly Hock 
Dates: Jan. 18 - 28
Location: Tomigusuku Sogo Koen Athletic Stadium
GPS Coordinates: N 26.173512, E 127.691611

Omiya Aldija 
Dates: Jan. 13 – Feb. 2 
Location: Nishihara Chomin Athletic Park (Jan. 13 – 22) Tapic Kenso Hiyagon Stadium (Jan. 25 – Feb. 2) 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.235621, E 127.756451 (Nishihara Chomin Athletic Park), N 26.308545, E 127.821276 (Tapic Kenso Hiyagon Stadium)

Giravanz Kitakyushu 
Dates: Feb. 1 – 8 
Location: Tomigusuku Sogo Koen Athletic Stadium
GPS Coordinates: N 26.173512, E 127.691611

Fagiano Okayama
Dates: Jan. 19 – 26 
Location: Akama Sogo Athletic Park Soccer Field 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.471906, E 127.841919

V. Varen Nagasaki 
Dates: Jan. 13 - 25
Location: Koganemori Koen Athletic Field
GPS Coordinates: N 26.189998, E 127.733070

Tokyo Verdy 
Dates: Jan. 26 - Feb. 7 
Location: Nishihara Chomin Athletic Park
GPS Coordinates: N 26.235621, E 127.756451 (Nishihara Chomin Athletic Park)

Kyoto Sanga F.C.  
Dates: Jan. 23 - Feb. 2 
Location: Kochinda Athletic Park Soccer Field
GPS Coordinates: N 26.156951, E 127.716120

F.C. Machida Zervia 
Dates: Jan. 20 - 26
Location: Kin Town Athletic Stadium (near Camp Hansen) 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.453745, E 127.912870

Jef United Ichihara Chiba
Dates: Jan. 13 - Feb. 1
Location: Nanjo shi Athletic Stadium 
GPS Coordinates: N 26.145052, E 127.769773  

 

J.League (Division 3)

Vanraure Hachinohe Football Club 
Dates: Feb. 1 - 11 
Location: Motobu cho Athletic Park
GPS Coordinates: N 26.675014, E 127.895142

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Recommended Content