I thought Honda and Endo were the stars?

Well, another football game against Japan is over. The centre of another trip. The excuse for drawing 3 others into our traveling party this time. Joining with the Green and Gold Army. Joining the 62,000 singing and screaming Blue Samurai fans. Cheering for the Socceroos.

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Read about it elsewhere as they say, especially now that both Japan and Australia have qualified for Brazil 2014.

But how about the bits before and after the game. The elements that make coming to this rich and interesting country (for football) such a great experience.

The safe and welcoming subway ride (if not a bit crowded). The walk from Urawa-Misono station to the Stadium with the throngs of Blue Samurai fans. Many, many photo opportunities with local fans, especially after the Socceroos banner was pulled out! Quite a upbeat mood and a genuine willingness to embrace us Australians as visitors.

After the game, Australian fans flowed out, me with a number of supporters flags and shirts to swap. But very few Japan fans to be found. 60,000 of them staying inside the Stadium until every player interview was conducted, screaming and yelling in support seemingly on every phrase.

Much to the chagrin of the nearby Security Guard ushering me away, I did get close enough to one of those fans to swap shirts as a long-lasting moments of another great trip.

A great night.

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About TonyJ2

I live in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. I started writing stories about my trips to Japan largely to be able to print them out for my Mum to read. Now it has got a bit out of control. After nine trips, 100+ posts and another 200 in rough draft, my irregular postings on Having a Ball in Japan will go on for a few years yet. Having a Ball in Japan is not just a bunch of travel photos, and picks up my interests in the history and culture of Japan, emergency services and disaster management, as well as hours travelling by railways big, small and tiny. Awareness to Action takes the emergency services and disaster management theme deeper into experience and resilience. Effectively Awareness to Action is my professional blog. My partner and I have been lucky enough to do a fair bit of travel both in Australia and overseas. Escaping the Nest chronicles our times in United States, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and soon to be Ireland. Tony
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