Leicester City Supporters Night In Tokyo Bar

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After all these years in Tokyo I pretty much assumed I was the only Foxes fan around here and it was hard enough just trying to find a Japanese person who had even heard of the city of Leicester or Resuta (レスター) as they call it. Back in 2010, I thought the signing of Yuki Abe would make my home city known here but it never quite materialised. However, a few things in the recent years have helped to raise awareness of the place. First, there was the story of Richard III (King of England between 1483 and 1485), then Princess Mako (a member of the Japanese Imperial family) went to the University of Leicester to study museology and finally last June the Japanese international striker Shinji Okazaki signed for Leicester City in a £7m switch from Mainz in the Bundasliga.

In the wake of that last news, my tweets about the Foxes were proving something of a hit in Tokyo and there were two guys, in particular, who were retweeting and commenting. Over the months we exchanged tweets and messages and I soon realised that Leicester City actually did have something of a following.

Games are never at such a convenient time over here to socialise and watch them together but I said that we should all meet up when BT Sport finally got round to showing one of our games in the early match (21:45 kick off Japan time) on a Saturday. At Christmas time they announced that they’d be showing the Manchester City away game on February 6th so I instantly mailed a few Foxes fans to see if there’d be any interest in getting together.

From there on, “Koma” took over the planning and organising and so it was that 30+ (yes, really!) Leicester fans congregated on Saturday evening in British bar ‘The Hub’ in Nishi-Shinjuku. The number probably wouldn’t have been so big had we been in the same position as this time last season when we were rooted to the bottom of the Premier League. However, news of Leicester’s miraculous success this season is starting to spread around the world and now we finally have something of a Tokyo event to add to the collection.

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Having arrived at 9pm we paid ¥3000 each (4 drink tickets plus a selection of food) and were each given ID badges. Sadly, I didn’t get to meet and chat with everyone that came as the kick off approached fast and after the game most people had to exit fairly quickly to get the last train home.

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On the back of a fine performance at home to Liverpool in midweek (including one of the best City goals of all time), spirits were high but in my pessimistic view I thought it was typical that this event had to be for an away match against the team many people think will win the title. I really shouldn’t have worried as this current Leicester team is playing such entertaining football and we got off to the perfect start inside three minutes as Robert Huth opened the scoring. I’d have settled for a draw beforehand so when we went 2-0 and then 3-0 up we really were in dreamland and to come away with such a convincing win (it finished 3-1) really was unbelievable.

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Back home, I’d imagine I might be getting slightly annoyed by bandwagon jumpers taking tickets away from the real supporters who have followed the team through thick and thin, but over here it’s different and very much about spreading the word. The more the merrier and thankfully we won’t have to wait too long for our next meeting as Arsenal away on Valentines Day Sunday is also a TV match. As for this one, may well be the  pivotal moment when many people finally started to believe that Leicester can actually win the Premier League title. There’s still a long way to go yet and I’m trying my best to not get too carried away.

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
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12 Responses to Leicester City Supporters Night In Tokyo Bar

  1. Mr G says:

    Good luck for the Arsenal match – being let out by the missus to go down the Hub on V day that is!

  2. Mr G says:

    I actually had it down as 2-1 home win in my predictions league but was almost gutted the Foxes couldn’t hold on in the end, Kante especially was immense throughout, surprised the commentators (Talksport intl feed, pictures via J Sports on Demand) didn’t make more of the way he was taken out completely in the move that led to Vardy’s surge into the box for the pen. How was the atmosphere in the bar? Back in the day I used to watch big matches in Roppongi in the old Tokyo Sports Cafe, the ARG vs GER QF in the 2006 W Cup a particular drunken haze highlight .

    • tokyofox says:

      I thought the same actually regarding that foul in the build-up to Vardy getting the penalty. The atmosphere was pretty tense as we tried to hold on. Atmosphere was reasonable. Difficult to replicate the atmosphere of a proper sports bar or international matches in the world cup or whatever.

      “Back in the day” I can remember watching some big matches (both football and rugby) at Paddy Foley’s Irish bar in Roppongi but that closed down a while ago now…..not that I even noticed till many years after it had actually happened. Never ever went to that Tokyo Sports Cafe place despite seeing it advertised in Metropolis all the time back in the last decade

  3. Mr G says:

    Didn’t know Paddy F’s had closed down, very poor show. TSC used to have a superb Happy Hour from 6-9PM, celebs and all sorts used to walk in & it then morphed into a poncey place called Tokyo(S)Lime. After I moved out here (an hour’s commute nto Tokyo by Shinkansen) have been stuck with just one “Sports Bar” called Pitch (promising name but alas a two men and a tarted up dog job, at least it was when I last went in to see the decisive Lions Test down under). Anyway good luck to the Foxes in the run-in, mate.

  4. What are the chances of my hubby getting to see the Foxes’ last game against Chelsea in Tokyo? He’s Leicester born and bred, lifelong supporter, and season ticket holder. He’ll be at their last home game, then we fly to Tokyo next day for a wedding on the 15th. He’s waited 64 years for a season like this: it’d be amazing if he could see that last match!! Grateful for advice..

    • tokyofox says:

      Shouldn’t be a problem Caroline! 3pm KO for those final games on that sun (15th) so thats 11pm here. Not exactly prime time here so best bet is to find a British or Irish bar. Let me know nearer the time which area you are staying and I can advise you on a bar that’ll be showing it.

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  8. Andy Baker says:

    Hello fellow foxes!!!
    I shall be in Tokyo (haneda) tomorrow and was wondering if there is anywhere I/we could watch the game….🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺

    Andy Baker

    • tokyofox says:

      Hey there Andy! Welcome to Japan! Do u mean you’re staying in Haneda or just in transit? Most british & Irish bars should be showing it. I gotta get up early to work on sun sh shall just be watching it at home. It’s definitely on TV as I checked earlier. J sports 2 are showing it. Have no idea about bars in haneda area but if u can get to shibuya or shinjuku etc then u should be able to see it but be aware they’ll be extremely busy due to halloween! Good luck! Up the foxes!!

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