Let’s go see the Urawa Reds football team who became the Asia champions!
I am Chankoba, from the Saitama Prefecture Tourism Division.
This time I will introduce the famous Urawa Red Diamonds (aka Urawa Reds), who won the AFC Champions League 2017 and have the most enthusiastic supporters in Japan.
The Urawa Reds’ home stadium is Asia’s largest exclusive football stadium, the “Saitama Stadium 2002” (above is the Saitama Stadium). From February to December every year, the J-League games are held and becomes crowded with supporters who wear red uniforms.
Access to Saitama Stadium
I will now explain the access route to Saitama Stadium.
The closest station is Urawa-Misono Station of the Saitama Rapid Railway Line, which you can go straight from the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line.
From Shinjuku or Tokyo Station, take the JR Yamanote line going towards Komagome Station and transfer to the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line. (Takes about 45 minutes.)
When you exit Urawa-Misono Station, Urawa Reds banners decorates the road to the stadium, which enhances the feeling of excitement before a match.
It should be about a 15 minute walk from the station to the Saitama Stadium.
You can also take a special bus from the JR Urawa Station to Saitama Stadium.
Go out the East Exit then please line up in the bus line close to the signboard.
IC cards can also be used, and you should arrive at the Saitama Stadium in about an hour.
(IC card fee is 410 yen)
How to buy tickets
There are two ways you can buy tickets.
The first way is buying it online.
You can buy the ticket on the J-League website (English).
The second way is buying the ticket the day of the event.
At the stadium’s north and south plaza there are ticket booths. However, please be careful since they do not sell same-day tickets for popular games.
You can see how many tickets are still available from the following page.
If you have some time before the game starts, please try buying the stadium food and cheering goods.
I recommend going to the stadium an hour and a half before the game starts so you can buy good food and cheering goods, and you can see the team doing their warm-ups.
At the south plaza there are various food shops and places selling other goods. I recommend buying the official towel.
I will now explain how to enter the stadium.
First, the staff will check your hand baggage, then show them your ticket.
Now I will explain how to read the ticket.
1. Admission gate (南門 → south gate, 北門 → north gate)
2. Gate (example: A5ゲート → gate A5)
3. Entrance (example: 205入口 → entrance 205)
4. Seat (example: 1列251番 → row 1 number 251)
Watching the game
The Urawa Reds is said to have the most enthusiastic cheering fans in Japan, and they continue singing the rooters’ song throughout the match.
The north side’s unreserved seating is always overflowing with wildly enthusiastic supporters. If you would like to see the actual game, or if you want to see the supporters from afar, I recommend buying the reserved seating.
Please wear appropriate clothes during the winter months of November, December, February and March since the temperature drops significantly.
After a successful game, the whole stadium sings the victory song.
At this time, everyone raises the official towels they bought before the game.
Address 2-1 Miaono, Midori-ku, Saitama City, Saitama, 336-0967
Official site http://www.urawa-reds.co.jp/reds-en/
The pub where football fans gather
There are two ways you could go home, from Urawa-Misono Station or taking the bus back to Urawa Station. However, I recommend taking the bus to Urawa Station and then going to a pub where fans gather to drink.
At Urawa Station’s West Exit there is a pub that all the supporters know of called “力 (Riki)”.
Urawa Reds goods are displayed all over the shop.
Mr. Imai, the shop manager, has been shown on TV many times and therefore all the fans know his face.
You can toast with their original Reds cocktail called Reds Sour, that has a plum and shiso flavor, and eat their special motsuni (Japanese tripe stew) and yakitori.
Address 1-3-7, Nakacho, Urawa-ku Saitama-shi, Saitama, 330-0062
Official Website http://www.ri-ki.co.jp/store/store01.html