Tour of Saitama Stadium 2002!
Hello there I’m Love Saitama Ambassador Jessica and today I have article related to the upcoming Tokyo Olympics for you!
I was lucky enough to join a tour of Saitama Stadium 2002. Well known for it’s soccer matches, this stadium will be used during the upcoming Tokyo Olympics for official matches.
Official tours are conducted on the last Sunday of every month. The tours take approximately one hour. There are two time slots, a 10.30 am start and a 1.30pm start. In the case there are matches falling on those days the tour is subject to be rescheduled.
tour costs are as follows:
Adults 800yen Elementary School Aged children 400yen (including pitch side tour)
The Stadium is located a 15 minutes walk from Urawa Misono station on the Saitama Rapid Railway Line. This line changes from the Namboku Line to automatically become the Saitama Rapid Railway line.
It’s possible to catch a train from Meguro station or Roppongi Ichome station and travel straight to Urawa Misono Station!
Urawa Misono Station is served by trains from the Saitama Rapid Railway. The Saitama Rapid Railway can be boarded at station Akabane Iwabuchi, which is the last stop on the Nanboku line of the Tokyo metro. From Tokyo Station catch a JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Oji and change to the Nanboku line, or find another connection. The complete journey will take between 45 and 60 minutes.
On matchdays shuttle buses run from the train station to the stadium from 4.5 hours before the match. After the match you need to walk back to the station.
Once you get off the train at Urawa Misono station, you head toward the exit for Saitama Stadium 2002.
Coming out of the exit you are greeted by the most colorful and amazing modern stain glass window.
Looking closely you can see the theme is soccer! Urawa Misono is very proud of their soccer history and this is reflected in this stain glass window.
The way towards Saitama Stadium 2002 is very clearly signposted.
A large walkway opens up in front of you. The reason for such a wide space is to accommodate large amounts of people who attend soccer matches.
After an 10 minute walk, a large gate appears.
After following the road for a further 5 minutes you are greeted by this amazing sight!
Plans for the new stadium were first made in the early 1990s on the condition that Japan would get to host the 2002 World Cup, which was confirmed in 1996.
Construction of the stadium started in 1998 with Azusa Sekkei and finished just over three years later. Saitama Stadium officially opened on 6 October 2001 and the first match, a league match between the Urawa Reds and Yokohama F Marinos, was played one week later.
Currently J1 League football club Urawa Red Diamonds use this stadium for home games. It is one of the largest football specific stadiums in Asia.
The outside architecture on this winter day was just amazing. This really is a visually powerful building.
The stadium tour reception is here inside the restaurant plaza:
At the counter please register for the tour 10 minutes before the starting time.
There is also a wonderful shop selling the latest Japan Soccer team goods!
The tour starts! A staff member will take us around some restricted and VIP areas!
At each point of interest, a stadium staff member will stop and provide information about each area.
This photo below shows an interesting piece of architectural design, the wall is curved and there is a special light in the ceiling. This is so that when there are television interviews the speakers voice can be heard easily, and the area is lit appropriately.
Next we moved on to the locker room area! The red floor colours makes player’s fighting sprits motivated. It is the same as the color of the home team `Urawa Reds`.
The floor is non slip and its bumpy to help players walking in spikes.
I loved seeing all the different national and local uniforms hanging in the locker room.
Next door is the very important physio and medical room. This is where plays will receive massages and medical treatment.
Following on we came to the warm up room. Designed specifically so that players can kick their soccer ball and warm up as needed before a game.
Coming down the stairs I found something wonderful!
Memorials from the games that were held here at Saitama Stadium 2002 for the FIFA World Cup.
We then arrived at the part of the tour I had been waiting for!! Heading up the stair we arrive pitch side!
The enormous roof, and actual scale of the seating area and stadium itself is just amazing.
I have been to this stadium to watch soccer games before but being down on the ground level with only a minimum of people was a very new and interesting experience!
Taking an elevator up we had a chance to visit reserved box seat areas. Walking to the box seats we catch glimpses of the outside which was very beautiful.
All in all I really enjoyed this stadium tour!
I love architecture and soccer, and the chance to see special restricted areas, and take photos from the ground floor was just amazing for me.
I visited in winter so the walk to the stadium from the station, and the tour were all amazing under a blue sky!
I recommend this tour for anytime of year. The tour is available for individuals and families alike.
Name of the place Saitama Stadium 2002
Address 2-1, Nakanoda, Midori-ku Saitama-shi, Saitama, 336-0967
Stadium tour (Please check the schedule)
Adult 800yen Child 400yen Infant free