Footie Food at J.League Games!

If there are two things Japan does well, they're soccer and food. When you bring the two together you have a real match made in heaven. There really is no limit to the different types of mouth-watering dishes that are served up in stadiums across Japan, but some are better than others. Here's a look at some of the “Footie Food” on offer for you to try at, or on your way to, your next J.League game!

Takoyaki

Popular in and around sporting venues across the country Takoyaki are “octopus balls” (but they don't have....) and they're seriously addictive. Takoyaki typically come served to go in a small paper box – for easy handling – with generous lashings of a delicious dark sauce and perhaps some mayonnaise. If you “eat in” (see our picture), there are other ways you'll get them! A single “takoyaki” is a small batter-ball (Brits, think Yorkshire Pudding but a bit more runny!) with pieces of octopus inside (so, like a Toad in the Hole, but with octopus instead of sausage?!), and topped with a tangy brown sauce, mayonnaise, and plenty of bonito flakes. Once you start eating these bad boys it's incredibly difficult to stop. The KuKuRu company has a stand inside Gamba Osaka's stadium and they make the list of recommended places to grab Takoyaki at:

https://theculturetrip.com/asia/japan/articles/the-best-places-for-takoyaki-in-osaka/


 

Bento Box

A good bento can accompany pretty much any event in Japan, from the local school sports day to the biggest game of the season. A bento box is a packed lunch – with a little bit more than mom's cheese sandwiches and a packet of crisps! They usually contain rice, vegetables, meat, fish and something a little more extravagant like noodles, fried eel or a helping of sashimi. They make a great addition to any match and, of course an Asahi Super Dry or a Kirin Ichiban Shibori would not go amiss, either! Offline betting is not all that common in Japan so if you want to make the most of free online bets from Oddschecker as you tuck into your delicious bento, you'll be set for a true matchday experience.

 

Gyudon

A satisfying, lip-smacking bowl of gyudon is an excellent precursor, or accompaniment, to the on-pitch action. It's essentially just a bowl of rice topped with thinly sliced beef and onions simmered in a mildly sweet soy based sauce. You can customize your Gyudon with variety of delicious toppings such as kimchi, or cheese... or various other toppings - what's not to like? Get one before the match, but be warned that it will leave you craving more before half-time. The Sukiya chain offers a plethora of choice and are often found in or around stadiums: https://www.sukiya.jp/en/

Gyudon - Sukiya web site

 

Kakigori

A great way to enjoy the half time break - or basically any time - of a game in the sweltering summer months in Japan. It's the simple pleasures that are often the best and this one is as simple as they come: it's just shaved ice and plenty of ridiculously sugary syrup and condensed milk drizzled on top. The teams really should be selling these in team colours – and probably do – anyone got pictures? You can find some exotic recipes to try at home at https://www.japancentre.com/en/recipes/925-syrups-for-kakigori-shaved-ice

So many teams have tie-ups with local and/or national food suppliers that inside and outside every J.League stadium you can find a plethora of food and drink. Go early. Sample the cuisine. Bounce in the castle. Join in the competitions. Watch the cheerleaders. Play the games. A J.League game is not just 90 minutes on the field – it can be a whole day out for all the family!

 

Kakigori - Creative Commons - Blue Lotus

 

 

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