Thursday, 01 October 2020

Kose Athletic Stadium

(aka Yamanashi Chugin Stadium)
Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture

Kose Althletic Stadium, in Kofu, is just another of the many 1970s-era multipurpose stasiums that can be found in rural towns throughout Japan. Originally it had a seating capacity of just 13,000, but when Ventforet Kofu won promotion to the J1, in 2005, it was expanded to the current 17,000 by putting stands in each end zone and adding a second deck to the back stand. With its featureless ring of stands and small roofed area over the "prestige seats", Kose has nothing architecturally to distinguish it from other stadiums of that era. However, the setting for the stadium is a different matter. Surrounded by a ring of high, snow-capped mountains, the Yamanashi valley is scenic regardless of where it is viewed from, and the flat meadows that host the stadium and surrounding park make the view all the more impressive.

 

The setting is not the only thing that makes Kose special. Some believe that the stadium has a magical quality that preserves those within it, even when they face overwhelming odds. Fans refer to it by such nicknames as "Kose-jo" (Kose Castle), in the wake of a clean sheet, or "Kose Gekijo" (Kose Theatre) to celebrate another last-second comeback. As even the strongest visiting teams discover, the fans in Yamanashi can be as as loud and as intimidating to opponents as those in any other park in Japan. Call it a rare "ornery streak" in the Yamanashi DNA, but both opposing players and nonplussed referees insist that Ventforet fans rival even the Saitama Red Army for intimidation. 

While it may not be much of an architect's delight, Groundhoppers in Japan owe it to themselves to visit Kose Stadium - preferably in the summer or autumn when your pregame preparations can include gorging on the region's famed peaches, plums, cherries, grapes, strawberries, persimmons and kiwis (yes, kiwis!), washed down with genuine Koshu wine. Kose truly is a magnificent place to spend a sunny afternoon -- unless you are a supporter of an unsuccessful visiting team.


 Kose Athletic Stadium

Location:Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture   Capacity: 17,000
Home Team(s): Ventforet Kofu   Completed: 1975

 

Stadium Access

Kose Stadium was never intended to be acessable by rail. The closest staion, Minami Kofu station on the Minobe line, has only about one train per hour passing through (and fewer on weekends). The best way to get there is by automobile, but visitors coming by train can catch buses from the south exit bus terminal, located outside the south exit of Kofu station, on the JR Chuo line. Board bus number 8, which is specifically marked "to Kose Sports Park". Depending upon traffic, the bus ride takes about 30 minutes, and drops you off right outside the stadium gates.

Click to enlarge

Ticket Prices

General admission:
Adults Y2,000; Children Y500
S Zone reserved:
Adults Y2,000; Children Y1,000