The World Cup is being shown across six different channels in Japan which can prove a little troublesome when trying to tune into each match. Games have been kicking off at 10 pm, 1 am and 4 am here but for some reason not many of the 4 am group games have been shown on these terrestrial channels including Argentina v Holland and also the England v Sweden game which could only be seen on satelite.
I got up at 3:30 am yesterday morning (I say got up but I never actually got to sleep at all) and got myself down to the nearest British bar to suffer Henrik Larsson’s late equaliser help the Swedes keep up their unbelievable record of not losing to us in 38 years!
The bar wasn’t so busy. Only one other gaijin and maybe 20-30 Japanese England supporters. This was actually my first England game in a bar and I sat among a group of Japanese guys and within seconds one of them was wanting a photo of himself with me; a real live English fan.
I had a couple of beers which actually went down far better than I had ever hoped for at that time of day and also got chatting to a Japanese guy in a West Ham shirt which was quite refreshing given the nature of most Japanese ‘glory-boys’ who usually don only Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea shirts.
For some reason he had given himself the English name of ‘Johnny’ from when he lived in the east end of London and it was quite nice to share my views on the beautiful game (no, not ‘Countdown‘!!) with someone. Not sure if he even understood me most of the time but he did the typical Japanese thing of nodding and saying yes which in Japan doesn’t mean “Yes I agree with you” necessarily but just that “Yes I am listening to you”.