It’s fair to say that seeing Japan co-host the World Cup in 2002 had some bearing on my decision to want to come here to live. At the time I was on the dole so could devote more hours to it than was probably healthy!
A couple of years ago I visited the Japan World Cup Museum and last Friday I went to Yokohama to go on a tour of the Nissan Stadium which played host to the World Cup Final where Brazil beat Germany 2-0. As expected there was no-one else wanting to do the tour (there wasn’t even anyone else around anywhere!) so I was lucky enough to get the tour in English by one of the voluntary guides who was a retired man. I was surprised to discover that only four World Cup games were actually played at the stadium.
As well as the usual displays of photos, balls, shirts, flags and tickets there was also the handprint of the German goalie Oliver Kahn and the footprint of the Brazil captain Cafu, a reproduction of the Brazil team’s dressing room including replica shirts and signed lockers, a warm-up training room (which was simple but great fun and really brought out the kid in me) and of course the stadium itself which I got to walk out on to aided by the official FIFA 2002 anthem but minus a single other person (apart from my tour guide) there to witness it. All in all, I really enjoyed this tour and can now say that I have been to both the main World Cup Stadiums in Korea and in Japan.