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Visit to the JFA House

1_jfaavenuesign.jpgI'm pretty bad with directions, but my first trip to the JFA House went perfectly -- thanks to the extremely detailed >>instructions they provided on their website, and the fact that there are signs about every block you go!

It certainly helps that the road to the JFA House is called, well, "Football Avenue" (or JFA Dori, in Japanese)... and the building is big and has the unmistakeable JFA emblem on the side.

Here we are...hard to miss this entrance. The first floor lobby is airy, with a number of eye-catching displays. The three flat screen monitors are showing three different videos -- one shows the Confed Cup game against Brazil; one shows the Asia Cup 2004 highlights with interviews (Nakamura, Fukunishi, Miyamoto, Kawaguchi, Koji Nakata were some of the guys I saw interviews of); and the last is a highlights/interview video of the World Cup qualifiers. Under the screens are display cases of football souvenirs, toys, dolls, key chains that have been collected from half a century back, the Kirin Cup trophies, etc.
entrance.jpg . 7.1_showcasearea.jpg

But the first things you see are these two babies -- the one one on the left is the national teams case, with the t-shirt that was created right as we qualified for Germany, a signed ball, the Asia Cup silverware. The silver plate on the right is the J.League championship trophy -- the league changed to a one-season format, and now with ten games left to go, things are really heating up in the race. Who will we see holding up this plate?
5_ntglasscase.jpg . 6_jleaguecup.jpg

10_bigscreen.jpgThere's a medium-sized screening room with, look at this beaut, a 2m x 10m screen. They are featuring three different shows right now, and I watched the J.League 2004 highlights review. The room is actually a mini-gymnasium, and I guess they use the room for other events and activities. My only gripe would be that the volume was waaaay too loud. And my ears are just recovering from sitting near the drums at the Kashima game the last time!

14_wineleven.jpgAfter strolling through various photo displays, of the history of Japanese football (I like the black and whites from the 1960s, and from the Pele Farewell game), the Hall of Fame, etc, I spent a little time playing here. The analog and the digital both -- the little boy with his father was having a blast playing Winning Eleven, so I watched him play for a while too. Nothing like being outclassed at video games by a 5 year old... sigh!

15_fifaletter.jpgThere were displays in this room also, but the one that caught my attention were these two letters. The one underdeath is FIFA asking how Japan would feel about co-Hosting the 2002 World Cup with Korea (emphasis on "co-"). You probably know the basic story, but it was a very stressful time for the JFA -- and for the Korean Football Association as well. Neither side wanted to give up the priviledge of hosting, but being bitter rivals, co-hosting just didn't sound very appetizing. There was a lot of backstage political coups d'etat, with Korea throwing their hat in at the last moment. Both sides resented the other, but FIFA came up with this idea that the two countries could co-host (I believe it was the first time in history). The letter on top is Japan saying "we're okay with the idea". It turned out to be an inspired idea -- I don't think either country could have done as thorough a job if they had to take on responsibility for the whole thing, and one party would be crushed at losing out on the chance to host. Not to mention it would have aggravated the animosity. But the Cup went very well, and it was a turning point in the relations between Japanese and Koreans in the mainstream.

17_storegoofy.jpg I checked out the shop of course. The store has its own line/brand, on top of all the club and NT goods; they even sell these goofy items. The guy managing it was really nice, and we chatted about what types of people are buying what. The JFA gets a lot of visitors, obviously, and he said that their stocks on national team gear are already almost gone, aside from the replica jerseys which are produced at great quantities.

vsnkstands.jpgHe said that in particular the navy polo shirt the team wears when they are going from hotel to stadium for a game, are particularly popular and were even more in demand after the North Korea game -- when we saw shots of Nakamura, Hide, and other players sitting out the game in the stands (photo). Nothing sells like these guys!

And signed Miyamoto and Nakamura jerseys -- and Miyamoto and Konno shoes.
21_shuntsune.jpg . 18_tsuneshoes.jpg . 19_konnoshoes.jpg

Okay, so up til now was all the free stuff. To go further, you have to pay \500 to see the main World Cup displays and all the techie stuff.

A dramatic mural greets you as you step down to the lower level.

It starts off with a history of Japanese football -- trophies, memorabilia, videos (on the monitors), uniforms, etc. The white arrow on the left photo points to the red uniform Japan once used for a brief period -- I can't imagine our boys wearing something that red! The center photo is a mini flag signed by the national team when they went to the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The photo on the right is of football mags, a referee's patch, and the captains armband -- the armband I believe comes from the 1980s, but the design makes it seem much older...! The magazines also make you realize how far we've come over the past twenty-odd years...they really look dated. I wonder what was written inside...
japanwall.jpg . melolymp.jpg . oldgoods.jpg

kazuuni.jpgI just had to take a photo of this famous jersey... though it brings back sad memories of Doha. Can anyone find a photo of Kazu's back taken after the game? The one where one shoulder is lower than the other and he's sort of slumped on the ground.

The museum used a dizzying number of monitors and screens, all showing different things. A lot of them were interactive, and the touch-screens allowed you to choose what/who you wanted to see. Probably the coolest screen they had were these two spherical screens -- a design affectation, but still gave the impression of high-tech. Like watching the images projected on the inside of a ball. You could push buttons and choose which players' super-plays you wanted to see; the photo in the middle is showing a Shinji Ono video on this round screen. In a different corner, you could check out tactics -- using a touch-screen, you could learn about the tactics, in defense and offense. A video of the example ran on the left flatscreen, and a moving diagram of the example ran on the right -- so you can see how all the players moved to cover each other and set up the play.

globescreen.jpg . onoglobescr.jpg . tactics.jpg

troussier.jpgDon't be scared! It's only a cardboard cut-out. :) Troussier barking out his instructions for the Flat-three strategy he held so dear.

A "lockerroom" with all the World Cup squad's uniforms, shoes, etc. And a display of the staff paraphernalia.
lockers.jpg . paraphe.jpg

The Cup is starting....! Let's huddle. Life-size models of the squad -- the faces resembled too. On the right, you can instantly recognize Miyamoto, with the black mask he became so famous for (he broke his nose); it became quite the trend (not to break your nose, but to wear those masks when cheering on the team). Of course, the Copa itself. Then we open up to a room full of jerseys from all the representing nations, their formations, results, and descriptions. The opposite wall was lined with a collage of photos from the event, along with World Cup memorabilia, tickets, etc. There were about ten flat screen monitors in this room as well, showing highlights of various games.
huddle.jpg . huddletsune.jpg

worldcuptrophy.jpg . groupdisplay.jpg . wallcollage.jpg

Right now they are showing an Amazing J exhibit, of all the J league teams. You get a star sticker when you enter, and you get to stick it on the display case of the team you like. The most star-covered were the usual suspects -- Gamba, FC Tokyo, Marinos, Antlers, etc. But I love this Omiya Ardija mascot doll, called Goodnight Ardy (Ardy is the name of the mascot, a squirrel). It is so adorable -- I think you're supposed to use it like a pillow. And the photo in the middle is Ogasawara's shoes -- with grass and dirt still stuck on the points (click photo to enlarge, and you can see the grass bits). There was another touch-screen here too, where you could choose your favorite team and player, and hear their greetings. They also shared a little tidbit about themselves, so you got to "know" them better. And the photo on the right is a display for Gamba Osaka's Masafumi Maeda, who scored the Ten Thousandth goal in the J.
ardijakun.jpg . ogashoes.jpg . maedamem.jpg

Okay, that's about it. I've overloaded the blog with a year's worth of photos, but I hope you have enjoyed the brief tour. It goes without saying that I've skipped alot of stuff, and most of the really worth-it items have to do with the numerous videos being shown on all the screens and monitors. Everywhere you turn, you will see autographed shirts, shoes, balls, posters, just sitting there, and I think considering the museum is still relatively new it is a very nice exhibit. They will continue to change the exhibits and videos as the months pass, so maybe I will go back in a year or so.
Comment On This Entry
Hi Otto! No, there is no entrance fee for the general museum area, but there is a Yen500 fee for getting into the World Cup exhibition -- the part of my entry above from the big mural of the national team players to the end.

The Japan NT jerseys originals are expensive -- though I'm not sure how they compare to other countries. The originals/authentics are made of the same design/cloth(material) as the ones the players use, and if you put a name on the back it costs a little more. Without the name, the cost is Yen14,595.

You can check out the selections
There are more selections on the pages before and after (前へor次へ)so you can click on those links and see what they have.

The online store for the national team goods is here:

The replica jerseys are cheaper, because they don't use the same double-cloth material that the authentic/original uses. It is only one layer, but the look is pretty much the same. They cost like Yen9000, but right now many places are on sale for Yen7-8,000.

Next February/March, the NEW line of National team uniforms and other team-related clothing will come out, so I will introduce the new design when it comes out. These are the uniforms the team will be wearing for the World Cup.

Is anyone going to the World Cup in Germany? Anyone got tickets? I hear the Japan tickets were the first to sell out, but as the months pass there will be other opportunities to purchase. I probably won't be able to go...:(
2005/09/24(土) 17:44:47 | URL | depflight #-[ Edit]
2005/09/24(土) 00:11:57 | | #[ Edit]
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