World Cup 2010 fever

Catch World Cup related events country by country

World Cup 2010 fever


The World Cup is right around the corner and it's time to check out the bars, clubs and events Tokyo has to offer for one of the world's biggest sporting events. Public viewings of games are everywhere, from the Japan-Cameroon game at Liquidroom to country-specific schedules at bars and pubs all over the city. Games will take place between 9.30pm and the wee hours in Japan, meaning a lot of late nights – and a lot of drinking – likely to be had. Time Out Tokyo chooses some of the best places in Tokyo to enjoy the tournament, be it bar, club or pub.

South Africa

Golden Lion Pub & Grill

As the first nation to host the soccer tournament on the African continent, expectations will no doubt be high for a shock African team to emulate the South Korean and Turkish successes at the 2002 World Cup in Asia. The place to watch this potential shock will be Golden Lion in Roppongi, a South African bar that holds 20 and serves authentic South African nibbles. The staff at Golden Lion recommends trying the bobotie (spiced mince meat and egg) or potjiekos (stew) for ¥1,200, while watching the game on their 40-inch television. A pint here goes for ¥900, and all games will be shown.

Address: Pure Roppongi 4F, 5-18-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3584 9096
Open: daily 5pm-5am (check the website for hours or closings for special events)


Samurai Blue Park

After the Meiji Restoration, the samurai were inevitably doomed to disappear. With an ostensibly weak team and tough group in South Africa, ‘Samurai Blue’ is an appropriate name for the Japan team. Still, fans of soccer here will likely be hopeful and optimistic – and no place is likely to have a better atmosphere for the Japan games than the Samurai Blue Park. Situated next to the National Yoyogi Stadium in Harajuku, the Samurai Blue Park bills itself as a place for Japanese soccer fans to come together. The facility will not be showing any of the matches live, but will feature various exhibitions and a futsal pitch on which games will be played. Prepare yourself to be dazzled and you might be left hanging, but expect weekend crowds and you’ll be spot on.

Location: National Yoyogi Stadium Special Event Ground
Open: Mon-Fri 5-9pm, Sat-Sun 12noon-9pm

Public Spaces

Due to time differences, this year's World Cup Public Viewing in Tokyo will be much smaller than the one that took place in 2002. Tokyo superclub Womb will be hosting the Japan games against Cameroon and Denmark on June 14 and 24 respectively, as well as putting on entertainment into the early hours for the price of ¥2,500 on the door. The big game, against the Netherlands, however, will be taking place on Saturday June 19. On that day, 50,000 fans will gather at the National Yoyogi Stadium in the hopes of seeing their team pull off an upset.

Japan vs Cameroon
Date: Mon Jun 14
Location: Womb (Full details & map)
Time: 9pm open, 11pm kick off
Price: ¥2,500; ¥2,300 adv
Japan vs The Netherlands
Date: Sat Jun 19
Location: National Yoyogi Stadium (Full details & map)
Time: 6.30pm open, 8.30pm kick off
Price: ¥3,000; ¥2,500 adv
Japan vs Denmark
Date: Thu Jun 24
Location: Womb (Full details & map)
Time: 11pm open, 3.30am kick off
Price: ¥2,500; ¥2,300 adv




English speaking fans of the beautiful game who are on a budget will be found here by the dozens. Expect English fans to be disappointed, after a season that has seen key players injured and John Terry – the team's former captain – sleep with the wife of his friend and England teammate Wayne Bridge, who later quit the sport at national level. Also expect choruses of New Order's ‘World in Motion’ and The Lightning Seeds' ‘Three Lions’: the Football Association has decided not to record an official World Cup song this year. As for the Americans, they’ll most likely put in an effort but not understand the tribalism of their friends from across the Atlantic. Tasuichi has become a favourite with budget booze-hounds because of its central location and ¥300 beers (about three-quarters of a pint). It has three screens visible from anywhere in the bar and will likely be crowded until the early hours. Be warned though: fights do sometimes break out in this bar.

Address: 33-14 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo Telephone: (03)3463 0077
Open: Mon-Fri Lunch: 12noon-2pm, Night Mon-Frin 5pm-2am; Sat-Sun, nat. holidays 5pm-3am

Virgin Cafe, Osaki

Bars do not get much closer to post-Thatcherite Britain than the Virgin Cafe in Osaki. No, it does not have that local pub feel, but it does have decks, smart decor and a decent atmosphere when busy. The sort of bar to be found dotted throughout the cities of Britain these days. Its all-glass front also offers a view of one of Tokyo's strangest skylines at the moment. Located in the middle of an Osaki development, the café-cum-bar is surrounded by high-rises, and is often still busy even after workers in the nearby office blocks have eaten dinner and gone home.The area can be as close to Gunkanjima as Tokyo gets. The bar, which closes at midnight, will be showing the early kick off games and often also has DJs playing in the evenings. Drinks are usually around ¥700, but there are often special offers on for events. There is also a branch of Footnik downstairs for those that want to watch games into the early hours.
(Full details & map)

In front of the Virgin Cafe on Saturday June 19, Virgin Atlantic will hold a futsal tournament (9am-6.30pm) featuring 16 teams from across the city, and promotions throughout the day. There will be an after party at the Virgin Café following the event.

South America

Costa Latina

Argentina and Brazil are always as close as any teams to winning the tournament, and with players such as Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Robinho and Kaka on display, their games are likely to attract big crowds at bars throughout Tokyo. Over three floors, Costa Latina offers a good choice for those wanting an international atmosphere and Latin food. Cocktails range from ¥700-¥900, while both South American and international meals are available for around ¥1,500. The four-story restaurant has a projector for the games set up on one of the floors.
(Full details & map)


Bernd's Bar

Rarely favourites but always in the running, the Germans have a habit of annoying the Brits by being better at soccer than they are. Tokyo's decently sized German community is likely to suffer quite a bit as the team's progress means late night after late night. The longest established and most authentic German bar in Tokyo is Bernd's, located just off Roppongi Crossing. Here, the walls are decorated with pictures of visiting German stars such as former German team manager Jurgen Klinnsmann and former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. The food is tasty, if not a little pricey (¥1,000 for a pretzel anyone?) and don't expect to get drunk cheaply either (¥1,000 for a half pint). Still, the place is likely to boom, the bar has a strong German customer base, and it will be a place for German fans to watch the efficient game in peace.
(Full details & map)


Bar Quest

The Socerroos seem to have improved in recent years. Their 3-1 defeat of Japan in the last World Cup worked as a reality check for Zico's team, which was in dire need of improvement. This time round, Australia will be fielding a solid team and may well be one of the surprise nations of the tournament. Bar Quest is one of the few Australian bars in the city that will be showing the World Cup at all hours, and on big screens. Situated in Roppongi, Quest is one of the places that helps this area of Tokyo live up to its reputation. Early on, an expat crowd can be found looking for simple food – the pies here are popular (¥1,000). Later, things can get a little messy as foreign men start trawling for Japanese ladies. Some events can be fun, however, if the right crowd is there and hasn’t indulged too much with the drink.

Address: 3F Rene Bldg 2, 5-3-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)5414 2225
Open: Mon-Thur, Sun 7pm-7am; Fri-Sat 7pm-10am

By Richard Smart
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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