Where to watch the 2014 World Cup

Catch the matches on big screens and with a beer in hand

Where to watch the 2014 World Cup

Brazil won the Confederations Cup last year – will they manage to lift the big one at home?

The world's greatest sporting event is almost here again, and World Cup hype is reaching fever pitch in Japan. Expectations are high for the Samurai Blue, who are at least counted on to clear the group stage and perhaps even make it to the quarter-finals for the first time ever. Japan kicks off its campaign against Ivory Coast in the morning of June 15 (Tokyo time), while the opening match (June 13, 5am) will feature hosts and favourites Brazil taking on Croatia.

Japanese TV will be showing all 64 matches, so barricading yourself at home for a month-long football feast is one option. The other, however, is to join fellow fans at Tokyo's many sports bars and cheer your favourite team to victory. You'll most likely be able to catch Japan matches at any restaurant, café or pub equipped with a TV, but serious supporters might want to consider heading to one of the dedicated establishments listed below.

The Footnik (Ebisu)

One of the more football-centric of Tokyo's British pubs, The Footnik is the place to head if you want to watch the matches in rowdy company. It also has satisfyingly hearty pub food and a pretty respectable selection of draft beer and ales, including mostly American and British craft brews. Don't forget their Osaki and Nakano branches either.
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Tokyo Sports Café (Roppongi)

One of the longest-established and largest sports bars in Tokyo, this place has an impressive track record of showing the best football matches, and the action is visible from every corner of every room. It offers an extensive range of beers - both domestic and imported - and cocktails.
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Rooney 2008 (Shibuya)

Although the British pub concept gets pushed to breaking point at this basement location in Shibuya, with beers on tap including near-misses Guinness and Kilkenny and the menu consisting of mostly heavily Japanized re-imaginings of Western staples, Rooney 2008 stays open late and is a decent place to watch nighttime matches (of which there will be plenty this time).
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Hub pubs all over the city

Everyone loves to hate the Hub, but the fact remains that this pseudo-British pub chain beats out much of the competition just with its extensive network. Japan matches will be on at most locations from Kawasaki to Kichijoji and beyond, while the rest of the schedule varies by shop. Check out their official website or your local Hub for the full schedule.
Details for Hub Roppongi

Costa Latina (Komaba)

Brazil and Argentina are always as close as any teams to winning the tournament, and with players such as Lionel Messi, Neymar, Sergio Agüero and Dani Alves on display, their games are likely to attract big crowds. Over three floors, Costa Latina offers a good choice for those wanting an international atmosphere and Latin food, and they also have a projector for the games set up on one of the floors.
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Legends Sports Bar and Grill (Roppongi)

Legends is known as a focal point for watching both the Premiership and American sports, but June and July will see the World Cup take centre stage. The bar is equipped with a number of large TVs and often draws in crowds for major games – reservations are recommended. An American-themed menu includes pizzas, buffalo wings, chips and chili, with beers running around the ¥1,000 mark.
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Hobgoblin (Akasaka)

Although it now has branches in Shibuya and Roppongi as well, homely British pub Hobgoblin first landed here in Akasaka around the turn of the millennium and has been going strong ever since. As is to be expected, the grub served here is good, honest bar food, while the drink menu maintains the same quality level with Wychwood dark ale and other true English offerings on tap. Recommended for England matches.
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World Cup Stadium (Roppongi Hills)

This Roppongi Hills café features not only a fun football-themed menu but also screens for public viewing, naturally with a focus placed on Samurai Blue matches. Remember to also check out the display of match balls used throughout the history of the World Cup, as well as the videos recounting scenes of glory from past years.
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Public viewing

Watching the matches on huge screens with thousands of fellow fans around you is one of the best ways to enjoy the World Cup. Unfortunately enough, most of these events in Tokyo require you to register in advance or pay an extra fee (or both). If these conditions are no object, head to Tokyo Dome to see Japan take on Ivory Coast (tickets start from ¥2,700 for grown-ups) or apply for the chance to watch either Japan-Ivory Coast, USA-Ghana or Japan-Greece for free and in 8K Super Hi-Vision at NHK's event held at the Shibaura Institute of Technology in Toyosu.

By Time Out Tokyo Editors
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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