People in Tokyo’s Shibuya and Osaka’s Minami entertainment district erupted in celebration on November 23, after Japan overcame a one-goal deficit to upset Germany 2-1 in their opener in the men’s soccer World Cup. in Qatar.
The mood quickly heated up in front of JR Shibuya Station after Japan scored two late goals to take the lead. In the plaza in front of the station, people were seen gathering around a fan watching a live broadcast on his phone, and as the clock ticked down, the spectators cheered the team saying “Only one minute left”, “Go ahead”. !” As the final whistle blew, the jubilant fans began chanting the name of Japan: “Nippon! Nippon! Nippon!”
Shunsuke Kimura, a 22-year-old college student who was watching the game on the phone screen, commented, “Some of us were watching the live broadcast when people started gathering until there were about 30 people. It was the best feeling. ”
After midnight, people wearing Japanese team “Samurai Blue” uniforms who had been watching the game at local restaurants poured into the Shibuya Scramble Crossing, filling the atmosphere with energy. A happy 19-year-old Ryunosuke Ito, who had been watching the game in a sports bar with friends, commented: “When the other team scored the first goal, the mood started to sink, but when our team caught up and then scored. With the second goal, the excitement reached its peak. I’m glad I believed in them and encouraged them.”
People could be seen jumping in the middle of the intersection and hitting plastic megaphones. Police dispatched to the area warned pedestrians when the lights were about to change and told them to continue without stopping. According to the Shibuya Police Station, as of 1 am on November 24, there had been no major problems or accidents.
Sasuke Takeuchi, 20, who was walking around the area with friends, commented, “It’s the best feeling, but there was a big accident in South Korea and I want to be careful to have fun.”
Meanwhile, in Osaka, the DiJest sports bar in the city’s Chuo Ward was buzzing with life with more than 400 people jamming its fringes to watch. Akihiro Matsushita, 41, a contract worker from the city of Takaishi in Osaka prefecture, enthused: “I believed that they could definitely win, and that feeling came through. The moment they scored the goal to take the forward, he was the best”. .”
Kaya Morimoto, a 31-year-old daycare worker from Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, said of Japan’s upset victory: “We’re up against Germany, so I thought maybe we could draw at best, but when we got that unexpected victory, I thought I was on the verge of tears. Gonda’s saves as a goalkeeper were brilliant. I will be able to do my best at work tomorrow.”
People dressed in Japanese team uniforms who had been watching the game in restaurants and bars gathered in the area near the Ebisu Bridge over the Dotonbori River in the central Minami district after midnight, chanting “Nippon” and beating drums. Police sent guided people to the area and there had been no accidents or major problems as of the morning of November 24.
(Original in Japanese by Yongho Lee and Tomonori Matsuo, Tokyo City News Department; and Hanami Matsumuro, Osaka Regional News Department)