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Sports

Koshien Stadium

There are a number of large-scale sports grounds, stadiums and facilities for every type of sport located in Kansai, all functioning to promote the health of the citizens and bring vitality to the daily lifestyle. The cities all have facilities for international sport events, soccer matches and track and field competitions and further construction is either planned or underway. There are also a variety of gymnasiums and pools operated by the various municipalities, providing a substantial for use by the citizens of the local districts. In regard to professional sports, the professional baseball team HANSHIN Tigers are based at the Hanshin Koshien Stadium (Nishinomiya City), and another professional baseball team is also located in Kansai, the ORIX Buffaloes. As for other sports, soccer is very popular in Japan, and many professional teams participate in the J. League. The professional basketball team OSAKA EVESSA is active in this field. The baseball teams and soccer clubs, etc. from Kansai have a characteristic, wildly enthusiastic type of fan base not commonly seen in other areas. In the tradition sport Sumo, the Spring match is held every year in March at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

 Student and amateur sports events are also very popular in Kansai. The National High School Baseball Championship is held every year at the Hanshin Koshien Stadium in Spring and Summer and it is the largest scale amateur sport event in Japan. The National High School Rugby Tournament is held annually at the Kintetsu Hanazono Rugby Stadium in East Osaka. In 1981, the Kaike Onsen (Kaike Hot Springs) in Tottori Prefecture was the site for the first triathlon competition held in Japan, and the tradition continues every year in July as the fiercely contested, severe game unfolds.

Suzuka Circuit

 In regard to motor sports, the Suzuka Circuit (Mie) is very famous both in Japan and overseas. The circuit is the site of the F1 Japan Grand Prix and other World Championships, and motor sports fans from all over the world get wildly excited at the many events held there.

 The Osaka International Ladies Marathon is also held every year at Nagai Stadium, and the results of this competition are considered in the selection of the Japanese representatives for the Olympic Games. The largest soccer facility in Japan, Soccer National Training Center (nicknamed J-Green Sakai), opened in Sakai in April 2010. This facility is used by the Japan national football (soccer) team, but it’s also available for recreational players as well.

 Thus, in addition to being the site for many international competitions and sporting events, with its rich four seasons and numerous facilities, Kansai has a perfect environment for every type of sporting event, providing the opportunity for its citizens to fully enjoy both watching and participating in a wide variety of sports.

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