As the club casts its gaze towards the future, things are looking, if not up, then at least slightly more stable. While they’re yet to win any other major silverware since that 2002 Emperor’s Cup triumph, Sanga managed to avoid relegation last season (albeit by the skin of their collective teeth) to maintain their top-flight status, and managed to make it to the semi finals of the Emperor’s Cup, the furthest they’d made a run since 2011, when they were losing finalists.

You can perhaps put at least some of that stability down to the fact the club finally have somewhere to call a home of their own. Kyocera and Nintendo’s cash injections in the 90s couldn’t make up for the fact that for decades the side played at an athletics ground that had been built in 1942. Since 2020, however, they have played at their own, new stadium—a proper modern football ground—called the Sanga Stadium By Kyocera, which seats 21,000 and looks extremely cool.

2020 OPEN!!「サンガスタジアム by KYOCERA」

That about does it for this introductory guide to Kyoto Sanga (and Japanese football, and the J-League)! If you want to follow what the team is up to going forwards—their first game of the upcoming season is very soon, on February 18—you can check out their website here, while the J-League as a whole—a very underrated league to watch if it’s available in your area—has a good international website here.

This video is a little old, ending as it does before the team’s most recent season of survival, but it still has some great footage of their ups and downs of the last 30 years.