Here's part 2 of our round up of Japan's premier football competition, J.League Division. So here are the teams which finished in the bottom half of the table last season or were promoted from J2
Urawa Red Diamonds - Nike
Urawa, known to some as the Manchester United of Japan, not because they've been as successful but primarily because their kits were always very similar. Now though Urawa have stepped out of that shadow and have found a style very much of their own. Nike have done well here not to package them like the 3 other J.League teams and gone with a much more classic look. There is a pattern but you have to be within about a foot away from it to make it out properly. Other than that just pure colour here, red-white-black oh and a bit of gold but all work in harmony. The away is no different either same classic style just with the colours switched and the pattern restricted to a central stripe.
Júbilo Iwata - Puma
Just like Albirex they have opted to stick with the same kits as last season. The asymmetrical colours here just don't work for me, I think they would have been much safer choosing just the one colour for the flashes on the shoulders. The font and some sponsors logos are the only things to have changed on the Júbilo kits.
N.B. Please note that the away shirt in the photo has the old sponsors where they should be per the home shirt.
Omiya Ardija - Under Armor
Since Under Armor started manufacturing football kits, I've been really impressed with their quality of work, and the latest Omiya Ardija kits are no different. It has originality and designs not seen anywhere else before, the orange/blue colour scheme does help them out also. These may be step backwards from last season but it's only a small footstep.
N.B. In the second picture the white shirt is the away, the light blue is the goalkeeper and the dark blue is a training shirt.
Montedio Yamagata - Puma
Montedio are another name to add to the did not change list. Using the same template as Júbilo it does make you wonder whether it's the club's decision or Puma's not to change the design, either way the fan's pockets get a year off. Not a great deal to comment on here, standard Puma template in blue, white and yellow. The away kit is an all yellow number in another standard Puma template, I don't think much more needs to be said about it other than that.
Vegalta Sendai - Asics
Asics have made a pretty good shirt here for Vegalta, although I'm not a fan of the collar or colours the rest of the shirt is pretty good looking, and that's including the polka-dot looking stars. The template looks good and it's got enough individuality to set it apart from other J.League teams even if they do share it. The away outfit is all-white with the same blue collar as the home but nothing else really has changed.
N.B. In the second picturethe red and light blue shirts are both goalkeeper kits.
Vissel Kobe - Asics
Number 2 of the Asics teams and as stated in the Vegalta piece they share the same template. Here though I think the template really comes into it's own with Vissel's colour combo. The black on the shoulders highlights the modernness of the template and the gold trim on the sides is the cherry on the cake. The accompanying away kit also uses this template in white but still maintains an air of originality.
NB The black kit in the second picture is the goalkeeper kit.
Kashiwa Reysol - Yonex
Yonex perhaps better known for their racket sports rather than football have created for me, what are a wonderful looking set of kits at their first try. The contemporary style of the collar coupled with the black and white pinstripes gives Kashiwa a look of their own. The away kit although the same template, also pulls this off and that's really rare to find in white shirts.
Ventforet Kofu - Mizuno
Kofu were promoted from J2 in second place behind Kashiwa last term, and it looks like they've been treated like second best here by Mizuno. Given an 2 year old template for the home shirt and a rather drab looking away shirt which is pretty much Cerezo Osaka's with different logos. Must try harder.
Avispa Fukuoka - Svolme
Last but certainly by no means least is Avispa Fukuoka. The only team not located on the island of Honshu, Avispa have teamed up with Japanese manufacturer Svolme and have come up with some decent kit, although ruined by a garish sponsor logo. It's by no means a ground-breaking design or anything like that but they're certainly not an eyesore either. The away as with so many other J.League teams is white in the same design as the home.
NB The two kits on the right of the picture are goalkeeper kits.