Andreas Alm: Photo - aikfotboll.se
  • As AIK travel to Naples to open the group stage of the Europa League, Saša Ibrulj talks us through the Stockholm derby and what has changed with Gnaget.

photo: Morten Thun

Ole Mørk interview

The hot Spanish sun beats down on Ole Mørk as we sit down for conversation, mosquito bites pickling on our arms. It’s now over ten years since the Danish coach managed in Sweden, having accepted the challenge of leading Trelleborg after a number of successful years managing in his native country. Yet the feelings associated with … Read more

Looking at the Premier League Swedes

The English Premier League is really becoming more and more an international league as players from all over the world have begun to make their mark in the league and that includes Swedish footballers. There are several players who currently play in the league and have made their mark. Taylor Green takes a quick look … Read more

Nikola Djurdjic

Djurdjic: we’re equal to Levante

Helsingborg take on Levante this evening with hopes of Europa League progression still alive. Sasa Ibrulj reports from Sweden. Everybody wants to talk about his future – rumours are sending him from Spain to France, Germany and Italy to England – but Nikola Djurdjic is focused on the present. Levante are heading to Olympia, and … Read more

More than an exhibition – Swe vs Eng preview

The third meeting between Sweden and England over the past year. We’ve been here before and then some. But importance does this game have for Sweden? Saša Ibrulj reports from Stockholm… Is there anyone who likes international friendlies at this time of the year? We are five months away from the next competitive match, in … Read more

allsvenskan weekly round-up

The crazy month has arrived…

With a month of the season left, Saša Ibrulj looks at the Allsvenskan title race and asks if Håcken, Elfsborg, AIK and Malmö can all sprint to the finish line. This week’s Skåne derby confirmed, yet again, how crazy and interesting this season is. All of the required ingredients were there – the rivalry, a full packed stadium, … Read more

photo: www.dif.se

Sebastian Rajalakso interview

The year is 2008, the month is March, and 19-year-old new signing Sebastian Rajalakso is about to start his first season in Allsvenskan for Djurgården. After scoring eight goals as a winger for Superettan club Enköping, he earned a contract with the most successful Swedish club since the turn of the millennium. This was going to … Read more

Celebrating the Cup! 
Back row, from left to right: Daniel Wickstrom (coach), Axel Wetteus, Pierre Hertin (writer), Peter Eriksson (kit manager), Christer Lipovac, Martin Landén, Markus Batan, Adam Molin, Philip Holmer, Karo Karadakhi, Sebastian Ring, Jonatan Herbst, Christoffer Larsson.

Front row, left to right: Crille Neanro (GK Coach), Peder Hessel (coach), Hugo Eriksson, Filip Albertsson, Amar Bukva, Linus Lamu, Oskar Klasson, Lukman Murad, Philip Spangberg.

Örebro lift the Cup Byggnads – from underdogs to champions…

The district team from the town Örebro became champions of Sweden this year after they won the ‘Cup Byggnads’ Final against the district team from the capital of Sweden, Stockholm. Pierre Hertin, a member of the winning squad, tells the story of the best team in Sweden. Every year twenty-four different counties in Sweden compete in … Read more

Euro2012

Euro 2012: Sweden vs France prediction

The final game of Group D is Sweden against France. The Swedes are already eliminated but the French are flying and look like they could be a potential Euro winner. Andy Hudson and French Football Weekly‘s Andrew Gibney look ahead to the clash in Kyiv. Sum up the tournament for your team so far? Well it’s all … Read more

Camp Sweden

The Sweden camp in Ukraine

Welcome to ‘Camp Sweden’ based on a large island in the middle of Kyiv, Ukraine. A picturesque setting in the middle of the Dniepr River that approximately 5,000 Swedish fans have been calling home for their short but eventful stay at the European Championships. Things were far from idyllic when the fans first arrived to … Read more

Euro2012

Euro 2012: Sweden vs England prediction

Sweden have to be better in this do-or-die clash against England. The supporters know it; the media know it; the players know it; and Erik Hamrén most definitely knows it. SWEDEN TEAM: Isaksson Granqvist – Mellberg – J Olsson – M Olsson Svensson – Källström Larsson - Ibrahimović – Elm Elmander An awful first game against … Read more

Euro2012

Euro 2012: Sweden vs Ukraine prediction

The wait is almost over. Within 24 hours the first game of Sweden’s Euro 2012 campaign will be over and we will finally know the answer to the question that has threatened to overshadow the preparations since May 12: will Johan Elmander be fit to lead the line? The answer appears to be positive with … Read more

Accommodation in Tokyo for Teams Travelling, Playing and Training in Japan

Tokyo is an enjoyable mix of old-world charm and modern technology.  The understated and ridiculous are often seen side-by-side in an odd sort of symbiosis that somehow just “works”.  As the beating sports heart of Japan, Tokyo offers a handful of Olympic-quality sporting facilities for everything from soccer (“football”) to sumo to baseball.

Teams traveling to Tokyo can find satisfaction in the availability of accommodation in Tokyo, including those with proximity to the world-class public transportation systems, both train and bus systems.  The trains are packed like sardines at all hours of the day and night, but the majority of the lines stop running at midnight local time.  Many international travelers voice fears of pickpocketing and valuables being taken while traveling.  Tokyo’s public transportation is one of the safest in the world, and some travelers have even told tales of leaving valuables behind, only to have them later returned in full by a Good Samaritan or bus driver.  Roomorama is the favored English website for trip planning, as it is a simple “type in the start and end points for routing” type of site, similar to Google Maps and the Scout application on computers and Android phones.  This site will not only plan your trip for you, but also allows for the selection of stop-overs for sight-seeing, eating and enjoying local culture, or it can direct you to the best express line to avoid an unnecessarily lengthy trip.  Changing trains to reach a specific destination is common, as is the seemingly rude behavior of those traveling the same train lines.  Personal space allowance is a concept that needs to be thrown out during one’s time in Tokyo, especially when traveling by public transit.

There are a vast array of places to stay in Tokyo, including hotels, resorts and short-term rental apartments.  Those seeking to remain in the heart of the city will enjoy Hotel Niwa, a mash-up of contemporary design and traditional Japanese architecture.  Hotel Niwa offers free in-building wireless internet (the connection speed is reputably slower than accustomed to in America, but consistently operational), a fitness center, cable television with LCD televisions, a business center for team meetings and conferences, laundry services and an on-site restaurant specializing in Japanese cuisine.  An average night in a double occupancy room costs about $192 USD. Just a short walk from the hotel is a handful of other eateries specializing in French fare and other international delights, a twenty-four hour convenience store and shops of all kinds.  A slightly longer walk will bring the war memorial and museum, while heading the other direction would bring the Imperial Gardens.  Also within a short distance are the Japan Rail stop and airport express links. 

Teams seeking a more home-like experience can pursue short-term apartment rentals, including Economy Apartment Akihabara near the Ueno Park, Western Art Museum, the National Museum and Zoo, and close proximity to four different subway lines, JR stations and the direct connection to the Narita Airport, Keisei Skyliner Line.  An average night for four in a two bedroom apartment is only $79 USD, but a minimum stay of four consecutive nights is required.  Available amenities include wireless internet access, air conditioning, television, bed linens and towels and a full kitchen.

Teams traveling with family will enjoy the variety of family-friendly hotels, including the Four Seasons Hotel at Marunochi, ranked number one by tripadvisor.com and averaging $90 USD per night. This location is touted for its proximity to shopping and the metro station “practically right next door”. One available amenity not entirely common in the local hotels is 3D glasses for watching television and movies.  Also available for use is the on-site spa, offering an array of treatments from massage to facials and just about everything in between, including the traditional Japanese onsen.

Sight-seeing in Tokyo is almost essential.  Time Magazine published an article with the top ten things to see and do in Tokyo written by Maryann Murray Buechner.  Ranked number one on her list is the Tsukiji fish market, opening at 5am local time and allows public access on certain days (check this website for specific dates http://www.shijou.metro.tokyo.jp/english/market/tsukiji.html). While such an early time may not be suitable for everyone, there is a great variety of sushi counters that open later to allow for a sushi breakfast.  It is said that a trip to Tokyo is not complete without partaking in such local fare.  For a traditional flair to your visit, a stop at Meiji Shrine is essential. With less of a tourist-y feel than the Senso-ji shrine, Meiji has a torii gate and is set on a two hundred acre park-like oasis, complete with cleansing station and communal water tank.  Yoyogi Park is also a must-see, as it is a perfect fusion of local culture and a more mellow escape from the condensed lifestyle of the big city.  Admission to the park is free, and is close to the JR lines with multiple exits that will allow a visit to the park.  The most beautiful of the parks is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a sprawling space of greenery, including sections called the English Garden, French Formal and the ever-popular Haha to Ko no Mori (Mother and Child) statue.  The ever-popular Roppongi Complex is home to a wide variety of shops, cafes, full restaurants, a movie theater, a garden and the impressively enormous Maman (a spider statue).

No matter if one is traveling alone or with family, there is something for everyone in Tokyo, with enough variety to truly make the trip a memorable experience on almost any budget.

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