The Yokohama F Marinos have made a solid start in their bid to win the Asian Football Confederation's Champions League.
After beating Binh Dinh 3-0 in Vietnam two weeks ago, Takeshi Okada's young team thrashed Persik Kediri of Indonesia 4-0 in their second Group G match at Mitsuzawa Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Marinos team was unrecognisable from the one that won the J.League championship last year, as most of the senior players are in Shanghai for the A3 Nissan Cup.
Before the two sets of players walked out on to the pitch, I hung around in the lobby to witness at close-quarters the mood and motivation of the players.
At first I thought the Marinos players were the ball boys, waiting to march out carrying the FIFA fair play flag.
But no, it was the team, and the Indonesian visitors must have thought they had turned up for the wrong competition and were playing in a youth tournament.
It was a cold night, but over 3,500 fans came to watch, with many of them forming an orderly line some two hours before kick-off.
The discipline and patience of the Japanese fans always impresses me, because in England everyone's in the pub until 10 minutes before kick-off and then it's a mad dash to the stadium. The most important thing then is to find the toilet, and dispose of the beer before kick-off and hope you can hang on until halftime before a second visit was necessary.
The only trouble with this tactic is that, in a stadium filled with 20,000 fans, 19,000 of them have the same idea, so it frequently called for desperate measures which we shall not discuss but leave to your imagination.
Back to more pleasant topics, and the leafy confines of Mitsuzawa.
Oka-chan is hoping to win the AFC Champions League so that the Marinos can represent Asia in the Club World Championship, which FIFA is planning to stage in Japan in December 2005.
But word from the AFC in Kuala Lumpur is that it has not been decided if the 2004 or 2005 AFC Champions League winner will carry the Asian flag against the top clubs from Europe, South America, Africa, CONCACAF and Oceania.
This means that the host country might not have a club in the intended six-team lineup, which would reduce the interest considerably.
In the meantime, Marinos and Jubilo Iwata will just try and win this year's AFC Champions League, and hope it leads to games against Real Madrid or Manchester United.