1st J. League title
2nd Japanese title
|Champions League||Kashiwa Reysol|
|Goals scored||869 (2.84 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Joshua Kennedy (19 goals)|
Reds vs Reysol
Avispa vs Ardija
The 2011 J.League Division 1 season was the 46th season of professional football in Japan, and the 19th since the establishment of the J.League. The season began on March 5 and concluded on December 3. The season was put on hold from March 12 to April 23 due to the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, therefore canceling a planned five-week summer break between June 27–July 29 in order to allow preparation of the Japanese national team for the 2011 Copa América.
The 2011 J.League Division 1 champion also qualified to the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup as the host team, entering the qualifying play-off round.
Kashiwa Reysol won a second league title, their first in 39 years and first in the professional J.League era. They also became the first League champions to win the title the season after being promoted as second division champions.
FC Tokyo, Kyoto Sanga FC and Shonan Bellmare were relegated at the end of the 2010 season after finishing in the bottom three places of the table. Shonan had only played one season in Division 1 while Kyoto had enjoyed a three-year stay. FC Tokyo had been in the top flight for eleven seasons.
The three relegated teams were replaced by 2010 J.League Division 2 champions Kashiwa Reysol, runners-up Ventforet Kofu and third-placed team Avispa Fukuoka. Kashiwa had made an immediate return to the top division, while Kofu and Fukuoka ended three- and four-year absences respectively.
|Club Name||Home Town(s)||Note(s)|
|Albirex Niigata||Niigata & Seirō, Niigata|
|Avispa Fukuoka||Fukuoka||Promoted from J2 League in 2010|
|Cerezo Osaka||Osaka||2011 ACL Participant|
|Gamba Osaka||Suita, Osaka||2011 ACL Participant|
|Júbilo Iwata||Iwata, Shizuoka|
|Kashima Antlers||Southwestern cities/towns of Ibaraki||2011 ACL Participant|
|Kashiwa Reysol||Kashiwa, Chiba||Promoted from J2 League in 2010|
|Kawasaki Frontale||Kawasaki, Kanagawa|
|Montedio Yamagata||All cities/towns in Yamagata|
|Nagoya Grampus||Nagoya, Aichi||2011 ACL Participant|
2010 Defending Champions
|Omiya Ardija||Omiya, Saitama|
|Urawa Red Diamonds||Urawa, Saitama|
|Vegalta Sendai||Sendai, Miyagi|
|Ventforet Kofu||All cities/towns in Yamanashi||Promoted from J2 League in 2010|
|Vissel Kobe||Kobe, Hyōgo|
|Yokohama F. Marinos||Yokohama & Yokosuka|
Personnel and kits
1 Subject to change during the season.
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Kashiwa Reysol (C)||34||23||3||8||65||42||+23||72||Qualification to 2011 Club World Cup and 2012 Champions League|
|2||Nagoya Grampus||34||21||8||5||67||36||+31||71||Qualification to 2012 Champions League|
|5||Yokohama F. Marinos||34||16||8||10||46||40||+6||56|
|15||Urawa Red Diamonds||34||8||12||14||36||43||−7||36|
|16||Ventforet Kofu (R)||34||9||6||19||42||63||−21||33||Relegation to 2012 J.League Division 2|
|17||Avispa Fukuoka (R)||34||6||4||24||34||75||−41||22|
|18||Montedio Yamagata (R)||34||5||6||23||23||64||−41||21|
Rules for classification: 1st points; 2nd goal differential; 3rd goals scored; 4th head-to-head results; 5th disciplinary points; 6th draw. The winners of the 2011 Emperor's Cup, FC Tokyo, which played in the 2011 J.League Division 2, also qualified for the group stage of the 2012 AFC Champions League. If two clubs are tied for first place, both clubs will be declared champions.
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
|Home \ Away||ALB||ANT||ARD||AVI||CER||FRO||GAM||GRA||JÚB||MON||REY||SFR||SSP||RED||VEG||VEN||VIS||FMA|
|Urawa Red Diamonds||1–1||2–2||0–1||3–0||1–1||2–0||1–1||3–0||0–3||0–1||1–3||1–1||1–3||0–0||2–0||2–3||0–2|
|Yokohama F. Marinos||1–0||1–1||1–0||3–2||2–1||2–1||1–1||1–2||1–0||2–1||0–2||1–1||1–1||1–2||1–3||4–0||1–0|
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
|1||Joshua Kennedy||Nagoya Grampus||19|
|2||Mike Havenaar||Ventforet Kofu||17|
|3||Leandro Domingues||Kashiwa Reysol||15|
|Lee Keun-Ho||Gamba Osaka||15|
|Tadanari Lee||Sanfrecce Hiroshima||15|
|6||Shingo Akamine||Vegalta Sendai||14|
|Ryoichi Maeda||Júbilo Iwata||14|
|Keiji Tamada||Nagoya Grampus||14|
|9||Bruno Lopes||Albirex Niigata||13|
|Junya Tanaka||Kashiwa Reysol||13|
|DF||Marcus Tulio Tanaka|
|1||Urawa Red Diamonds||576,477||54,441||20,240||33,910||−15.1%|
|3||Yokohama F. Marinos||357,647||37,725||7,104||21,038||−18.1%|
|7||Kashima Antlers||274,655 1||25,061||7,810||16,156||−22.9%|
Updated to games played on December 3, 2011
Source: J. League Division 1
† Team played previous season in J2.
- Note 1: Kashima Antlers played one game at the National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo as the Kashima Soccer Stadium in Kashima was damaged in the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
In popular culture
This particular season was used as reference in the movie Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker. Many players in real life actually provide cameo roles for the film, including Kazuyoshi Miura (Yokohama FC), Yasuhito Endō (Gamba Osaka), Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), and Seigo Narazaki (Nagoya Grampus). In the movie, a bomber threatens to bomb all the stadiums unless certain conditions are met. The main character, Conan Edogawa, must solve the case and find the culprit. In the movie, two additional fictional teams are added to the squad: Tokyo Spirits and Big Osaka, making the league with 20 teams.
- "J.League agrees to resume games on April 23". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "2011 J.League tournament details" (in Japanese). J.League official website. Archived from the original on 2010-12-24.
- "J1 Top Scorers". j-league.or.jp. J-League. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2010.