|Japan Ice Hockey League|
|No. of teams||Maximum of 6|
|Last champion(s)||Kokudo Tokyo, 2004|
Even when baseball and soccer, have ruled the Japanese sporting scene for decades, there are spectator sports happening in Japan during the winter months, that's the case of ice hockey, sport who has a surprisingly long tradition there; dating back to the 1920s.
Teams have been competing in the All-Japan Championships since 1930, making the tournament one of the oldest sporting competitions in the country.
Pro hockey arrived in 1966 with the start of the Japan Ice Hockey League. Originally a five-team league, the JIHL expanded to six teams in 1974 and stayed that way until tough economic times led to budget cutbacks and eventually the demise of the league early in the new millennium.
Organizers decided the sport could only prosper in Asia if teams in Japan, China and South Korea formed a multinational league, and in 2004 the plug was pulled on the 38-year-old JIHL to make way for the Asia League Ice Hockey.
Japan Ice Hockey League ChampionsEdit