Man travels from Tokyo to Somerset for Taunton Town match

Taketo Oshio with Taunton Town FC manager Rob Dray after the team drew to Bath City Credit: Rachel Coles/BPM Media

A man who travelled from Tokyo to Somerset for a Taunton Town match says watching such "incredible football" was the "best experience" of his life.

Taketo Oshio is one of a growing number of Japanese fans to support the National League South team.

The 28-year-old, from Yokohama near Tokyo, made his way to the Cygnet Stadium to watch the game on Tuesday 27 September - a journey of 8,000 miles.

Taketo's support for the team, nicknamed the Peacocks, comes from listening to British journalist Ben Mabley's sports coverage on TV channels in Japan.

Ben is from the UK but is based in Osaka and regularly talks about Taunton Town on air as an example of how deeply rooted the game is back in England.

Taunton Town have now become so popular in Japan, their shirts have been selling out thanks to Japanese fans.

Aside from being able to see the game live himself, Taketo said his favourite moment came from being able to share the excitement of a goal with other fans.

"It was one of the best experiences in my life," he said. "I could see the passion of the players and club right in front of me.

"I completely fell in love with the town and the fans; they are so kind and welcoming. Japan is known for good hospitality, but [the] hospitality in Taunton is way better to me.

"The quality of football is also incredible, which made the experience even better."

Taketo hopes to come back to Taunton once again to see his team score, and hopefully win.

"Next time, I want to come back here with my friends from Japan."