In this edition of 'Quality Time' presented by GE Appliances, goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka, the off-season signing from J1 League champions Yokohama F. Marinos, shares his initial impressions of Vancouver as he establishes himself as one of the top goalkeepers in Major League Soccer this year.
It’s an honour to play at a huge stadium, the fans give amazing support every home game.
What do you love most about Vancouver?
It’s difficult to pick just one thing. I like the city, the nature, the water, everything that is here. I’m really grateful to live here, everything is perfect here to live comfortable. My favourite spot is
Is there a favourite spot you have in the city?
Stanley Park, it’s huge, but it’s a good area for walks, for driving, to see the water, it’s good to feel the nature. When I go there, I can refresh the mind and physically also. It’s a good place.
What is one thing you haven’t done yet in Vancouver but want to do soon?
Hiking. I want to go hiking in the beautiful mountains here.
Describe what it’s like to play at BC Place.
It’s an honour to play at a huge stadium, the fans give amazing support every home game, they give us a warm welcome and cheer us on every game. It’s my pleasure and I want to give everything, give them wins and then after celebrate and share with all the fans.
Describe what it’s like to sing ‘Stand By Me’ with the fans after wins at BC Place.
It’s good, it’s good to share the happiness to win the games, it’s good culture I think. Every game, I look forward to singing after the games because they’re good moments.
Who’s been your best mentor during your career?
Every youth team, pro team I’ve transferred to, everywhere there’s been mentors. Everyone has helped me, everyone gives me advice and that helps me get better. There’s a lot of mentors but I can’t pick only one, it’s difficult, they’ve all helped me.
What’s your favourite moment of your career with the ‘Caps so far?
The first win in MLS against Montréal, that was the best moment for me
Have you had a chance to discover Japanese culture in Vancouver yet? If so, tell us a bit about it.
I’ve gone to Japanese restaurants and grocery stores, but I haven’t gone yet to the communities, it’s good to live here and everything [Japanese] is there so there’s no stress to live here. I feel like I’m at home.
What’s your favourite thing about Japanese culture?
That everyone is polite. But they’re also very focused on their lives and what they want to achieve.
Favourite Japanese food?
Sushi, ramen, and yakiniku.
Who’s one celebrity you’d most like to meet?
Leonardo Di Caprio
What’s your favourite genre of music?
Who’s your favourite music artist?
Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, One Direction, Ed Sheeran.
What’s your favourite movie?
The Wolf of Wall Street.
What is one thing outside of football you are really interested in?
Going to the sauna, just chill there.