J1 League is the top grouping of the Japan Professional Football League (日本プロサッカーリーグ, Nippon Puro Sakkā Rīgu).
The second tier is represented by the J2 League.
Split-season era (2015–present) Edit
|Season||First stage||Second stage||Champions|
|2015||Urawa Red Diamonds||Sanfrecce Hiroshima||Sanfrecce Hiroshima|
League Format Edit
As of the 2015 season, and continuing through at least the 2019 season, the league uses a multi-stage format.
The regular season is split into two stages. In each stage, each team plays one match against every other team. As in almost all association football leagues worldwide, teams receive 3 points in the standings for a win, 1 point for a draw, and none for a loss, and teams are ranked by points earned.
After the second stage of the regular season, an overall table is calculated. The champions of each stage of the regular season, plus any team finishing in the top three of the overall table, advance to a championship playoff. The team that finishes on top of the overall table receives a place in the championship final, while the other teams play off for the other spot in the final.