Albion will get a warm reception in Tokyo – in more ways than one.

The Seagulls can expect enthusiastic crowds as well as soaring temperatures and humidity during their stay in Japan.

They will play Kashima Antlers and Tokyo Verdy in the National Stadium during the mid-season break for the J.League.

Kaoru Mitoma will be the centre of attention as, should all go to plan, he steps up his return from a back injury.

The winger’s popularity was not dimmed during his recent absence from the pitch.

If anything, his importance was underlined when he wasn’t there.

Japanese fans have still been spotted around the Amex, often wearing Albion shirts and carrying bags full of goodies from the club shop.

Reporter Hideo Tamaru, who is also a regular at Albion games, says Mitoma will be the big attraction as he goes back to his homeland.

Hideo, who works for Kyodo News, told The Argus: “I would say he is one of two big stars in Japanese football, along with Takefusa Kubo at Real Sociedad, who will be visiting as well this summer.

“We have Endo at Liverpool and Tomiyasu at Arsenal, who have both done exceptionally well.

“But they are more defensive players so, as much as people acknowledge they are doing great, I think fans would generally want to see attackers.

“Mitoma is the most popular among the Japanese and they are watching Brighton matches, although not so much since he has not been playing.

“Every summer teams visit but this year not many of the really big teams are coming.

“Previously visitors would have been PSG, Real Madrid, Barcelona.

“Brighton and Real Sociedad will be the main tours this year and there should be big interest.

“The Premier League is popular among football fans.”

Real Sociedad will be in town next week, playing Verdy at the National Stadium once the LaLiga season has been completed.

Fellow reporter Masao Kurihara says the locals will flock to cheer Mitoma but will be disappointed not to see Roberto De Zerbi.

But he expects any Albion fans making the long trip to have a ball.

Masao said: “Roberto is well known in Japan as a football tactician and has many fans.

“The National Stadium, which was renovated for the Tokyo Olympics three years ago, is located in the centre of Tokyo.

“I have been to many football stadiums, including Europe, Africa, and South America, and I can say that the safety and location of this stadium are among the best in the world.

“If you come to the games, you will enjoy Tokyo as well.

“And, if you like Japanese food, you’ll find convenient and delicious options here.

“However, you should know that Tokyo will be very hot in July.”

Those weather conditions are the reason for a summer break in the J.League.

There are evening games in and around Tokyo on July 20 but there is then a break from July 22 until August 7.

Albion play Kashima on July 24 and Tokyo Verdy four evenings later.

Newcastle and Tottenham will also be in the Japanese capital at that time.

Hideo, who comes from Tokyo, says it will be a great destination for travelling fans and points out one advantage for visitors from England.

He said: “It’s similar to London, I guess. One of those huge cities in the world.

“You would be able to find anything while you are in Tokyo.

“It’s not too difficult to get around.

“Japan is not your traditional footballing country.

“You might not feel a football culture. It is not the biggest sport in Japan.

“The good news is you will find everything quite cheap because the yen is weak at the moment.

“Getting around, restaurants, things like that will seem cheap, especially when compared to Britain.

“It will be baseball season and there might be a sumo tournament in July, but that would not be in Tokyo.”