Sorry it has taken me some time to reply! I've been busy these past few days!
Hockey...well, most of the Japanese I have spoken with don't know anything about the NHL and seem awestruck when I mention ice hockey at all. All the fans I have met have been Canadians and Americans - I've met a Lightning fan and a few Maple Leafs fans, but that's about it. I know they have professional ice hockey in Japan, but it is way up in the north on Hokkaido, and I live in Western Japan (Osaka). So yeah, not much in the way of hockey here. This is baseball country, that's for sure.