The Japan Ice Hockey League, or J-Ice, is the second tier of hockey competition in Japan, below the multinational professional Asia League in which four Japanese clubs compete, and is about on a par with the university leagues. It's made up of six regional divisions: North, Northwest, East, Central, West, and South. The North and West divisions were established in 2005, the others in this decade.
J-ICE North Division is the strongest of the six divisions. There are six teams in five Hokkaido cities:
Kushiro Kousei-sya IHC. They play at Nippon Paper Ice Arena, capacity 3,000, which is also the home rink for Kushiro Tobu Blaze, and the Asia League's Nippon Paper Cranes. They wear red, black and white. Team owner Kushiro Kousei-sya is a waste management company. Kushiro is on Hokkaido's east coast, not far from Obihiro.
Tadano IHC. Founded in 1992, they are the company team for Tadano Corporation, manufacturers of industrial cranes. Their home rink, Obihiro no Mori Ice Arena in Obihiro, in eastern Hokkaido, can accommodate 2,500 spectators. Blue, white and black.
Skate House Sapporo IHC. They play at Sapporo's Tsukisamu Gymnasium, a facility built for the 1972 Olympics, which includes a rink with room for 3,371 spectators. Black, gray, white and blue.
Nippon Steel Sumikin Muroran. Muroran is a city in southern Hokkaido, and the location of the Japan Steel Works. Blue uniform. Their home rink is Muroran City Nakajima Sports Center.
Kushiro Tobu Blaze. Yellow and red. Nippon Paper Ice Arena.
Toyota Motor Hokkaido. Blue, gold and white. Their home rink is Tomakomai Shiratori Oyuko Ice Arena. The Asia League's Oji Eagles are also from Tomakomai, in southern Hokkaido.