With the J. League season in full swing, it's sometimes easy to forget that the J. League YBC Levain Cup is also in progress.

As Japan's four Asian Champions League representatives battle it out across East Asia, 14 other first-division teams, as well as two second-division teams, are contesting the group stage of the J. League's oldest competition, which launched in 1992 to hype up the inaugural 1993 season.

The winner gets a respectable payout of ¥150 million (about $1.35 million), a profile-boosting "Cup of Champions" match against South America's Copa Sudamericana winners and — perhaps most importantly — plenty of cookies, crackers and biscuits from title sponsor Yamazaki Biscuit Co.