In the decade since the Great East Japan Earthquake, the solidarity between J. League fans and the Tohoku region has been expressed in countless ways — from banners stretched across stands to charity auctions and donation drives.

On Saturday, it came in the form of 5,000 servings of cup noodles delivered to Yurtec Stadium in Sendai — each accompanied by a handwritten message from a Kawasaki Frontale fan or player to fans of Vegalta Sendai.

Such a gesture would have been unimaginable 10 years earlier. After all, even though their supporters were generally on friendly terms, the two teams had only contested the same division four times since joining the J. League in 1999.