Spain legends Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres who both joined the J-League this season lost on their debuts.
Midfielder Iniesta, who won 32 trophies at Barcelona, only came on for the final 32 minutes of Vissel Kobe’s 3-0 defeat by Shonan Bellmare.
Many of the 26,000 crowd waved Spain flags for the 34-year-old.
Former Chelsea and Liverpool striker Torres was also a second-half substitute as Sagan Tosu lost 1-0 at home to Vegalta Sendai.
Torres, also 34, left Atletico Madrid this summer after 129 goals in 404 appearances for his boyhood club over two spells.
Torres had a header saved and his new club are in the J-League relegation zone after conceding an 87th-minute goal in front of 17,500 fans.
Iniesta was playing his first official match for a team other than Barcelona – for whom he made 674 appearances – or Spain.
He retired from international football after the World Cup, having won 131 caps.
His Japanese side were losing 2-0 when he came on and he could not turn it around, firing a late volley wide.
“It’s a shame we lost because I don’t like losing,” Iniesta said. “But this is just the first step of an amazing new adventure.
“It was a physical game that showed the quality of the J-League.”