The country were 2-0 up for over seventy minutes, but conceded three late goals which saw their hopes of World Cup victory fade.
The simple yet touching gestures of Japanese fans and their team have elevated the Japanese World Cup delegation to a class unmatched in most global sporting events.
Brazil will look to keep their bid for a record sixth World Cup crown on track when they face Mexico on Monday with a quarter-final place at stake after seeing Spain join the list of contenders to be eliminated.
"This is the last World Cup for me".
"I'm so frustrated", Ryota Iwakiri said bitterly at a bar in Tokyo's Shinagawa business district, as others tried to hold back tears. After a tough loss, the Japanese team leaves the FIFA World Cup locker room in impeccable condition - including a "thank you" note.
The Japanese squad were eliminated from the World Cup tournament in a disappointing 3-2 defeat to Belgium on Monday.
A Japan fan tidies up the stadium after the loss to Belgium.More news: Senegal exit ensures little-known Irish World Cup record stays intact
Manchester United star Alexis Sanchez has revealed who he wants to win the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup.
"We are talking every day on WhatsApp, we go everywhere together [in England], we talk about what the team lacks".
"I might have finished my career for the national team, but I'm happy because we have many young players following us, and I think that they will make new history for Japanese football".
This is perhaps Belgium's best chance of going deep into a World Cup, with numerous pre-tournament favourites either out or playing in unconvincing fashion in their games so far.
"That's like how it will be against Brazil, except we can feel like that from the first second".
"Anyway, I'll do my best".
But, as revealed by Federation Internationale de Football Association general coordinator Priscilla Janssens on her social media handle, Japan's squad went the extra mile to salute their hosts in Russia as they bowed out.