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The Yomiuri Giants are kind of the National Team of Japanese Baseball. It seems like no matter where you go in Japan, their fans are everywhere. They are also the team that wins the most often, kind of a Japanese version of the New York Yankees. My favorite team (based on the name alone) is the Nippon Ham Fighters. It took me a few years to figure out that they don't actually fight ham in Japan, but that all the teams are sponsored by companies, and in this case, Nippon Ham.
It is worth the time and money to go see a Japanese Baseball game if you are in Tokyo, because it is very different from the way it is watched and played in America. For example, it is more of a chess game, rather than each hitter trying to smack it out of the park, bunting a player over is common in even the early innings.
Tokyo actually has five baseball teams. But only two play at the dome. Make sure you are going to the right game when you order your tickets.
The atmosphere is amazing, It is loud and frezied, filled with the sounds of team cheers, team songs, and slurping of noodles.
Equipment: Well, I don't know about bringing with you, but there are these inflatable noise making things you buy and smack together. Also people have these plastic bullhorn-like things to amplify the cheers. Those can all be bought at the stadium and are part of the fun.
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I got a pair of roller-skating shoes from Hawaii my hometown, practice this too bad there were not big and open space for me to practice, so I can only practice at night at a baseball court near to my house.
Basically baseball is one of the most popular sport in Japan. Too bad, no educational qualification is required, so most of the young people aim to become a professional baseball player, this effect the quality of educational level in Japan DROPPED a lot.
Equipment: Ticket to watch the Baseball match basically purchasable at the entrance of the Baseball Court, or you can even but through the internet
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Baseball is a very populair sport in Japan. One of the best teams is based in Tokyo: the Giants. They play their homegames in the Tokyo Dome.
But we had to go to Yokohama Stadium in Yokohama to see them play (and win 10-3).
It was a great experience. We took the train from Tokyo station to Yokohama Kannai station. We went early in the day to have some time for sightseeing in Yokohama.
At 6 the game started, the stadium was filled with families in orange to support tthe giants or in blue to support the Yokohama Baystars.
The game was great and together with thousands of other fans we took the train back to Tokyo. It was all so very relaxed we couldn´t believe our eyes. People were patiently waiting for a red light instead of crossing the street regardless, like we are used to in our country. And then everybody was neatly waiting for the next train, no pushing nobody trying to cut line.... It still makes me quiet and thinking about the antisocial way we behave at home.
The Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame
Japanese baseball is a completely different animal than it's american cousin. But like its brother in Cooperstown NY, the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame is home to greatest people that ever played the game....in Japan. It doesn't matter if you like the Orix Blue Wave or are a fan of the Ham Fighters, the Hall of Fame boasts players from almost every team.
The musuem is kind of small, but there is a lot to see there. I never knew Babe Ruth had even been to Japan, let alone played a game there. He probably got drunk and hit on the local women too, but they only deal baseball here. There is also a history of Bats feature. Among the bats is that of the legendary "Flamingo" Sadaharu Oh. He hit an amazing 868 home runs, over 100 more than the closest American player, Hank Aaron.
And like every good museum, this one has a museum shop where you can buy interesting items. Including, the History of baseball. A book which conveniently forgets to include the American game, and its American origin. It is a keepsake I get a chuckle out of every time I read it.
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Catch the Yomiuri Giants at the Tokyo Dome!
Tokyo is the center of Japanese baseball and no team is more beloved than the Yomiuri Giants. They play their home games at the Tokyo Dome, with the first pitch usually thrown at a very early 6 p.m. So grab some sushi and beer and watch a good ball game!
Watching a game in Japan is a different experience than in the United States, and not just because the seats are smaller. Fans chant in an organized fashion throughout their team's at bat, and the stadium is often divided between fans of the home and visiting treams. Fans will rythmically beat together plastic bats to urge on their team -- the rally sticks that were popular in Anaheim when the Angels won the World Series in 2002 was an idea actually imported from Japan, where it has been the custom for years.
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Baseball is one of the most popular spectator sports in Japan. The Tokyo dome, home to two of the city's major teams, was just a short walk from the Sakura Hotel. It seemed a good opportunity to see my first baseball game, we had just arrived in Tokyo though and no sleep for around thirty hours so maybe we did not really appreciate the experience. We watched the Nippon Ham Fighters play Blue Wave from Kobe? the crown was quite small but we were told that Yomiuri Giants who also play home games in the Dome are far mor popular. Never mind an entertaining evening and a 4-2 win for the Ham Fighters.
The Giants of Baseball
Yomiuri Giants v Hanshin Tigers at the Tokyo Dome.
After rolling up at the Dome 3 hours before the game, we easily got tickets for 2300 YEN. We sat in the top tier and had a great view from 1st base.
The stadium was not full but 43,000 fans inside. Plenty of away fans and both made huge amounts of noise. The fans seem to sing while their team bat then go silent when they field.
Giant won 6-5 in a very close and entertaining game.
When I went to Tokyo, I made sure that I went to Tokyo Dome to see a baseball game as I had never seen one in real life before. It was a nice experience but I don't think that I will be following the sport from now on. The souvinears in the shops around the dome are expensive and when the game ends you get caught up among 50.000+ people all going the same way as you. Or not in my case and I found myself in the wrong underground and across the wrong side of Tokyo from where my hotel was, but I did make it back safely.
Seibu Dome - Sayama Hills, Seitama Prefecture
The Seibu Dome, located just outside of Tokyo in Tokorozawa, is home to Nippon Professional Baseball team the Saitama Seibu Lions. The team was located in Fukuoka from its founding in 1950 until 1979. The stadium was constructed in 1979 as Seibu Lions Stadium, and the team moved to its present location. The roof was constructed in 1998 and 1999, and it has openings to allow natural air to flow across the field and stands.
The stadium is located at the end of the Seibu metro line, between Murayama Reservoir and Yamaguchi Reservoir in Seitema Prefecture. The Yamaguchi Line people mover also terminates at the stadium.
Tokyo Dome, Downtown Tokyo
The Tokyo Dome, also known as the Big Egg, is a 55,000 seat domed stadium in the heart of Tokyo, which is most famous architecturally as the largest domed stadium in the world. The dome was constructed from 1985 to 1988, and it features a flexible roof that is inflated by pressurized air in the stadium. The Tokyo Dome is home to the 22-time Japan Series champion Yomiuri Giants and the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. The area around the stadium is called Tokyo Dome City, and it features a hotel, spa, amusement park, and other entertainment facilities.
The stadium is served by Kōrakuen Station, Kasuga Station, and Suidōbashi Station.
In addition to Japanese baseball, the Tokyo Dome has hosted six college football games, 8 Major League Baseball games, a preseason NBA game, a preseason NFL game, and the famous Mike Tyson-Buster Douglas fight in 1990 (Tyson's first professional loss).
2013 World Baseball Clssic in Tokyo!
The World Baseball Classic has been played in 2006, 2009 and 2013, and it is the first international baseball tournament to feature large numbers of Major League Baseball players. Since the elimination of Olympic baseball in 2008 and the Baseball World Cup in 2011, this is baseball's only top-tier world championship tournament that features national teams.
The 2013 WBC featured 16 teams in four pools, with the first round played in Fukuoka, Japan; Taichung, Taiwan; Phoenix, Arizona; and San Juan; Porto Rico, The second round moved to Tokyo and Miami, with the championship games in San Francisco.
Tokyo hosted six games played among four teams: Japan, Cuba, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), and the Netherlands. Cuba, the top ranked team in the world, was eliminated after two losses to the Netherlands. The Japanese national team, on the other hand, beat both Taipei and the Netherlands to move on to the championship round in San Francisco.
We watched the Japan-Netherlands game on Sunday March 10, 2013. Japan destroyed the Netherlands, launching six home runs and winning by the final score of 16-4.
Suidobashi - Tokyo Dome
Tokyo Dome is the home of the famous Yomiuri Giants. You can purchase tickets here or online. The cheapest ticket is 1000 yen which is standing room only in the bleachers.
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