Last week I went with some friends to see the Tokyo Giants play the Chunichi Dragons at Tokyo Dome. I had gone to a baseball game in Japan six years ago with my family and it was so much fun that I immediately jumped at the chance to go again. The tickets were about ¥3,000 (around $25.00 at the time) which wasn’t too bad, although we ended up sitting almost all the way at the top of the dome. The Tokyo Dome can fit about 55,000 people and is an indoor dome, so even though it was raining that day we didn’t have to sit in our seats wearing ponchos or something.
Japanese baseball games are so much fun. There are two sections specifically designated for the cheering sections of both teams, although, understandably so, the home team’s section is much bigger. The rest of the stadium is filled with fans from both sides. The cheering sections are more interesting than the game itself in my opinion because they are so organized and enthusiastic. Honestly, Japanese fans are some of the most continuously energetic baseball fans I’ve ever seen (with the exception of the one Red Sox game I went to in Boston). Every single player has a walk-up song and cheer that the fans do, plus there are specific chants for home runs and the whole team. I mean, the opposing team even brought trumpets and drums to help cheer on their team. If that’s not dedication then I don’t know what is.
Also, for those of you who are legal, there are girls who run around the stadium with tanks of beer strapped to their backs. It’s a bit expensive but pretty cool to have them expertly pour your beer for you. Plus you get more for your money than at the concession stands.
Unfortunately for us, it turns out the Tokyo Giants lost 5-8. We left before that happened though, because after the eighth inning pretty much everyone was still in their seats and we didn’t want to fight 50,000+ people for the trains afterwards. Being pressed up against way too many sweaty people who smelled like beer for over an hour was not at all appealing to us.
Overall, I definitely recommend this experience for anyone who comes to Japan, whether you are a tourist or a study abroad student and whether you like baseball or not. A lot of my friends who came with don’t like baseball and never watch it but they absolutely loved this game. Personally, I thought it was cool to experience something so familiar while still getting to catch the cultural differences here and there.
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<p>Mikaela is a junior at Indiana University majoring in International Studies and East Asian Languages & Cultures. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, she has spent the past few years enjoying life as a Hoosier while dreaming of the day she finally got to go abroad. Traveling is one of her greatest passions and she looks forward to exploring not only Tokyo but as much of Japan as possible during her semester abroad. She is actively involved in both her sorority and International Studies Honor Society, and enjoys reading, hiking, and drinking tea in her free time. She is so excited for the adventure that lies ahead and can’t wait to share it with everyone!</p>