So...on a weekday at the beginning of Silver Week, hubby's small office of 6 decided everyone ought to go watch a baseball game. It wasn't a big-name team like the Yomiuri Giants or the Hanshin Tigers but rather 2 teams we've ever heard of: Tokyo Swallows (blue green) and the Hiroshima Carps (red). The game was held at Meiji Jingu Stadium.
And let me assure you it really doesn't matter what big name teams you're watching. Going to a baseball game in Japan is an amazing experience and you should try going to one game, any game, and see for yourself.
It was a beautiful day with blue sky and few clouds, which is actually the worst day to go watch baseball in Japan. The stadium seats here don't have roofs and you'll fry in the sun. So naturally, prerequisites for baseball games here are:
1. Sunscreen. Just slap it all over, everywhere that's exposed. Face, ears, neck, back of neck, arms, legs, feet. Cover them up with clothing, or be generous with sunscreen.
2. Hat and sunglasses. I wore both, and even then I still came home with a headache having spent all afternoon in full sun.
3. A towel. To drape over your head and keep cool.
4. Water. Of course they offer beers and such, but beer is not water.
5. A paper fan, if available. It gets hot. Very hot. And this was mid-late September!
View of Shinjuku from my seat, with a little zoom of course.
Fans of the home team in blue and green.
Fans of Hiroshima Carps in red.
How was the game? Boring as hell. How was the experience? Awesome. First off, the stadium is super clean. Despite the frequent offerings of beer and snacks and a whole slew of food vendors inside, there was no spilled beer, no dropped food, no trash, etc. J. and I treated ourselves to some Baskin Robbins, and hubby and I got two donburis of kimchi and pork and sukuyaki beef curry. Everyone's polite and keep to themselves, all while being great fans of their respective teams.
One thing that really amazed us all was that there was a song for every player and a chant with his name. And get this, all the fans knew every song and every chant. Whenever there was a home run, they busted out this team song with whatever funny item they use to cheer with. In this particular case, the Tokyo Swallow fans cheer with these mini transparent plastic umbrellas. Don't ask me how that works, but it was definite a sight to behold.
Watch the Tokyo Swallow fans cheer for their home team, with their funny umbrellas!
Despite the hat and sunglasses, it was really that towel literally saved my poor hubby from a nasty sunburn. I had a towel too but took it off for photos ^.^
This was not the first baseball game for me and hubby actually. A decade ago, back in August of 2005 he and I attended a game together at Koshien Stadium for the National High School Baseball Championship. The high school I was teaching at took part in the championship, and hubby visited me in Japan and went along to Osaka for the game. The heat was absolutely miserable but the experience was so fun nonetheless. We even took similar photos!