Japanese baseball games are known for being very electric inside with lots of crowd involvement. Chants, music, and thunder sticks are heard all around during the game. It’s a very lively environment. A somewhat different experience when compared to an MLB game in the US. A baseball game in Japan is more like a US minor league game which incorporates more fan interaction than the MLB. Many would-be and former major leaguers play, or have played, in Japan.
We took the metro to the Tokyo Dome. Much is made about how complicated the metro in Tokyo is but armed with Google Maps and a Suica card it is pretty simple to get around. Good thing it was all underground because it was raining early in the afternoon while we were on our way. Nothing can kill a late morning/early afternoon buzz than rain and a messy commute.
-“…Cheesin’ in the rain….just cheesin’ in the raaaaaaain…”-
We arrived at the metro station that is close to the Tokyo Dome. A short walk later and there it was.
Oh hey, …what’s this? O, just a roller coaster next to the Dome. Nothing to see here…. just Tokyo. Carry on.
Once inside the Dome, we tried to find our seats. There were ushers all over to help lost tourists and other people trying to locate where they will sit for the next nine innings. We finally got to ours and the seats were down the third base side, up top, past the left field foul pole. Nice viewing area but not a great spot for me to fulfill my boyhood dream of catching a baseball at a game. <sad face>
To my surprise, there were almost 45,000 people at the game. That’s more people than most MLB teams average. Maybe it was because these games are more fun to attend? MLB games are fun in their own right and many of the new parks have tons of family oriented things to do…so it must be something else.
Maybe the fun chants that go on throughout the game? They can be intense, especially when they involved a former MLB player like the Garrett Jones who played for a few seasons on the Twins, Pirates, Marlins, and Yankees. He seemed like a local hero already.
How about horns and flags? Horns, flags, and chants make everything fun. More like a soccer game right? It’s time for the horns and flags element of the game.
Thunder bats? Who doesn’t love thunder bats?!
OK…OK…Everyone loves having their refreshments brought to them throughout the game instead of wasting time and going to the refreshment stands. Who wants to miss all of the heated action and excitement? Beer and snacks brought to your seats in an energetic manner? Sign me up.
Enter…the refreshment girls!
OK let’s bypass the refreshment girls for now. What do you think about bringing your own refreshments? This might be the best thing about the game. Screw the 7th inning stretch, at the Tokyo Dome…it’s sake box time!
But in the end, who am I kidding? It’s gotta be the cheerleaders.
The game was a pitcher’s duel so it wasn’t a very high scoring affair. It ended up being 2-1 in favor of the Giants who were the home team. Some like that sort of game but I don’t…unless the starting pitcher on the winning side is on my fantasy team…and the closer too…if there is a save situation. There were a couple home runs for both teams in the middle of the game and a late inning rally for the Giants before they closed it out in the top of the 9th for the W.
All in all, it was a very fun game to attend and I recommend anyone spending time in Tokyo to go to one of the games even if you aren’t a baseball fan.