Previous posts about my brief trip to Tokyo:
The good folks at the Park Hyatt Tokyo were nice enough to get me seats to a baseball game that evening at the Tokyo Dome. As a baseball fan, I wanted to see what the game was like in Tokyo. And, what better team to see than the Yomiuri Giants? The Yomiuri Giants, named after the New York (now San Francisco) Giants, are supposed to be the most popular team in Japan. They’ve had an MLB manager (Davey Johnson) and the MVP of the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees Hideki Matsui played for them, along with others.
One small problem. It turned out the Giants were not playing in the game I was going to see. I just assumed they were the only home team that used the stadium. Instead, I was going to be watching the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters take on the Chiba Lotte Marines.
Charlie was joining me for the game, so we met at my hotel. We took the subway over to the game. Coming up out of the subway we could see the dome peeking through some of the buildings. It reminded me of the Metrodome, which I never saw the inside of.
Once inside the stadium, it was interesting to see that the best seats around the dugouts were sparsely populated, but the bleachers were packed. The bleachers were divided up evenly between the two teams, and the fans roared with every strikeout or hit.
The food was definitely interesting looking, not traditional ballpark fare. We had no idea what was on the menu for the most part, and the picture translator I was using wasn’t working. Or, something on the menu really was “green creature with feathers that is small and heavy”, which was the rough translation iirc. We both decided to pass on that.
I opted for some chicken on a stick which seemed fairly safe. Charlie opted for a bowl of something that didn’t look quite as safe. Neither of us enjoyed our food all that much, probably the Japanese equivalent of crappy hot dogs at an Orioles game. I did, however, enjoy an ice cold Coke, which tasted just fine.
The baseball game had a couple of things you don’t see in the states, like cheerleaders in hot pants.
And, there were about 15 girls wearing this magnificent contraption.
Lastly, on top of the cheerleaders, they had a girl in a bikini throw out the first pitch.
From where we were sitting, the outfield looked cavernous. But, it’s only listed at 328 to right and left, and 400 to straight away center. I only watched about 3 innings of the game, but I never saw a ball hit to the warning track. This doesn’t shock me, as the great Japanese players who have come over to play in the US are not necessarily home run hitters, rather precise powerful hitters who ran fast. All in all, worth the 3500 YEN I paid for the ticket.