Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Take me out to the (J) ball game

The other day I finally got to go to Koshien and watch a Hanshin Tigers game. I had previously been to a couple Yakult Swallows games in Tokyo, so I had the general idea about Japanese baseball, but I did encounter a couple new things. In this post I'll point out a few differences between American and Japanese baseball games. It may be the same sport, but spectating is pretty different here.

I was able to go to this game because one of the teachers at my base school is a big fan and invited some of the other teachers to come along with him, and he set up the tickets and everything. You rock, Mr. N!

Some lady teachers.

Guy teachers.
Oh, so that Tigers jacket (happi coat) I'm wearing was a gift by the guy sitting next to me in the picture. Man, people are so generous here...I hate it. I hate feeling obligated to get them back. It was all the worse because even though this teacher and I always smile and greet each other very nicely, we have never really talked. I think our first semi-conversation was  "Here, this coat is for you!" "Oh, wow, really? Crap, thanks!"

Anyway, I'm getting side-tracked. Where were we? Oh yes, interesting differences. One good one is that while there are dudes roaming around selling ice cream and stuff, there are also beer girls. They're usually high schoolers or college girls (actually we saw one of my students who graduated last year - bought a popcorn from her), and many of them lug around kegs, backpack style.

Also, the fans are really hardcore, but in a (mostly) positive way. Not like back in the States, where if you go to a Phillies game wearing a Braves hat you should be surprised if someone doesn't dump soda on your head. Fans bring flags and instruments and make up all kinds of chants. At this game there were drums and horns. The Hiroshima Carp fans were especially dapper - I guess only the hardest of the hardcore traveled from Hiroshima to watch them play.

They also have these bat-looking things called メガホン (megaphone) because, uh, that's basically what they are - little classic bat-shaped megaphones that you hit together to cheer with.

The cheering is kind of cool for a while, but it gets tiresome, for me anyway. Come the 7th inning I was pretty tired of cheering nonstop for each hitter until they got on base or struck out and it was time for the next cheer. There is pretty much no downtime from the cheering while your team is batting. Luckily the 7th inning was phallic balloon time.

Don't ask 'cuz I don't know.


  1. Bahaha, re: the phallic balloons. That's almost on par with your blog's title picture ("Just another normal day.")

  2. Heh...it was pretty random, but enjoyable.

  3. LOL, phallic balloon time. Don't make me laugh at work