But sumo is the ultimate cultural sporting experience to see in Japan surely…
Well yes let’s be realistic, especially if you’re from the U.S.A., why would you want to bother watching baseball with other things to possibly see?
There’s one very fundamental reason – many travellers don’t get the opportunity to see sumo as it’s only on for a few weeks a few times a year. People often say how they would have loved to see a match.
Here’s a personal opinion from me (hey, that’s why you follow bloggers right)…
I have seen the final of a sumo match, the very last day of weeks of games. It was indeed very interesting to watch with the ritual traditions involved etc, but the other day I went to my first baseball game in Japan and I have to say that I had a lot more fun than watching sumo.
Sumo is more of an older persons sport and after 3 hours of watching it was plenty. Whereas in the crowd at a baseball game the people are having so much fun, plenty of beer is passed around, and there’s a good mix of young and old.
If you want to see the Japanese super passionate with a sport then you need to see a baseball game in Japan.
Don’t get me wrong, if there is a sumo match on then you should go and see one, it’s an interesting cultural experience. But like I said many travellers won’t get the chance, so I’m happy to tell you I think you would have a lot more fun at a baseball game anyway, of which you can always find one relatively regularly.
And for those from the U.S.A. you would probably enjoy it as I’m sure it’s a bit different from in America, with lots of cute Japanese things thrown into the overall atmosphere.
Baseball In Japan
I saw the game in Osaka and was supporting the local team shouting along with the others in the crowd. It wasn’t one of the large teams game so the stadium wasn’t packed out, but still very lively. Maybe 10,000 people. It would be great to see the big teams play.
At the beginning and during various short breaks in the game cheerleaders would come out along with the mascots. In typical Japanese style everything was very cute with cutesy adverts on the large screen.
Even if you don’t know much about baseball you will soon learn the basics. I knew almost nothing about it but understood by halfway through. It’s actually pretty easy.
One of the funnest things about seeing the baseball is the beer on offer. Women carry “beer backpacks” (perfect girlfriend?) and each one carries different beer. All Japanese beer. They walk around the stadium shouting out if you want any.
You eventually figure out what beer is what by the colour of the clothes they wear.
Not only beer is on sale. Ice cream is also on offer. Paradise much?
Around the 7th round balloons are released from the crowd. I never did find out why. Anyone know?
The game goes on. Like many sports the action can be slow at times but when it livens up the crowd goes nuts. But the real fun is just hanging out with the people and joining in the chanting of songs etc and being caught up in it.
Come on Buffaloes! (The local team).
Baseball in Japan is no different from it’s American counterpart. The tradition of beer and hotdogs lives on. The chilli hotdog is the best 🙂
As I couldn’t get close to the action to show you any baseball shots from the game itself, here’s some more different types of beer on offer. The Kirin is particularly good. Although personally I’m an Asahi fan at heart.
You could even pick up a teams jersey to wear. I was given the one below by a friend in Hokkaido. Hokkaido Fighters! While naturally stuffing oneself with some awesome ramen.
So if you have the time and a game is on then definitely go and see one. Like I said this is a personal opinion. What do you think?
P.S. – if you care about it our team lost 😛
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