An absolute highlight of our time in Japan was attending a Baseball Game at Jingu Stadium in Tokyo. We got to witness an All-American tradition with a uniquely Japanese twist and I can’t recommend it enough for your family- especially if you’ve got Baseball fans or little league-rs like Deal Dad and Deal Kid.
Buying Tickets and Logistics
With most of our Japan trip planning going smoothly, I was surprised to hit a bump when trying to research and buy baseball tickets. In fact, I almost gave up and spent $59 for a service- not very Deal Mommy-like. The hiccup is that most websites that sell tickets require a Japan bank issued credit card. One team does not: Tokyo Yomuri Giants which play at Tokyo Dome. If our schedule had fit I would have just bought them online for Tokyo Dome.
However, we found a work-around: our hotel concierge (at the Hyatt Regency) was happy to send someone to buy tickets for us for the service fee of 500 Yen ($4). Sold! She was happy to find which games fit our schedule and we easily took care of the transaction over email- with the bonus of using my OPEN American Express card for a further 5% off since the charge was from Hyatt!
Jingu Stadium Ticket prices I found very reasonable: bleacher seats went as low as 1,600 Yen (500 for kids!) and even the best seats in the house were only 4,600 Yen ($37 in June 2015). I don’t regret buying the expensive seats but the stadium is small enough that you won’t miss much out in the boonies.
If your hotel is no help, you can buy them either at the local box office or at any 7/11. I’d bring along google translate. Something fun: you have to “pick a side” of the stadium to cheer for when you buy your tickets.
Both Tokyo Dome and Jingu Stadium are on the subway- Jingu is closer to Shinjuku. A cab back to the Regency was around 1200 Yen ($10).
I could give you 1000 words and you wouldn’t get the feeling as well as the video clip above, so I’ll wait while you check it out.
The fans are passionate– not only about their team or favorite player, but about the entire experience. They came early, stayed long after the MVP was awarded, and cheered like crazy for every single play. We bought umbrellas and joined in. We witnessed the Swallows beat the Giants (think of the Giants as the Yankees- love or love to hate) in a real nail-biter that was decided in the 8th by a 3 run homer. To say the crowd went wild doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Other things to know
- Snacks are plentiful- and for US stadium-goers- cheap. A beer ran 700 Yen (with the bonus of being served by a “Ghostbuster” wearing the keg on her back) and ice cream was 400 Yen. Besides hot dogs and fries, we enjoyed both American and Japanese items such as ribs and meat skewers. You can easily made a lunch of it.
- There is absolutely no over-seat coverage anywhere in Jingu Stadium. Bring both sunscreen and a poncho. Or just use your umbrella in between runs.
- In addition to being passionate, fans were also polite. No worries at all bringing even young kids and seeing overzealous fans get rowdy.
Have you done Tokyo Baseball? What did you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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