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VeeDubb Jul 13th, 2012 06:52 AM

Baseball Game Near Tokyo or Kyoto

I will traveling to Japan in September. I am interested in attending a baseball game if I can find one near Tokyo or Kyoto. I read online that their season lasts into October. I checked the Tokyo Dome schedule, but I don’t see any games scheduled for the days I will be there. Any information on other locations would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

emd3 Jul 13th, 2012 07:34 AM

VeeDub, here is the link for the Sept.-Oct. baseball game schedules. You can perhpas see the Hanshin Tigers play in their Koshiem stadium in Oasaka, or the Gnts at Tokyo Dome, Swallows at Jingu Stadium, or the Baystars at Yokohama Stadium depending on your exact dates.

VeeDubb Jul 13th, 2012 08:14 AM

emd3, thank you! This is exactly what I need.
Should I order tickets from this website, or can I get them pretty easily once I get to Japan? Where would I get them in Tokyo, and do I have to buy them in advance or can I get them on the same day as the game?

Also, I have only been to baseball games in the U.S., are there any specific traditions or differences that I should know about before I go to a Japanese game?


tower Jul 13th, 2012 10:33 AM

everyone is a self-appointed cheerleader. Noise levels can be ear shattering. But nowhere are fans such a part of the game. Most US baseball is comparatively mild. My grandson is a pro minor leaguer, and a Japanese pitcher from Yokohama was just signed. The kid was amazed that they only draw about 2000 per game...which is typical of A and AA minor league ball here. He said high school draw more than that in Japan.

tower Jul 13th, 2012 10:34 AM

I should have mentioned, the team is in Edinburg, Texas as part of the NABL.

DonTopaz Jul 13th, 2012 11:14 AM

Oh yes, this is a wonderful experience, and oh yes, there are differences.

The left field stands and the right field stands will be filled with rabid supporters of each team. During the half-inning when each team is at bat, their respective supporters will constantly be singing, chanting, and making plenty of noise. It's a great spectacle.

Home games for the Giants (Tokyo) and the Tigers (Osaka) can be difficult to get, especially when they play each other. For most Baystars games (Yokohama), tickets seems to be available on game day, even when they're playing the Tigers or Giants. (The Yokohama stadium is also very easy to reach via train, about a half hour in total from Tokyo.) I have seen online services that allow you to get tickets in advance, but their markup has been steep.

hawaiiantraveler Jul 13th, 2012 11:59 AM

thunder will know what they are as soon as you enter the park and will never forget them...enjoy!


emd3 Jul 13th, 2012 12:36 PM

VeeDub, if you want a really once in a lifetime experience, be sure to sit in the "fan section" for one of the teams playing, preferably the home team. The seats are cheap, like $10 in that section, and grant it, they are in the outfield. But this is where the real die hard fans sit, the ones who sing the different chant for each and every player on their team who comes to bat. Each player has a personalized chant.

And at the break, this is the section where the balloon ordeal happens. The fan section has an appointed "cheerleader" who leads the chants and other fan demonstrations.

My son and I sat in the fan section of the Hanshin Tigers at a game against the Buffaloes and we had on some Tigers clothing (head bands, I had on a Tiger's kimono jacket) and we had their thunder sticks. We were the only gainjin in the fan section. I will never forget the man in front of us who prayed on his prayer beads for the Tigers to win throughout the whole game. And he tapped me on the shoulder at the break- they had put my son and I up on the big video screen! It was a GREAT game.

We were able to get tickets for a game at Tokyo Dome the afternoon before the evening game, at the box office at the stadium. And we walked up and got fan section tix at Osaka Dome, but that was an afternon weekday game.

You are going to have so much fun at the game!

VeeDubb Jul 13th, 2012 01:10 PM

Now I’m getting excited!
Looks like I will be able to go to either a Lions game in Tokyo at Seibu Dome, or a Buffalos game at Osaka Dome. Looks like the Lions are a better team with a larger following, so I’m considering going to Seibu Dome. What do you think?

I would like to sit in the Lions fan section. Would I be able to purchase Lions tickets at Tokyo Dome even though this is not their home stadium? Is there still a risk of selling out if I get them a few days ahead of time? I could order them on the website that emd3 posted. There is a $59 per order Ticket Purchase Fee, but they deliver them to my hotel, and I would have peace of mind that they would not sell out. What do you think

Thanks again!

mrwunrfl Jul 13th, 2012 04:28 PM

I think $59 is a lot for peace of mind.

I went to a game at Tokyo Dome between the Hawks (Fukuoka) and Fighters (Sapporo) and had no trouble at all getting a ticket at the box office immediately before the game. Same thing for games in Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Osaka, and Yokohama.

mrwunrfl Jul 13th, 2012 04:46 PM

hyperdia says 45 minutes or so from Kyoto to the Dome Mae station for a Osaka Dome.

Kyoto to Nagoya Dome Mae Yada station is 66 minutes, so a Dragons game would be an option with a JR Pass.

I think the outfield seats in right field are for the home crazies.

emd3 Jul 13th, 2012 05:53 PM

Listen to mrwunrfl. He knows. i lso think $59 is too much.

I forget, what hotel are you staying at in Tokyo? I am wondering if there is any chance of a concierge to get tickets for you before you arive.

If not, my guess is that you can get tix for Tokyo Dome on the day of the game. But since it is end of season I would definitely check the standings of both teams on that website I gave you.

mrwunrfl Jul 15th, 2012 10:16 AM

One thing I know is that emd knows how to work a concierge. Good point that ticket availability would depend upon the team's standing at the end of the season.

>>Would I be able to purchase Lions tickets at Tokyo Dome even though this is not their home stadium?<<
Would have to say that any venue in the world would sell tickets for any scheduled event at that venue as soon as tickets are available for sale.

That J-ball site says that their tix are "never in the outfield", except for Tigers and Carp games. Am just not sure that they would get you what you want. The webpage does imply that you can communicate with them "during the order process" if the price range you want is sold out. Maybe there is a way that you can communicate to them that you do want the outfield, in the fan section.

VeeDubb Jul 16th, 2012 09:10 AM

Thanks! I think you all are right. I will most likely just wait until I get to Japan to purchase tickets.

Based on the website that emd3 posted, It looks like the Lions play at Seibu Dome when they are home. You may have misunderstood my question mrwunrfl :) I was wondering if I had to go to the Seibu Dome to purchase the tickets for the games played there, or could I go to other locations as well (Tokyo Dome, convenience stores, etc…). Do the tickets go on sale the day before the game, or can a buy them 3-4 days in advance?

Also, I would need to leave for Kyoto immediately following the game. Do you know if the high speed train runs near the Seibu Dome in West Tokyo? How long does it typically take to get to JR Kyoto Station with a JR pass, from West Tokyo?

Thanks again for all of the helpful information!

mrwunrfl Jul 16th, 2012 06:46 PM

I did misunderstand and thought that the Lions game was at Tokyo Dome. I would guess that you would not be able to get tix at Tokyo Dome for Seibu Dome. I would expect that you can get those tix at any general ticket oulet and that they are available for sale today.

Seibu Dome is in Saitama prefecture. I googled "train to Seibu Dome" and saw a mention of an express train from Tokorozawa city to the stadium. The train station at the stadium in hyperdia would be SEIBUKYUJOMAE.

What time is the game? 6PM? Where are you staying in Tokyo?

Looks like JR doesn't go to Tokorozawa. You would take a Seibu train. I don't know if there would be coin lockers at Seibu Tokorozawa station. I think you would have to go to a shinkansen station, Tokyo or Shinagawa, stow your bags in a locker, go to the game (JR or Seibu train to Ikebukuro and then Seibu train to Tokorozawa and then the express train (or connecting trains) to the stadium, and return to pick up your bags and get the shinkansen to Kyoto.

What day is this game? On several of the days that the Lions are at home the Dragons are also at home. You could just go from Tokyo to Nagoya, leave your stuff in a locker at Nagoya station and go to the game, then on to Kyoto. This would be pretty easy, I think, considering that it is on your way. Also the Bay Stars might be an option (tho, at the game that I saw in Yokohama the visiting Carp fans were lounder than the home team fans, it was not well attended).


aprillilacs Jul 16th, 2012 07:25 PM

I attended a Giants game at the Tokyo Dome in May 2011. Purchased tickets through the Japan Ball site. They were pricey but the service was very professional, the tickets were delivered to my hotel as advertised, and the seats were great. (They weren't in the outfield, so we had a good view of the action on the field--nice if you actually like seeing the game as well as the crazy fans.) There was plenty of rabid fan action all around us. Really fun. Tickets were available at the stadium the night we were there (the dome wasn't full), but if you really want to go to a game it might be worthwhile to reserve in advance through Japan Ball. How many times are you going to have this experience? $59 to guarantee it seems reasonable to me, since we were spending multiple thousands for our Japan trip as a whole.

VeeDubb Jul 17th, 2012 06:37 AM

Attending the Lions game that I had in mind seems like it will be more trouble than it is worth now that I think about it. I will be staying in Akasaka the end of September. I would have to check out of my hotel, find lockers for my luggage, come back to get it, and I would get to Kyoto far later then I originally wanted. I would rather just leave Tokyo in the morning so that I could spend some more time in Kyoto.

Based on the J Ball website, the only other game that I would have time to attend would be a Buffalos vs. Golden Eagles game at Osaka Dome. This seems like it would be a much more convenient option because Osaka is only 15 min by bullet train from Kyoto station, and I could use my JR pass. Also, I would get to visit Osaka, which I originally wasn’t planning to do. Do you think there will still be good attendance at the Buffalos/Eagles game? Do these teams have a good fan base? Do you have any recommendations while in Osaka?

Thanks again!

hawaiiantraveler Jul 17th, 2012 07:51 AM

The JR station in Tokorozawa is the Higashi-Tokorozawa spelled all one word on hyperdia.....higashitokorozawa

Send your luggage ahead to meet you in Kyoto hotel via the takuhaibin service. I do it all the time to travel hands free on the Japan trains.

If you decide on Osaka and like to shop and eat then Namba is the place for you.


VeeDubb Jul 17th, 2012 08:16 AM

Wow, HT! The takuhaibin service is really reasonably priced, and would save me the hassle of dealing with transporting my luggage on the trains and stops in-between my destinations. Would you trust them with fragile items like a laptop? Also, from Tokyo to Kyoto, will the delivery typically be the same day or next day?


hawaiiantraveler Jul 17th, 2012 10:16 AM

If you wrap it and put in the middle of your bag surrounded by clothes it should be ok. Be sure to let them know that bag is fragile and they will handle it as such. That said I always carry my laptop with me in a small bag that fits in the rack above my seat with other goodies I will need on the train. You may not have that option when going to the game although they should have at least small lockers either the Seibu or JR stations in Tokorozawa.

Yes they have next and same day takuhaibin services between Tokyo and Kyoto, the same day service costing a premium. There is a time limit in the morning by when you would have to ship by. The bell desk at your hotel will know. You have to know the name and address where you are sending your bag(s) to.


trafaelwyr Jul 20th, 2012 10:57 AM

I've also been thinking of going to a baseball game while I'm in Tokyo. I will be in Tokyo from Saturday the 1st of September and leaving back to the U.S. on Saturday the 8th of September. Looks like there are three games I can go to! :) This will be interesting. I think I'd want to see the Fighters since that's where Yu Darvish came from (and being that I'm a Texas Rangers fan, what could be better?).

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