I didn’t grow up watching baseball, so when I’m doing anything remotely baseball related, I’m reminded of the Charlie Sheen movie, Major League.
A lot of wacky stuff happens in that movie, and the same goes for Osaka baseball games at Hanshin Koshien Stadium…
First, it is extremely easy to buy your baseball tickets online before you get to Osaka. The stadium’s website is entirely in Japanese, but there’s a page in English that gives you step-by-step instructions:
After you’ve paid, you print out the QR code, bring it with you to the stadium and they exchange it for real paper tickets that you’ll crumple up a few hours later.
Seeing the atmosphere and people dressed all crazy was one of the best parts of our trip. The WTF factor is off the charts.
We sat with the home team, which is everyone in yellow. Fans for the visiting team sat by themselves (in green) and they did not stop cheering. All of us in the yellow sections thought it was totally annoying.
We bought beer from these cute young girls who are carrying insane loads on their backs.
They survey their sections non-stop, practically begging you to ease their back pain and save them from future spinal injuries. You oblige because it’s the humane thing to do.
Everyone around us was in Tigers gear. Everyone.
We thought the hipster couple next to us were too good for Tigers swag because they arrived late and the husband was wearing a fedora (that’s him in the beer girl photo).
But they quickly started putting on their Tigers shirts, wrapping Tigers towels around their necks and slapping Tigers cup-holders on their wrists. The wife had a special Tigers elastic to keep her towel in place. Also a Tigers coin purse she wore around her neck for beer money.
When it was time, they pulled out his’n’her cheering bats and sang the Tigers cheers as passionately as everyone else…
These interesting-looking balloons came out during the 7th inning. Everyone let go of them together to create this very unique sight in the sky.
The lovely family behind us had extra balloons to spare, so they gave us one to release. I rarely use this word, but at the time we truly felt blessed.
After the game ended (the Tigers lost, dammit), we wandered around the gift shop and came thisclose to owning a set of his’n’her cheering bats. What a game, what a day.