Archive for category Roadtrip

Game #12 – Chiba Lotte Marines at QVC Marine Stadium

Japan seems to have saved the best for last: game #12 at QVC Marine Stadium was freakin’ awesome. The Chiba Lotte Marines trashed their division rivals, the Rakuten Eagles 3-0 and I made a bunch of new friends in the Marines cheering section.

QVC Marine Stadium, home of the Chiba Lotte Marines

QVC Marine Stadium, home of the Chiba Lotte Marines

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NPB Game #11 in Sapporo

I arrived in Sapporo for game #11 yesterday. Took me two days to get here via train. The taxi pulled into the stadium as the radio announcer called the last out.  I was able to go inside and watch the Chiba Marines fans celebrate their 5-1 victory over the Nippon-ham Fighters.  The Sapporo Dome is a really incredible structure, it even has an R/C mini-blimp cruising around above the outfield.

Andre’ Layral was right about the Genghis Khan! Grilled mutton + onions + beer = amazing!

Game #10 at Miyagi Baseball Stadium worked itself out.  Being stuck in Sendai, I was able to get a ticket to the Saturday game to see the Rakuten Eagles play the Softbank Hawks.  Had to leave early, but the score was 8-2 Hawks in the top of the 8th inning.  Too bad Masahiro Tanaka couldn’t pitch two nights in a row.

The Sapporo Dome, home of the Nippon-ham Fighters

The Sapporo Dome, home of the Nippon-ham Fighters

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Game #10 – Miyagi Baseball Stadium

So made it to game #10 tonight in Sendai only to find out that the game was sold out. I spent the game wandering through the team village around Miyagi Baseball Stadium and watching the game from the beer garden.  Working on a contingency plan, but its a longshot. I’m only in Japan for 4 more days and I still have to go to Sapporo and back which is 8 hours away.  In other news, the game was a 5-0 blowout by the Tohoku Eagles over the Fukuoka Hawks, and the 16th win for M. Tanaka this season.

Kleenex Miyagi Stadium, home of the Rakuten Eagles

Kleenex Miyagi Stadium, home of the Rakuten Eagles

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Game #9 – DeNA Bay Stars at Yokohama Stadium

On my second attempt, I made it to NPB game #9 at Yokohama Stadium to watch the DeNA Baystars take on the Yomiuri Giants.  The Baystars lost in a 6-7 heartbreaker.

In other news, I took a few days off and went to stay at a ryokhan in Matsumoto.  It’s a great little city in the Nagano prefict, near the Japanese Alps.  Got to check out Matsumoto Castle, which is the most original/authentic of the castles I’ve seen so far.

Yokohama Stadium, home of the DeNA Baystars

Yokohama Stadium, home of the DeNA Baystars

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Game #8 – Yomiuri Giants at the Tokyo Dome

Game #8: Things just keep getting better.  Got a ticket for the Yomiuri Giants game against the Hanshin Tigers yesterday (mad props to the folks at Sakura Hostel for helping me find a ticket reseller: the game has been sold out for 2 weeks).  The Tigers blew out the Giants 7-0.
The Tigers vs Giants rivalry is a bit like Yankees vs Red Sox, and my ticket was right in the middle of the Tigers cheering club sec…tion.  INTENSE! Got mad dogged for a little while until I busted out the noisemakers and chanted with all the other Tigers fans.
In Japan there is a definite feeling of “separate but not equal” for foreigners. The place that seems to disappear the most quickly is at the ballpark.  Yesterday’s game was the best example of that.
Tokyo Dome, home of the Yomiuri Giants

Tokyo Dome, home of the Yomiuri Giants

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Game #7 – Fukuoka Yafuoka! Dome

Game #7 in Fukuoka – The Softbank Hawks beat the Saitama Lions 8-7 in a 12-inning pitching match. Ballgames in Japan can end in a tie after 12 innings (I believe), so this was a sweet win.

Stayed in a capsule hotel for the first time in Fukuoka… what a weird experience!  I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the ‘why’, but at least now I understand the ‘how’.

Fukuoka Yafuoka! Dome - Home of the Softbank Hawks

Fukuoka Yafuoka! Dome – Home of the Softbank Hawks

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Game #6 – Hiroshima Carp at Mazada Stadium

I arrived in Hiroshima yesterday and went to the ballgame at Mazda Stadium.
Andre’ Layral, I can see why you like this team!  The game was loads of fun, I finally broke down and got myself some katana-shaped noise-makers.  I’m really getting into bringing my own beer and releasing victory balloons during the 7th inning.  Why don’t we do this in the states?

This is game #6, which means that my trip is officially half way through.

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Game #5 – Hanshin Koshien Stadium

Hit game #5 at Koshien Stadium last night.  The home of the Hanshin Tigers is a bit like Wrigley Field; from a different era of baseball.  Tigers fans are very devoted and they went nuts in the last inning.  Down by one with a man on 1st, Matsuda got a base hit on the 3-2 pitch after fouling off a couple pitches.  Crowd went nuts and I got it on video.  Now I just have to figure out how to post it.

Hanshin Koshien Stadium in Osaka

Hanshin Koshien Stadium in Osaka

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Game #4 – Kyocera Dome Osaka

Made it to my 4th game today in Osaka to see the ORIX Buffaloes play the Fukuoka Hawks. Great game, Buffaloes won 4-3 thanks to some monster hitting by Aarom Baldiris.

The Kyocera Dome is definitely not a hitters park but it does have A/C!  I’m sure that keeping a building that big cool helps keep the home run count down.

Also, it was Little League night so there were lots of future ball players running around in their uniforms. 6 shades of adorable!

Kyocera Osaka Dome - Home of the ORIX Buffaloes

Kyocera Osaka Dome – Home of the ORIX Buffaloes

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NPB Game #3 – Nagoya Dome

I took the Shinkansen (express train) south out of Tokyo yesterday. I arrived at the Nagoya Dome to see the Chunichi Dragons take on the Yomiuri Giants for my 3rd ballpark.

The Giants won 1-0 over the Dragons, but it was a close game.  I arrived really late, because of a long night in Shinjuku the day before.  Still it was great to see the Dragons fans hang on until the bitter end.

Nagoya Dome, home of the Chunichi Dragons

Nagoya Dome, home of the Chunichi Dragons

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