This past Sunday I went to go see a professional baseball game at the Osaka Dome. The regional favorite team, the Hanshin Tigers (Osaka) were playing the Yakult Swallows (Tokyo). I personally love baseball so I can be totally happy watching any game, but in America I have many friends who think that baseball is so boring. American baseball games are boring compared to watching a professional game here in Japan.
Here the fans are almost constantly cheering and chanting support for their favorite team. The first time I went to a game my hands were so sore from clapping and cheering the whole time that I quickly realized why fans here all bring an assortment of plastic bats and other noise makers for cheering. The other interesting thing is that some teams have particular customs for celebrating; even though the Swallows fans were not at their home stadium there was a large section for them. Every time their team scored they all lifted up these miniature blue plastic umbrellas. When I saw that I thought it was strange but immediately remembered having gone to a Swallows home game in Tokyo about 5 years ago and thinking it looked so cool to see the whole stadium raising up little blue umbrellas after their team scored.
Some things are definitely the same at games here and back home; the beer and food is still almost 4 times the normal price, and they do check your bags to make sure you don’t bring in outside drinks. All in all the Japanese games are much more lively than games back home and it seems like they attract lots of people who might not be typical baseball fans just because the atmosphere is so fun.