In 1926, Meiji Jingu Stadium opened in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.
While many college baseball games are played at this stadium, including leagues such as the Tokyo Big6 Baseball League and the Tohto University Baseball League, the stadium is best known as the home stadium for the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Central League team, the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.
The stadium is the second oldest baseball stadium after the Hanshin Tigers Koshien Stadium in Osaka, Meiji Jingu Stadium carries a lot of history. From when Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx played at the stadium in 1934, the stadium was used as an exhibition of baseball for the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
While the stadium is celebrating it’s 90th Anniversary this year, unfortunately there was a scare when people feared the stadium would be demolished due to the 2020 Olympics.
But so far, there is discussion of the stadium closing for half a year in 2020 as Olympics organizers want to use the stadium as an equipment storage space and resting area for volunteers. But because it means rescheduling many baseball games and potential closure of other sports for high school, college and the professional level. It’s not really known what will happen to the stadium for 2020 just yet.
For my experience, Meiji Jingu Stadium doesn’t really get too packed unless it’s a major rivalry game or playoff/championship game.
I found no need to go through a proxy for tickets, just travel to the stadium and purchase tickets from the stadium ticket booth.
But with two Tokyo teams, the Yakult Swallows has its followers who absolutely despite the other team (the Yomiuri Giants). Could you imagine if the New York Yankees and New York Mets played in the same league? Well, the Swallows and Giants do play on the same league and have a pretty big cross-town rivalry.
But I did enjoy going to Meiji Jingu Stadium because it was outdoors, quite relaxing and loved the fans reaction when “Tokyo Ondo” is playing and everyone takes out there umbrellas and start bobbing them in the air and dancing.
But while an older stadium, Meiji Jingu Stadium still has history and for those who want to experience professional baseball at one of the currently existing, older professional baseball stadiums in the world, then Meiji Jingu Stadium is worth checking out!