The One about How to Watch Live Japanese Baseball Games During Your Visit to Japan

Between March through November in Japan, it’s baseball season.

And baseball games in Japan are entertaining, lively and a different vibe than what one would experience in the United States.  As one friend would say, it’s like a baseball game and concert mushed into one.

In Japan, the baseball teams are:

Central League:

  • Yomiuri Giants (Tokyo)
  • Yakult Swallows (Tokyo)
  • Hiroshima Carp (Hiroshima)
  • Hanshin Tigers (Osaka)
  • DeNa Yokohama Baystars (Yokohama)
  • Chunichi Dragons (Nagoya)

Pacific League:

  • Nippon Ham Fighters (Hokkaido)
  • SoftBank Hawks (Fukuoka)
  • Lotte Marines (Chiba)
  • Seibu Lions (Saitama)
  • Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (Sendai)
  • Orix Buffaloes (Kobe)

If it’s hard to fathom how that would be, well here’s a video I shot at a Yomiuri Giants baseball game:

And a Tokyo Yakult Swallows game:

Each team has a group that leads the cheering and chants and whoever is batting, you will hear the cheer section initiate the chants.  So, if the hometeam is batting, you can definitely see the whole stadium getting into it.  While the visiting team bats, the visiting fans may have a smaller cheering section, but sometimes the visiting cheer section makes their presence known and sometimes can out cheer the home team’s cheering section.

But Japanese baseball games are exciting and worth the experience.  And while March is primarily pre-season, pre-season games can sometimes be easily bought at the gate (especially during day games), but during the season, games sell out and getting tickets especially in good seating areas can be difficult.

If you are planning to visit Japan and want to watch a baseball game, you can take the chance of purchasing tickets at the gate, but if you do not want to sit in the worse seats, then purchase tickets in advance and have the tickets sent to your hotel.

I recommend visiting JapanBallTickets.com.

JapanBallTickets does the purchasing for you and if you want certain seats, like for myself, I prefer seats between third base and home plate, if available, they will purchase the tickets for you and then make sure those tickets get to you.  Click here for more information.

Of course, on top of the ticket price, there is a fee of $59 per order (not per ticket).  So, if you and a few friends are going, you can split on the ticket fee.

Our tickets arrived at the hotel and all you have to do is show the employees at the entrance into the stadium.  You will need to go through a bag check but once you are inside, find your assigned seating and you are good to go!

I highly recommend going through JapanBallTickets.com but if you don’t, by all means, go ahead and try at the gate.  If you go with a large group, there is a chance you may not sit together or you may not get the best seats but at least you get to see a game.

But you’ll never know if you don’t try.  Also, nearby the stadiums are the official merchandise stores for each Japanese baseball team.


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Dennis A. Amith