We don’t have a home town team in this part of Japan, but one of the nice attributes of baseball in Japan is that the pro teams go on tour from time to time and play games in relative backwater areas like ours. I drove down to Fukui, the prefecture to the south, with a couple of friends last night to see a game between the Hiroshima Carp and the Hanshin Tigers (from Osaka). The venue was Fukui Prefectural Stadium — I’m not sure if it’s a minor league park or what it’s normally used for, but it was pretty nice.
The game itself was not all that exciting, but the best part of Japanese baseball games are the fans. This game renewed my desire to attend more pro games when I have the chance. Opposing fans take turns cheering while their respective teams are batting. Each player has his own song that the crowd chants while smashing together all manner of noise-making paraphernalia, accompanied by a brass band and drummers sitting out on the lawn in the outfield cheap seats.
In the sixth inning everyone blows up balloons equipped with whistlers on the end, waits for the right time…
And lets them go.
A half inning later the Carp fans on the opposite side of the stadium did the same thing, with different colored balloons.
The Carp ended up winning 2-1, which is fine since I had no rooting interest in either of these teams. I love baseball but expend most of my energy in that regard on American ball. I don’t know much about Japanese teams or players, and don’t pay much attention to what is going on in the league here. That said, these games are fun and affordable to attend, so if you are in Japan I highly recommend lining up some tickets and catching a game.
Regarding the other happenings around here, there is nothing terribly exciting going on. It’s hot and humid an my garden is going off, which is great. We have a month of work left, and I’m hoping July flies by as fast as the other months have lately. I may be getting a little blogging momentum back here…