Inside Tokyo Dome
Compared to other mega-stadiums, Tokyo Dome is a bit on the small side capacity-wise, seating 46,000 when configured for baseball games. Built in 1988, it is Japan's first domed baseball stadium, so there's a lot of love for the place. In spite of its size, the air conditioning is consistent, and it’s easy to watch a game in comfort.
It's time to play ball! If you've been to an American baseball game before, you may notice that the tactics are a little different, with more emphasis on bunts, walks and fielding.
Food, including Japanese-style lunch boxes (bento) and hamburgers, is sold within the stadium, so don't worry too much if you find yourself getting hungry during the game.
Think the nosebleed seats are boring? Watching the game from an angle makes it easy to monitor all parts of the field. A bird's-eye view is also helpful in understanding how the game is developing.
What's a sporting event without a cold beer? At major league baseball games, young women carrying huge beer dispensers on their backs go around the seats selling beer. Watching their honed serving skills as they dispense beer from what appear to be jet packs is another entertaining aspect of baseball in Japan.
Cheering is an integral part of the Japanese baseball experience. Dedicated cheering squads lead the crowd, with certain seating areas designated as the "cheering section," so if you're uncomfortable singing and dancing your heart out, check in advance where those areas are.
You'll also find songs for cheering individual players, with the character of each team revealed through the tone of its various distinctive cheers.
At the end of the game, the "hero interview" (an interview with the player of the game) is held by the winning team. While the discussion is usually in Japanese, it might be in English if the interview is with a foreign player.
Experiencing Japan's Major League Baseball is something you should do at least once while in Japan. The crowds, the food, the beer jet packs and the cheering all come together to create a lively, energetic atmosphere that shouldn't be missed!