The (Inter)National Passtime

Last weekend my fellow Fuji ALT Mike and I went to Nagoya to take in a Japanese baseball game.  Nagoya is home to the Chunichi Dragons, currently second in their league, who played the Lotte Marines from Chiba.

The Dragons play in the Nagoya Dome, which was an alright building and nice to be out of the sun, but it just doesn't feel right not being out in the sun for a baseball game.  Also, because of the dome they have to use fake grass, and as you can tell from the picture it looks a bit too bright and plain, also there's barely any clay in that diamond, very strange.

Now, I'm by no means a baseball fan, but I had heard a lot of great things about Japanese baseball, notably that the fans are second to none and they are very enthusiastic.  And this is absolutely true.  Whenever their team is up to bat, the fans are constantly singing and chanting, led by a guy with a big loud drum, rhythmically banging together small plastic bats.  There's even a specific song for each player that comes up to bat.  When the away team is up to bat the home crowd stays almost entirely quiet, except for the fans that traveled for the game who are doing their own songs (Chibas crowd even had two trumpets to go along with their songs, it was amazing).

This made for a really great afternoon at the ballpark.  There were homeruns, close plays, and a comeback from the Dragons.  The Dragons ended up winning the game by 1 run, so everyone had a happy subway ride home.

I edited together some video I took at the game, hopefully it gives a good idea what the game was like.