Watching Osaka Baseball Team Hanshin Tigers: An Easy Guide to Enjoying Japan's Most Popular Spor
TICKET COST: JPY 2,200 (Cheapest Ticket). Please ask us if you require help to make a booking.
When we arrived in Japan nearly 11 months ago now, we arrived in Sapporo and travelled to a small ski resort in Hokkaido. At that time, Hokkaido Fighters (the local Sapporo based team) were playing in the climax series to clinch the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) League title. One of our housemates from Sapporo, spent a lot of her time watching and cheering them on from the front room.
Apart from this brief introduction to Japanese baseball, I had no idea that this was one of the most popular sports across the nation. Japanese baseball is in fact so popular that many Japanese fans are surprised to hear that American’s also consider it their National Sport.
Now, 11 months wiser on Japanese modern day culture, we were long overdue a trip to watch our first Japanese baseball game…
The Hanshin Tigers flag flies high in the wind over the Koshien stadium. Photo: James Rodgers
From the moment we stepped off the train it was clear how popular the sport is. We arrived very early so that we could collect the tickets we had bought online, but the stadium and the area surrounding it was already flooded with fans getting ready for the game. The ticket attendants are really helpful and speak English so the process of getting tickets was easily sorted.
The area surrounding the stadium a full 2 hours before the game was scheduled to begin.
Photo: James Rodgers
Getting Food and Drinks for the Match
We were able to use our extra time before the game started well as we made a trip to the local supermarket to stock up on some snacks and drinks before heading into the game. In Japan, unlike other nations in the world, you are able to bring your own food and drink into the game, only can’s and bottles must be discarded at the gates and your drinks will be poured into paper cups by the attendants.
If you do not get chance to buy your own drinks though, don’t fret as there are plenty of places to get food and drinks inside the stadium.
Lishan enjoys her drink that she brought in as we prepare for the game. Photo: James Rodgers.
We enjoyed some good prematch entertainment from the Hanshin Tiger cheerleaders and the Tiger Mascots.
Photos: James Rodgers
Then we were ready for the main event. The game was exciting with good play from both teams, but the most outstanding aspect of the match was undoubtedly the fans. Both teams fans were incredibly passionate, loud, and supportive. There was no lack of support from either side, even when players made mistakes, this is unlike any sporting crowd I have seen before.
Hanshin Tigers fan shows his support as his team prepare to come out and bat for the win.
Photo: James Rodgers
Yomiuri Giants fans celebrate their teams first point of the game by whirling their scarfs in the air. Photo: James Rodgers
How to Get Your Tickets
When you visit Osaka and stay at Hostel Hyaku, we encourage you to go and see a game if you can. You are bound to have a good time, whether Hanshin Tigers lose or win, and it is a really good insight into a part of modern day Japanese culture and something they hold very close to their hearts.
The tickets are actually very cheap, and the stadium is very easily and cheaply reached from the Hostel. As you are able to bring your own food and drinks into the stadium as well the cost of the whole experience is in it’s total very low indeed.
The ticket’s can be bought online, please see this English webpage for advice on how to buy http://www.hanshin.co.jp/koshien/global/en/ticket/. If you are still unsure, please talk to any member of Hostel Hyaku staff and we will be able to help you to buy a ticket. Enjoy the game, and GO TIGERS!
Words by James Rodgers
The sunset just behind the stadium was incredible and painted the sky red above the mountains, framed nicely by the floodlights of the game and the faithful Hanshin Tiger supporters.
Photo: James Rodgers
[Ticket] 2,200 JPY for Left Outfield seats
[Access] Train fare from Namba to Koshien Stadium: 360 JPY one-way
The train to take is from Osaka-Namba station on the Hanshin line to Koshien stadium. Osaka-Namba is around a 15 minute walk from Hostel Hyaku, once you reach the Koshien stadium station please follow the signs for the baseball stadium exit and once you are outside the stadium please make your way to the stadium. One of the attendants will help you to collect your tickets and will explain to you which gate to enter the stadium via.
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