Baseball in Japan: Yokohama DeNA BayStars

 A short train ride south of Tokyo brings you to Yokohama. It's a fun city to visit on its own - you could easily spend a couple days visiting the cultural sites and chowing down in Chinatown. You'll find Yokohama Stadium near Chinatown and convenient to rail (just like everything else important in Japan). I went with my coworker on a windy afternoon to catch a game. We decided to sit out in the outfield.
 It was quite warm despite the wind, but as you can see the scoreboard casts a large shadow towards right field. We took refuge in that shade.
 The outfield has some limited food items, but like Meiji Jingu Stadium, it's best to bring your own food. In fact, that might be even more important here. While the food offerings in the concourse are sufficient, there are some good food stands set up on the north side of the stadium before weekend and holiday games. And of course, further beyond is Chinatown. You could get a peking duck and bring it with you! I don't recommend that, but there are plenty of delicious options outside the park.
 Since we sat in the outfield we were pretty close to the cheering section. And since it's in the shade, lots of people sat in the outfield. Just compare the outfield to the foul territory in the picture above, and all the empty seats seen in the other pictures.
 Before the game, kids could participate in taking infield.
 The BayStars mascot is this really cute hamster thing. His name is Hossy. If you have tickets to the grandstand, you can meet him. Sadly, bleacher tickets have their own entrance and you can't get to the main concourse from the bleachers.
 Ahh, it's time for action!
 Some of the seats filled in a bit as the sun went down, but I bet if we had bought infield-area tickets we could have had our choice of seats.
 I'm not sure what's going on here with the coloring. The seats look black and orange!
 If you know anything about Japanese baseball, you have probably heard about the beer girls. Depending on the beer brand, they have different videos. This one is carrying cans of Yebisu, and Yebisu girls have a baseball uniform-style... um, uniform. Others have on bright colors and skirts. I took this picture to show you what they look like, and then to show you this:
 Notice the camera? That guy was totally into taking pictures of the beer girls. Sorry, but most of them aren't that hot. He's not taking a picture of the beer girls now. The guy in the foreground is blowing bubbles and he's taking a picture of that. Upon entering the gate, we were each given a bag containing an instant ice pack and a bottle of bubble solution. Like the balloons and umbrellas I've seen, the BayStars fans blow bubbles during the seventh inning stretch.

I have to say that while Amanda and I had an awesome time at the game, there was some college-age guy here who was sitting near me, and deliberately raised his hand to get in my photos multiple times. No. Really. I have about 20 pictures with his hand shot up into my photo. Not cool, dude. Though that reminds me of something that happened at the Swallows game I posted on yesterday: there were some Americans in attendance sitting in the same general section as me, and they started heckling the right fielders. Japanese fans do not heckle. And if you're an American visiting a Japanese stadium, you shouldn't heckle too. It just seems out of place here. It's fun when watching MLB games, hearing a group of guys mocking Barry Bonds or Bobby Abreu for striking out or making an error. But when it's just a couple stupid gaijin doing it, I feel embarassed.
It made me feel like this guy. I'm not sure what's going on here, but this big-headed angry-looking man was placed in the station closest to Yokohama Stadium, so I snapped the picture after the game.

I'll be making a return trip to Yokohama Stadium next season, and I'm going to sit in the main concourse to get more photos and check out some of the stuff I missed the first time around. So stay tuned for that! Meanwhile, I went to one more baseball game this year, and I'll report on that next!

Until then...

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