Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baseball game at Chiba Marine Stadium

Hubby and I had been to hubby’s ancestral home in Nagoya for Obon festival in mid-August. On our way to Nagoya, we first went to the Embassy of India in Tokyo where we had some personal work. The working hours at the embassy are from 9 to 11 in the morning. So we left our home on the 10th night and took an overnight bus and reached Tokyo at 6.30 am the next day. We finished our work at the embassy by 11 am and were told to return again the next day in the morning. On August 11th, we stayed overnight at a hotel in Tokyo suburbs and then proceeded to hubby’s ancestral home in the evening of August 12th. We had nothing much to do the entire evening on August 11th, and so we decided to see a baseball game at a nearby stadium.

Hubby and I went to see a professional baseball game at Chiba Marine Stadium in Chiba city. The stadium opened in 1990 and holds 30000 people. It is primarily used for baseball, and is the home field of the Chiba Lotte Marines team. On August 11th, the game was played between Chiba Lotte Marines and Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters teams. Baseball is probably the most popular sport in Japan. There are two professional baseball leagues in Japan; the Central League and the Pacific League, each consisting of six teams. Chiba Lotte Marines and Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters both belong to the Pacific League.

We had already purchased tickets for the baseball game at a convenience store in Akita. The tickets cost 4400 Yen per person. It was a night game and started at 6.30 pm. We were a bit late and reached the stadium at about 6.45 pm. On reaching the stadium, we saw that there was festive mood all around. After taking a few photos of the stadium entrance and its surroundings, we entered the stadium. The minute we entered inside the stadium, we were transported to a different world altogether.
Chiba Marine Stadium

I am standing in front of Chiba Marine Stadium

Hubby standing in front of the stadium

Bright colorful stalls near the stadium


The stadium was really big and very clean. The baseball game was already underway. It was fun to watch the game. Almost all people around our seats were Chiba Lotte Marines fans and so we decided to support the same team. In fact we both are Chunichi Dragons fans, and therefore we did not really mind supporting either of the present playing teams. We could clearly see the bullpen of both the teams where the relief pitcher or the next batter warmed up. There were many pretty beer vendor girls who went up and down the aisles carrying a keg of beer on their back and sold draught beer to the spectators. I compiled a video of the baseball field inside the stadium.
Inside the stadium

Bullpen of Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters team

Bullpen of Chiba Lotte Marines team


A compiled video of the baseball field inside the stadium


Attending a baseball game in Japan involves active participation of the spectators and fans. For me the most fun part was enjoying the highly choreographed, non-stop cheering and singing of the fans. There was a coordinated cheering that was led by cheer captains. The cheering and singing started from the beginning itself and went on continuously throughout the game. The fans of the batting team chanted, sang, and rhythmically banged plastic bats. Their synchronized roar dominated the stadium. The fans of the team in the field maintained a respectful silence that was interrupted only by a wave of applause after a good defensive play. I compiled a video of Chiba Lotte Marines fans singing and cheering their favorite batters.

A compiled a video of Chiba Lotte Marines fans singing and cheering


It was fun to watch the game also. Hubby appreciated the pitching style and technique of Shunsuke Watanabe of Chiba Lotte Marines team. I compiled a video of the pitching by the player.
A Chiba Lotte Marines pitcher

A Chiba Lotte Marines batter

Hubby enjoying the game


A compiled video of a Chiba Lotte Marines player pitching


In between the game, hubby went to the food corner of the stadium and bought a bowl of rice, yakitori, a bowl of motsuni (boiled pork or beef offal with vegetables and spices), a glass of beer, and cold drink. It was fun to have food snacks and enjoy the game. Midway of the game, there was an amazing fireworks show for about 1.5 minutes that all the spectators enjoyed. I compiled a video of the fireworks show.
Our snack

Hubby enjoying a glass of beer


A compiled a video of the fireworks show


Soon it was completely dark and it was fun to watch the game under the floodlights. Near us, we saw a crew member of a television network recording the game. At the beginning of the seventh inning, white colored balloons started appearing in the hands of Chiba Lotte Marines fans throughout the stadium. At the bottom of the seventh inning, cheerleaders danced and a song of Chiba Lotte Marines team was sung. After the singing was done, the fans released their balloons in unison and each balloon whistling up into the sky. It was an amazing and unbelievable spectacle. The empty balloons soon fell back to the earth. I compiled a video of the balloon launching.
Baseball fans

Baseball game going on under the floodlights

A beer girl

A crew member of a television network


A compiled a video of the balloon launching


As the game neared the end, the fans got more and more excited and cheered loudly for their favorite team. The fans have an immense love for their team and an endless reserve of energy. That day Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters team won the game and we listened to the hero interview of the Nippon-Ham team player. The game was over by 9.30 pm.
Hero interview


It was really enjoyable seeing the baseball game at Chiba Marine Stadium. We had lot of fun that day.

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