Sunday, October 05, 2008

10/5/08 A Baseball Game, Finally!

I finally got to see a baseball game in Japan. My friend Kazu invited us to a match in Yokohama, which is south of Tokyo and takes almost three hours to reach by train. The home team is called the Yokohama Baystars, but Kazu loves the Hiroshima Carp, hence the slightly distant venue. I would still like to check out the Tokyo Dome where the Giants play one of these days.

Unfortunately for my friend, the Carp ended up getting their faces stomped 14 to 5. He wasn't very happy.

What should I mention? First of all, the field was a bit different. In addition to everything being much smaller than I am used to, everything was artificial. The grass was all AstroTurf, and the diamond looked artificial as well. Only a small patch around the bases was even dirt, I assume to allow players to slide.

There were people walking up and down the isles selling beer just like in the US. They sold beer Japanese style, though. They would just walk around and do a little wave, rather than yelling "BEER!" at the top of their lungs all day.

I felt that it was absolutely necessary to have a hotdog. Everything was there, the meat, the bun, ketchup & mustard, but wow, they sure don't taste like they do at home. The mustard that is often available in Japan is interesting. It has lots of little mustard seeds mixed into it which gives it a nice texture, and it contains some wasabi for an added kick. Not bad.

The fans in the outfield were divided according to what team they supported. I was impressed by the number of Carp fans present. They were close to equal the number of home team fans, despite being based on the opposite end of the country. Die hard, I guess.

Speaking of die hard, the fans exhibited more of the ultra organized cheering that I have come to love. They had a small band and several little cheer routines, bearing some resemblance to the fans at the soccer game.

Here is a tiny bit of a kind of two layered wave type cheer.

We had several hours of free time before we needed to catch our train home, so we did a bit of walking around. Yokohama has a vibrant Chinatown, and I had a good appetite, so it worked out pretty well.

I am a big fan of Chinatowns in general. They are always so colorful and bustling.

This display bowl of plastic soup even had a spoon suspended from it. Next there will be plastic hands holding forks.

It was a very satisfying day.

Here are a couple of fake news clips that I thought were funny. Enjoy.

Is our wealth hurting Africa's feelings?

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