March 30, 2008

Hanshin Tigers Game

Today we went to opening weekend of the Japanese League baseball season to see the Hanshin Tigers take on the Yokohama Bay Stars at the Osaka Kyocera Dome. This was our second Japanese baseball game, but our first regular season game and our first Hanshin Tigers game. (They are the most popular team in this area by far. For a good local website about the team, check this out) The Dome was packed to the gills and busting with energy.

The Tigers won 7-0 behind a pair of 2 out 2 RBI base hits from their first baseman Arai (A-RA-EE! A-RA-EE!). (Mike thought long and hard about buying a jersey, but decided to do some more research into the players first). The most popular player, based on looking at the jerseys, appeared to be their power-hitting left fielder, Tomoaki Kanemoto (gam-BATTAY KA-NE-MOTO!) Their closer, Fujikawa, is also very popular (but didn't pitch in today's blow-out win.)

The non-stop cheering with music and drums and thunder-sticks pounding to the beat during the home teams at bats really make the games super-fun. And our neighbors were good enough to give Jacob and Lauren balloons to blow up for the big 7th inning stretch balloon release (no idea. what this is all about, but its fun! Everyone in the stadium blows up a long colored balloon. A song is then played. At the end of the song, all the balloons are released at once, and the stadium is filled with long balloons flying through the air. Check out our video of this below!)

As it turns out it was a rainy day here, so it was lucky for us that today's game was in a dome (the Tigers usual stadium, Koshien Stadium, is being used for a Japanese High School Tournament).

Back at home, for dinner, we had a home-cooked meal of Miso Soup, Rice ,Tuna with our special reduction, and Bok Choy (preceded by some terrific supermarket sushi and sashimi for the adults and dumplings for the kids). But the best food item of the weekend may have been these flavored Belgian Waffles that Ilena and Lauren discovered in Sannomiya Station. (Good thing for us that the Kansai region is known for its sweets and baked goods!)


Colleen said...

Hi Guys!

Just stopping in to say hi! I'm happy to see that you guys are having an awesome time in Japan, although I do miss our Fridays together :(. I just read your recent blog about the sweet waffles and wanted to let you know that there is a new place on South Orange Ave. (Conveniently located next to Dunkin Donuts) called Bonte which from the picture looks like the same idea, you'll have to try it once your back! Miss you and glad to hear your enjoying Japan.

love, colleen

Sara said...

Hello - this is Sara from the sarainjapan blog! Your blog is great! It's nice to get some new ideas on what to see and do.
So you're heading to Himeji this weekend? I'm sure you know that this Saturday is the cherry blossom festival on the castle grounds, so it's a great weekend to visit! There will be taiko drumming and koto performances, and lots of hanami parties. I think the festivies are scheduled between 10 and 4.
I can't anything else unique to do in Himeji except for the castle, garden, and Mt Shosha. But you might want to check out my friend's blog. They are also Americans living here in Himeji and they have two young kids (2 and 4 1/2 years old) so they might have some kid-friendly ideas for you -
Enjoy hanami, and if you see a big group of Americans and Australians at the festival, stop by and say hi!

Lisa said...

Sounds like so much fun!
Everyone is looking great!
We'll webcam soon!
love to all!
I can't wait to visit!!!

argee aka rona said...

hello from the west:
love the blog; especially the balloons, looks like fun. hope you are enjoying your experiences as well as matthew's visit. thinking of you often. love, rona