FanPost

My Japan Experience


Hi all! I just got back from my trip to Japan to see the A's and M's and wanted to share my baseball experience with you. This was the first trip to Japan for both myself and my fiance Liz, so we spent most of the time touring around Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Since we planned this trip to be both about seeing the country as well as baseball, we skipped the exhibition games and only went to the two MLB games on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Japanese people were extremely friendly and made our experience very enjoyable. We would definitely recommend a trip to Japan for anyone who's thinking about going!

The pictures I've chosen to share span across pre-game through post-game. I hope they'll give you guys an idea of what it was like to be at the games. Warning: I've chosen 25 pictures to share, so hopefully it won't overwhelm you!

First of all, even though these games were played as A's home games, let me give you an analogy that may help you to understand what it actually felt like: Think about a home A's game against the Red Sox or Yankees. Yes, about 90% of the fans were cheering for the Mariners, and around 9% of the fans were indifferent. Oh, yeah, only about 1% were cheering for the A's! There were probably an even number of Americans rooting for the A's and Mariners, yet most of the Japanese fans were wearing Mariners jerseys! More specifically, Ichiro jerseys! The place erupted in cheer every time Ichiro came to bat! But they were almost as fanatical for King Felix as well! For most of the first game, while Hernandez was pitching, the Japanese crowd was cheering for him. Every time he got two strikes on an A's batter, they would start chanting "K!" "K!" "K!" "K!" while waving around yellow signs that had a big "K" with a crown on it! So, whenever an Athletic got a hit, the entire crowd would go silent, except for the 5 A's fans (including myself) that would stand up and cheer! Once King Felix was out of the game, it got a lot quieter.

Most of these pictures are of either before or after the games. It'll give you a sense of what happened during the pre and post game ceremonies. I'm sure most of you know what a baseball game looks like, which is why I didn't include many pictures during the games.

So, without further ado, here are some pictures from the first game:

The outside of the Tokyo Dome:

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via lh5.googleusercontent.com

The display inside the stadium before the game:

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via lh6.googleusercontent.com

View of the field during batting practice:

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via lh6.googleusercontent.com

There were many of these walking around:

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via lh3.googleusercontent.com

My fiance Liz and I near our seats down the first base line (she's from Seattle, so don't hate her for wearing a Mariners jersey!):

Japan_baseball_gm1-5_medium

via lh3.googleusercontent.com

The flags hanging from the ceiling above the scoreboard:

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via lh5.googleusercontent.com

The inventors of the "Ichimeter" made their way to Japan from Seattle as well!

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via lh6.googleusercontent.com

The lineups during the opening ceremony:

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via lh6.googleusercontent.com

The opening ceremony included a tribute to people who were affected by the earthquake that happened a year ago in Japan. They told stories of three people who had either perished or are in some way helping out the victims.

Japan_baseball_gm1-9_medium

via lh5.googleusercontent.com

The people who were described in the opening ceremony got to throw out the first pitches:

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via lh5.googleusercontent.com

During pre-game warm-ups, I'm sure there was some thoughts along the lines of "You took my job!":

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via lh3.googleusercontent.com

Here's our guy throwing some warm-up pitches:

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via lh6.googleusercontent.com

I'm sure most of us are familiar with this sight:

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via lh3.googleusercontent.com

And then this result...

Japan_baseball_gm1-14_medium

via lh3.googleusercontent.com

The beer girls were very good at their jobs:

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via lh6.googleusercontent.com

The unfortunate end result of the first game:

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via lh5.googleusercontent.com

That's it for game number 1! Let's hope that game number 2 goes better!

Liz and I anticipating an A's win before the second game:

Japan_baseball_gm2-1_medium

via lh6.googleusercontent.com

The pre-game ceremony consisted of "Samurai Baseball":

Japan_baseball_gm2-2_medium

via lh5.googleusercontent.com

A slightly different lineup for this game:

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via lh5.googleusercontent.com

But a much better result!

Japan_baseball_gm2-4_medium

via lh4.googleusercontent.com

The ending score:

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via lh4.googleusercontent.com

At the end of each game, they chose players of the game and gave them awards. I'm not sure who won after the first game, since it was one of the Mariners players and I couldn't care less. After the second game, both Colon and Cespedes got awards! Cespedes got the "Most Valuable Player" award.

Japan_baseball_gm2-6_medium

via lh4.googleusercontent.com

Here are our award winners:

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via lh5.googleusercontent.com

Here's why Colon got the "Fighting Spirit Award":

Japan_baseball_gm2-7_medium

via lh4.googleusercontent.com

The crowd leaving the stadium after the game:

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via lh4.googleusercontent.com

That's it! Hope you enjoyed living vicariously through my trip!

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