Having already enjoyed a jam-packed day in Tokyo that saw us wander around Zojoji temple, view Tokyo from above via the iconic Tokyo Tower, and stand in the shadow of a giant Gundam in front of DiverCity, we scurried back back to Yokohama to make it back in time for our evening date – a Japanese league baseball game between the Chunichi Dragons and home team, the Yokohama DeNA BayStars!
The circular-shaped, American-styled stadium was opened in 1978 and can seat 30,000 spectators. In addition to being the home ground for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars (it’s primary function), this multi-purpose stadium has also been used in the past to host sports like American football, as well as a number of large musical concerts – including the likes of Madonna, Michael Jackson and even Tina Turner performances.
As it turned out, this was actually the final game of the season, which meant a good fan turn out and a pretty decent game to boot (though if you’ve ever watched professional baseball before, you’ll know that sometimes it can be a bit on the boring side – which I guess is why they have such entertaining mascots – go DB,Rider! – and dancing girls!)
Japanese sports fans are extremely well mannered just by the way, meaning that you only shout when your team is up to bat, after which you give the opposing side fans a chance. No such thing as booing your opponents!
A particularly cool gimmick was these weird balloons that the BayStars fans let go during one of the breaks. Shaped a bit like sperm, the balloons make a whistling noise when let up in the air, making for quite a colourful sight/sound experience.
Sadly for our home team though, the cheering wasn’t enough and the Yokohama DeNA BayStars had to finish off the season with a crushing 4-1 defeat to the Dragons – a sad blow for DB.Rider and co.!
However, this being the end of the season meant that we were in for quite a treat.
After a live speech from the coach to the fans, an awesome season wrap-up film was shown on the big screen, followed by the team doing a lap around the stadium to thank the fans – during which the stadium was illuminated with nothing but the spectators’ cellphone LED lights!
And of course, what is a season ending game without a spectacular show of fireworks? :)
All in all, an absolutely brilliant way to spend our seconding evening here in Japan!