Following our night time Yokohama walkabout, my brother Ryan and I found ourselves spending the first day on our own in Japan by taking a trip out to Bunkyo, Tokyo, in order to visit Tokyo Dome City, home of The Big Egg, otherwise known as Tokyo Dome!
Home of the Yomiuri Giants (the oldest baseball team among the current Japanese professional teams), Tokyo Dome is a 55,000-seat baseball stadium that first opened back in 1988. It is recognised as the world’s largest roofed baseball stadium.
Its original nickname is The Big Egg, stemming from the fact that thanks to its unique dome-shaped roof, it well… looks a bit like an egg. The roof itself is pretty interesting. It is an air-supported structure, with the flexible membrane covering being held up by a slight pressurization on the inside of the stadium.
Tokyo Dome forms part of what is known as Tokyo Dome City, an entertainment complex built on the grounds of the former Tokyo Koishikawa arsenal.
It features a number of other attractions, including a hotel, multiple sports arenas, the Japanese baseball hall of fame museum, spa, shopping center, amusement park (which is home to Big O, the world’s largest centreless Ferris wheel, and Thunder Dolphin, Tokyo’s largest roller coaster – that just happens to pass right through the center of aforementioned wheel!), video game centers, and the largest JRA WINS horse race betting complex in Tokyo.
We were of course the most interested in the baseball aspect of the complex, and as such spent plenty of time browsing through the baseball curio shops, with Ryan picking out a few nice items to bring back home with him.
And of course, as is Ryan’s international travel custom, out came the stuffed pig for a photo op:
Actually, the pig makes a pretty good model truth be told.
True, it doesn’t pay heed to any of the instructions that you might give, but generally it stays nice and still, holding pose for as long as you need it to.
Sadly, there weren’t any baseball games being played on the day that we were there, so instead of going inside the actual stadium, we ended up being lured away by the colourful LaQua building across the bridge…