by Julia Salem
You gaze down at the commotion below, watching with anticipation as a small white object sails towards a man in uniform. Your fists clench as he moves the object that he’s carrying back, only to bring it forward with mesmerizing force. The object he was holding makes contact with what was flying towards him. Suddenly, he takes off in a run, the crowd around cheers wildly.
You are at a baseball game at the Tokyo Dome. The Tokyo Dome is considered to be a large tourist site in Japan. Construction of the Dome began on May 16, 1985, and ended on March 17, 1988. Located in Bunkyo, Japan, the Dome has an area of 3-acres, and holds up to 55,000 people. The Dome holds over 60 baseball games per year, along with other events such as concerts, football (American and European) and pro-wrestling matches. It is also the official home of the Yomiuri Giants. Although they bear the similar colors (orange, black and white) and font for the team logo, they are not to be confused with their American counterparts, the San Francisco Giants.
The Yomiuri Giants is the official baseball team of Japan. They are owned by a company called the Yomiuri group. The team was founded in 1934, and is the oldest professional baseball team in Japan. The Yomiuri Giants have won 22 Japan Series Championships. Aaron Poreda, who was once a player for the Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers, is currently playing for the Yomiuri Giants. Scott Matthieson, a former player for the Philadelphia Phillies, is also currently playing for the Yomiuri Giants, as well. This is what Poreda had to say when talking about his own experiences while playing with the Yomiuri Giants, “My fastball was really live….I got a lot of swings and misses, which was really good, because Japanese hitters don’t swing and miss that much.”
There are many other fun places to visit at the dome. Located on the fourth floor is a shop where fans and tourists can purchase Yomiuri Giant merchandise. The dome is also the location of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, open in March to September and October to February.
If you’re a sports fan, or if you’re just in Japan and you want a new attraction to visit, Tokyo Dome may just be up your alley.