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Complete Guide to 2024 Japan Baseball: Game Schedule, Tickets, and More

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Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Japan. There are plenty of things to see in addition to the games. Check out the teams and schedules, and be sure to check out a game at the stadium when you visit Japan.

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Baseball in Japan 

Following the success of the World Baseball Classic in 2023, baseball in Japan is becoming increasingly popular both in Japan and overseas.

When we talk to foreign tourists who have actually attended matches, we often hear them say that in addition to the content of the game, they were also attracted to the atmosphere of the stadium, the support of the fans, and the stadium's food, and that it was "the highlight of their trip."

This article provides information on how to enjoy Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) while traveling in Japan.

Annual Schedule of Japanese Professional Baseball (NPB)

The preseason begins in late February, and the regular season begins in late March, with heated battles continuing until October . If it fits into your travel schedule, it might be a good idea to have a unique experience at the stadium.

Check the 2024 professional baseball schedule

How to Buy Tickets 

Japan Sports Ticket will suggest matches that fit your schedule based on the match schedule and your desired area, and reserve seats in your desired seating area. For particularly popular matches, it can be difficult to secure seats where multiple people can sit together, so be sure to reserve your tickets as soon as they go on sale.

Request Tickets at Japan Sports Ticket

2023 Game Results

There are a total of 12 teams in Japanese professional baseball, competing for the championship in two leagues, the Central League and the Pacific League. Here are the final results of the 2023 regular season and a list of each team.

2023 Regular Season Results

In the 2023 season, two teams based in the Osaka area, the Hanshin Tigers and the Orix Buffaloes , won the league with overwhelming force.

2023 Playoff/Postseason Results

The 2023 postseason will be the "Osaka Derby," in which two Osaka teams will advance to the Japan Series, and it will be one of the most exciting events in recent years. The game was a fierce battle in which the outcome was not decided until the final seventh game, and the Hanshin Tigers won the Japan Series for the first time in 38 years.

Major Baseball Venues in Japan

1. Tokyo Dome

Tokyo Dome is the home stadium of the Japanese professional baseball team, the Yomiuri Giants, where you can enjoy games all year round. You can enjoy watching the games with the latest equipment and comfortable seats, and there are plenty of shopping and dining spots in the surrounding area. It is a multi-purpose entertainment facility where concerts and events are held in addition to games.

2. Kyocera Dome Osaka 

Kyocera Dome Osaka is the home stadium of the Orix Buffaloes, located in Osaka. With modern facilities and spacious seats, you can watch professional baseball games in comfort. It is also easily accessible from popular tourist spots such as Umeda, Dotonbori, and Universal Studios Japan.

How to Enjoy Baseball Matches in Japan 

In Japanese professional baseball, in addition to the games themselves, there are many other ways to enjoy the game, such as cheering on the team and eating delicious food.

As guests of Japan Sports Ticket, we will introduce the highlights recommended by people who have actually watched the game.

1. Fan's Chanting

In Japanese professional baseball, fans enjoy the game by singing cheering songs almost without a break and encouraging their team with megaphones and applause. There are many different types of songs, such as team songs, songs for each player, songs for when the team is losing, and songs for when the team is winning, and there is a sense of unity in particular when fans sing songs led by the cheering squad.

This seems to leave an impression on many spectators as a big difference from MLB. One of the guests from Japan Sports Ticket commented, "I wasn't particularly interested in baseball itself, but there was always cheering, so I never got bored."

If you're going to watch baseball at the stadium, you might enjoy it even more if you do a little preparation beforehand on YouTube or elsewhere.

2. Stadium Gourmet

At Japanese sporting events, you can enjoy many unique meals both inside and outside the stadium. You can enjoy a variety of foods, including local specialties, dishes named after home team players, and stadium-exclusive dishes. Many guests arrive at the stadium more than an hour before the game to carefully consider what they want to eat. Spending time that way can be fun, too.

3. Beer Vendors

Also, at baseball stadiums, vendors called "ubishiko" (saleswomen) will come close to your seat carrying beer and other items.

Here too, each stadium has its own characteristics, selling not only various brands of beer, but also highballs, sake, ice cream, and in some stadiums even green tea.

For Baseball Experts! The History of Baseball in Japan

Baseball was first introduced to Japan by an American teacher in 1872. It then spread among universities, and there are records of games being played between Japanese universities around 1900.

The first National High School Baseball Championship was held in 1915.

Japan's professional baseball league was established in 1936 and is said to have initially had seven teams. It has been 160 years since baseball was first introduced to Japan, and over 80 years since professional baseball began.

Koshien: High School Baseball Championship

Currently, the highest level of baseball in Japan is professional baseball, the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball), but high school baseball is just as popular. National tournaments are held in spring and summer at Koshien Stadium (the home stadium of the Hanshin Tigers), and each tournament attracts a great deal of attention.

Recently, college baseball and independent leagues (leagues that are just before professional baseball) have become more active, and these leagues are attracting more attention as they produce many professional baseball players every year.

Enjoy Baseball Matches While in Japan!

The appeal of Japanese tourism is not just its traditional culture, architecture and food. More and more tourists are also including sports in their plans. Baseball is a prime example of this. Why not try to include watching a Japanese baseball game as part of your schedule?

Find games for the 2024 season

Written by

After COVID, the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan has increased very much. Also it became more common to see them at sports stadiums. What we heard from them is the difficulty of purchasing tickets. Match information, ticket information, how to buy, procedures for getting tickets (language, payment, Japanese address and phone number required)...etc People often gave up halfway through because of the difficulty of the process. "Japan Sports Ticket" supports the tourists to visit the Japanese local sports games, hope the tourist enjoy a unique and unforgettable Japan trip!!

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