I had a chance to go to Koshien baseball stadium in Osaka again. One of my friends was planning to see some high school baseball and clued me in.
I’ll get higher quality pictures of this event up in the “Bad Pictures” section of this site soon…
This high school baseball event in Japan happens twice per year I hear. Every year the best high school baseball teams go down to Koshien stadium for a playoff type thing. Apparently there are scouts watching the games as well looking for up and coming players. The energy during the games rivals even that of the big leagues. The games were one after another. One day 4 games. The tickets are cheap, something around 550 yen.
Before the game the players go out to the field, bow to each other, and then they run back to the fence and bow to their fans. Maybe you saw scenes like this in old movie, “Mr. Baseball”.
During the game vendors are selling all kindsa stuff. Kakigouri, frozen drinks, popcorn, fried chicken, and the Osaka Koshien specialty, Kachiwari. Kachiwari is best described as, “traditional-Japanese-Kansai-style-can-only-buy-it-at-kohsien-meibutsu-crushed-ice.” Literally, kachiwari refers to the way that the ice is randomly smashed up. They put the ice into a plastic bag and sell it for 200yen (approx $2 US). That’s expensive ice.
Because it was the specialty my friend bought some and we ate it. It was just ice. Tasted like it too. ただの氷じゃん！！！
During Japanese baseball games as you have probably heard, the crowd does all kinds of synchronized chants while their team is batting, or, on the attack, as they say. Here is a sign board explaining one of them.
These games are very very serious for the kids though. If you can imagine, these are high school kids getting a chance to play in one of the best baseball stadiums in the country. Add onto that a little bit of Japanese pride, and after the game, there are always tears from the losing team.
I didn’t know where to stick this. In the summer in Japan giant locusts are every-freakin-where. Even on the back of this kids shirt. Gross.
I hardly even watched baseball back in the states, but since I moved to Kansai I have had many opportunities to go down to Koshien I just can’t pass it up. If anyone is going to be in the Kansai area during a Hanshin Tigers game or something, I highly recommend taking the time to check it out. Baseball is more Japanese than even sushi!