Baseball games in Japan are more than fun, they're a cultural experience – and the Hanshin Tigers are the pinnacle.
Based in Koshien, the Tigers’ stadium opened in 1924 and is one of the oldest parks in the country. The proud fan base supports their home team fanatically through an organized mix of music, banners and chants. For example, each player has their own song that's sung repeatedly while they’re at bat.
The highlight is the seventh inning, when everyone releases a long, brightly colored whistle balloon into the sky. The balloons are available for purchase from one of the many vending stalls, but I recommend getting them before the game – they sell out fast.
A great thing about seeing a game in Japan is that you don’t have to leave your seat. The small army of vendors parade around the stands constantly, hawking everything from $9.00 draft beer to $5.00 ice cream. Game tickets start at $15.00.
Koshien Stadium is accessible via the Hanshin train line; a 13-minute ride from Osaka Station is $2.60.