Breaking News
More () »

Baseball is bigger than even sumo wrestling in Japan

During the Olympics sports fans in Japan will be sure to watch baseball which has become that counties National pastime.

TOKYO, Japan — Baseball might be America’s pastime but in Japan, it’s become a way of life that packs stadiums with a festival-type experience more like something you might see at a college football game.

And when it comes to places to watch baseball, the Tokyo Dome and the Tokyo Giants are one of the most popular.

In the days before the pandemic if you wanted to hang out with a lot of people you would see Giants play and CEO Tsukasa Imamura says that team is a lot like the New York Yankees.

“Just like kids in New York want to wear the pinstripe uniform, children all over Japan want to wear the Giants' uniform,” said Imamura.

Credit: 9News

Fans love the Giants, a team that was founded in 1943 that these days has become bigger than sumo wrestling in Japan.

RELATED: What to expect from an Olympic Opening Ceremony during a pandemic

Fans fill the seats of the Tokyo Dome cheering, singing, and waving flags. Similar sights can be seen in cities all over Japan.

“We have very passionate fans that are based in regions,” said Imamura. “There is Tokyo. There is Nagoya. There is Osaka. There is Hiroshima, those fans are in love with their team and I think that is amazing," said Imamura.

Credit: 9News

At the game, you can forget hot dogs and peanuts with most options coming down to Ramen noodles, seafood, or a Bento Box with a picture of your favorite player on it.

Credit: 9News

The game on the field is very similar to the game being played in Major League Baseball but after that, the experience is very different with cheerleaders on the field.

Credit: 9News

They also have places where you can sit on the field called excite seats where fans are given helmets and gloves just in case they need to catch a ball.

RELATED: Check out the play at the plate that helped US softball beat Canada 1-0

"So you have to have hard hats and gloves on the seats so you can catch the ball, “ said Imamura. “These seats sell out first and the fan is part of the game.”

Credit: 9News

> Top stories curated daily just for you! Sign up for the 9NEWSLETTER to get can’t-miss stories, Next and Broncos content, weather and more delivered right to your inbox.



Subscribe to our daily 9NEWSLETTER

Download the 9NEWS APP
iTunes: http://on9news.tv/itunes
Google Play: http://on9news.tv/1lWnC5n 


ROKU: add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KUSA.

For both Apple TV and Fire TV, search for "9news" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.