Though I am a die hard San Francisco fan (Go Giants!), I can enjoy America’s pastime anywhere I can get it, and in this case, it happened to be in Fukuoka Japan. Japan has had baseball fever for over 80 years now, and currently 12 teams play in the Nippon Professional Baseball League.
The Yahoo! Dome in Fukuoka houses the Softbank Hawks as well as thousands of screaming Japanese fans from the rays of the tropical sun. After purchasing standing room only tickets, my boyfriend Steve and I proceeded into the massive structure. shouts and jeers accosted our ears, same as any U.S. baseball game. The only immediate difference was tha blatant lack of hot dogs—in my opinion, the most popular baseball snack of all time. But what the stadium lacked in terms of franks, it made up for in terms of bento boxes, the Japanese go to of all-occasion culinary delights.
Though we couldn’t understand a word, the three strikes you’re out, double play, home run excitement translated itself, and we were cheering with glee along with the rest of the Hawks fans. “Where are you from?,” an elderly Japanese man asked. “I;m from England and she’s from the U.S.,” Steve said. The man smiled. “I’m from Japan,” he stated, a glint in his weathered eyes. Our new friend bought us a snowcone, and though we could barely speak the same language, our mutual love of baseball allowed us to communicate.
Baseball may be considered America’s pastime, but Japan may well give it a run for its money.