Baseball is the most popular sport in Japan. It has been 20 years since the inception of a professional soccer league in Japan, and professional baseball has been around for even longer, more than 90 years, making it the national sport of Japan. At present there are a total of 12 teams based in various parts of Japan across two leagues, and 144 games are played from April to October.
The most unique team amongst the 12 teams is the Hanshin Tigers, who call Koshien Stadium home (Koshien Station is 15 minutes from Umeda Station on the Osaka Hanshin Line). What makes this team unique? The enthusiastic fans and their style of supporting. While U.S. Major League Baseball fans show their support by sitting and watching the game closely, Japanese fans, and Tigers fans in particular, really get involved in supporting their team. Their supporting style can even be considered entertainment.
At the bottom of the 7th inning in Tigers’ home games at Koshien Stadium, the spectators take out balloons and attack, launching them to the sky in unison along with the music. Don’t worry, the balloons will always make an appearance, no matter how much the Tigers are losing by. This heated atmosphere is quite unique, so it’s worth seeing a Tigers game at Koshien Stadium if you’re in Osaka.
Hanshin Tigers Baseball Game