Baseball and the Male Cheerleaders

Just up the road from Ashiya is Koshien (2 stops on an express train to be precise, about 10 minutes), and Koshien is the home of the Hanshin Tigers one of the big baseball teams in Japan ( I say big, they one a few years ago, but are generally not to hot apparently).
Seeing as it`s on my doorstep, I thought I might try and get into baseball.

Coming from England, we don`t do baseball. We used to play rounders as kids, which is the English version of it, with a smaller bat, tennis ball and less rules, but never seen baseball before.

Twice a year, there`s a national highschool competition, and just so happened the first one was last week. We went up there on my day off, and bought us some tickets…an absolute bargain at 500Yen! (about £2.50), and this allows you to sit there all day if you want (they have 3 or 4 matches a day).

Koshien Baseball Crowd

Koshien Baseball Crowd

Highschool Baseball at Koshien

Highschool Baseball at Koshien

Surprisingly exciting! Despite, the number of times the batter misses far outweighs the hits, and if he does hit, it usually goes behind or out of bounds (so doesn`t count).
Great fun, mainly because the crowd really gets into it, singing songs and dancing.

The 2nd game we saw, was Waseda school from Tokyo (they gave us some inflatable batons to bang along with, which was nice), versus someone else (they were on the other side of the stadium so we didn`t care about them!).

The strange thing about Japan, and baseball (and maybe other sports), is that they have cheerleaders…but the main ones are male! Of course there were cute girls in the usual cheerleading outfits, but there were also these angry looking men in military type uniform who did lots of shouting and bizarre martial arts looking chops, and jumps.

Male Cheerleader

Male Cheerleader

Japanese Highschool Chererleader

Japanese Highschool Chererleader

Cheerleader Leader

Cheerleader Leader


Bizarre, but great fun to watch. You can also buy a game for the Nintendo DS where you “cheerlead” people through problems (exam revision, cooking soba, etc.) by dancing along to different tunes. Only in Japan, but good fun.

We watched the baseball for about 2 hours, but despite being sunny and clear there was a sharp wind, so we left and got some okonomiyaki from a fantastic restaurant near Ashiya. Never tasted cabbage like it


Comments (1)

A Very Pleasant Friday | Balloon Shapes By CopsDecember 28th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

[…] to me, and let me sit next to the cheerleaders (who were girls this time – see last year for the male cheerleaders). Highschool Baseball at Koshien It was a good game, and quite exciting (believe it or not!) We […]

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