Monday, September 7, 2009


If I had my way, I would write every hour about all of my experiences in Japan. The acts of eating, sleeping, traveling and actually having those experiences prevent me from doing that. So, I'm stealing moments when I can to write. I'll have to go back and update everything more thoroughly, but here's an update on my JapanBall 2009 tour thus far.

Saturday, September 5
Shinkansen to Kyoto, Game in Kobe
Another game (Chiba Lotte Marines vs Orix Buffaloes at Skymark Stadium), more extra innings (10, but with Chiba prevailing). Outdoor stadium, 90-degree heat, sitting in direct sunlight. But we made friends with a Buffaloes fan who bought us custard cakes.

Skymark Stadium in Kobe, where the Orix Buffaloes play a few - but not all - of their home games.

A fan tries to beat the heat on a scorching hot day at Skymark Stadium.

Sunday, September 6
Shinkansen to Hiroshima, Game at the new Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium
My new favorite ballpark ever. Great atmosphere, best food. The Hanshin Tigers beat the host Hiroshima Toyo Carp, but it was the best game I've seen on this trip.

Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium opened this year. It's the Citi Field of Japan. But with better food.

Domo Kun loves edamame and takoyaki at Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium in Hiroshima.

The mountains frame the scoreboard at Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium, adding to the lovely atmosphere.

Monday, September 7
No games, power sightseeing tour of Iwakuni, Miyajima and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Leaving the big city behind, the JapanBallers visited the countryside. Nothing like a day of bridges, torii and a history lesson.

Kintai Bridge at Iwakuni

The torii at Miyajima

Gen Baku Dome (or A-bomb Dome) near the hypocenter of the dropping of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima

The monument that covers the cenotaph which contains the names of deceased A-bomb victims at Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park

Monday Night, September 7
Group dinner, karaoke
JapanBall reserved a room for us at Gyu Kaku, and we feasted on seemingly endless platters of meat. We had a couple of veggies, too. And beer.
The singing is the highlight of this journey through Japan.

Grilling meat at Gyu Kaku in Hiroshima

Dave and Dan (my newly adopted sons) sing a Beatles medley during our karaoke extravaganza.

Now (Tuesday, September 8)
Going back to Tokyo, hope Yu Darvish is pitching tonight

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