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Yakult Swallows Baseball Game

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Another Yakaturi Restaurant

We had our hotel concierge call to reserve us tickets fot a Yakult Swallows baseball game tonight.    Doug and Dave are big Yankee fans, while Lee and I are Red Sox fans...so there was lots of good natured ribbing between us throughout the trip.  Since both teams feature Japanese stars, the Yankee-Red Sox series was televised here (all games won by the Sox, thank you!)  and we got to watch early in the morning thanks to the time difference.   We wanted to check out a Japanese baseball game while we were here, but the famous Tokyo Giants were on the road...so that left us with the Swallows!    Our concierge told us after her call that reserving tickets was not necessary...there would be plenty of seats available.

good eats!
    It was only 2 subway stops away, so we figured we'd have dinner, then head over to the stadium.

We were planning on having Tempura for dinner, and the concierge told us that the hotel restaurant was actually less expensive than two other restaurants that had been recommended , so we decided to check it out.   We got there a few minutes before they opened at 5:00 pm, and saw the menu posted on the door. The prices were still pretty high! And this was the least expensive tempura place around??   I remember reading in the guide books that the restaurants in the hotel are 5 times more expensive than the ones just down the street...so we decided to walk around and find a place.   We were about to walk into a restaurant that looked halfway decent, when Dave noticed a doorway with a stairwell going down, and on the wall was a poster of.

Yakult Swallows game
..  Yakaturi!  More meat on skewers!  Well, why not stick with what we already know is good.  We scrambled down the stairs and grabbed a table.    No one there spoke English, but they had a menu in English, so we were able to pick and point.   Some things we recognised, some we didn't...but all looked good!  We ordered a few of everything, including some new things to try...like Shitake mushrooms, wrapped yams, a yam and cheese bowl,  even bacon wrapped garlic! Delicious!  We went through it all quickly, and washed it all down with Kirin beer. 

After dinner, we hopped the subway and rode the 2 stops to the stadium.  We had to walk 3 blocks to get there, and we were surprised to see it was an open air stadium!  Our concierge had told us it was a dome stadium, so none of us were wearing anything heavier than a sweatshirt.

Former NY Yankee Aaron Guiel played right field
..and it was shaping up to be a chilly, windy night.  Either it was the language barrier, or she had just never been there...but it was definately not a dome!  We arrived 5 minutes before gametime, and there were still plenty of good seats available.  In fact, we were able to get front row seats in the right field  stands.  Dave noticed right away that Aaron Guiel was playing right field...he knew him because he had recently played for the NY Yankees!  Doug and Dave started talking to him, and Lee, (an ardent Red Sox fan) started heckling him.   To our surprise, he turned and started talking to us!  That usually doesn't happen at the major league level, but I think he was surprised and happy to see guys that knew him, in the stands.
The swallows choked! Lost 14-1
  He  told us he had just recently signed a multi-year contract to play for the Swallows, and was still adjusting to playing and living in Japan. 

The stands were barely half full, and the swallows got trounced right away.  The opposing team scored 6 times in the first inning alone!   I can see why the stands are almost empty...they stink!   We kept talking to Aaron between innings, especially Dave.  Halfway through the game he tossed us a ball, which Dave was thrilled to catch.  I think Aaron was just impressed to find people in the stands who actually knew him from back home...he admitted to being a little homesick.   We toyed with the idea of inviting him to go out for a beer with us after the game, but it was too cold- and the game too much a blowout- for us to stay til the end.

It was fun...but cold!
 

The fans that were there, were very vocal...for both sides.  The home crowd was cheering wildly, even when their team was down 9-0.  We left after the 5th inning, mainly because of the cold.  We found out later that the swallows eventually lost, 14-1.   Took the subway back to the hotel, and packed up to leave for China in the morning!

Leebidoday says:
Me: "Yankees suck!" Aaron Guiel: "I miss that."
Posted on: Jun 11, 2007
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Another Yakaturi Restaurant
Another Yakaturi Restaurant
good eats!
good eats!
Yakult Swallows game
Yakult Swallows game
Former NY Yankee Aaron Guiel playe…
Former NY Yankee Aaron Guiel play…
The swallows choked!  Lost 14-1
The swallows choked! Lost 14-1
It was fun...but cold!
It was fun...but cold!
The fans were rabid...even though …
The fans were rabid...even though…
They were very boisterous when the…
They were very boisterous when th…
They guys were egging Aaron on to …
They guys were egging Aaron on to…
eventually, he threw one...and Dav…
eventually, he threw one...and Da…
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