To Buy Baseball, please do TWO things first:
1. Understand how it works by reading How It Works.
2. Scroll through this entire page below schedule to fully see its contents. Click (or tap) on the home team of the date you want to start the ordering process.
The Tokyo area has five teams highlighted in blue below. The Kyoto area has three teams highlighted in tan. For tips on stadiums and teams, read Choosing a Game.
NPB's Goal is Full Attendance in 2022 (Updated November 2nd)
With the Swallows and Carp playing the final game of the 2021 regular season last night, the 2021 season comes to an end. The First Stage of the playoffs will begin next Saturday, November 6th with the Nippon Series scheduled for November 20th through 28th. So we still have a month full of baseball before us.
Here were the final standings, for those interested:
Central League W L T W% Pacific League W L T W%
1 Tokyo Yakult Swallows 73 52 18 .584 1 Orix Buffaloes 70 55 18 .560
2 Hanshin Tigers 77 56 10 .579 2 Chiba Lotte Marines 67 57 19 .540
3 Yomiuri Giants 61 62 20 .496 3 Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 66 62 15 .516
4 Hiroshima Toyo Carp 63 68 12 .481 4 Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 60 62 21 .492
5 Chunichi Dragons 55 71 17 .437 5 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 55 68 20 .447
6 Yokohama DeNA BayStars 54 73 16 .425 6 Saitama Seibu Lions 55 70 18 .440
I know that many of you are waiting to make your plans for 2022. You'll have to wait a little while longer as the 2022 season schedule will be announced next month, in December. No date has been announced for that announcement.
While the schedule has yet to be decided, the Join NPB/J-League Task Force met on November 1st and stated that their goal for 2022 is to have full capacity of fans at all stadiums! That's a bold goal. But with ALL prefectures in Japan reporting single or no-digit new infections for the first time since June of 2020, there is reason for hope.
Furthermore, teams have been experimenting with "Vaccine Packages" for 11 games at six stadiums so far this season, with the Swallows also planning a "technical demonstration" at Jingu for the Final Stage of the playoffs on November 10th. The "Vaccine Seats" will still require that fans wear masks and refrain from shouting out cheers, as is the case with the regular seats. Of the tests so far, 98.7% showed proof of vaccination, so the negative test validation was rarely used. Verifying vaccination took approximately 35 seconds per person with an additional 45 seconds needed to register personal information in case contacting after the event was necessary.
Having a single standard for vaccine verification helps speed everything along. What is not clear yet is how we're going to have to take care of non-Japan issued "vaccine passports." The fall back will most likely be having a negative COVID test some time within a week of the event. There are a number of pop-up test centers near train stations throughout Tokyo, but more information is going to need to be gathered before I can say for sure what will be necessary to have with you to attend games next season.
But progress is being made.
Hope to get you all to a game or three next season!
Rules for Attending Games
The clubs ask that you DO NOT use those empty seats, even if you come together with others. It may seem rather draconian to not allow a family to all sit right next to each other, but it's easier to enforce a blanket rule of having everyone sit in their designated seats than it is to get into the nuanced cases-by-case enforcement of the optics caused by groups sitting together. If that is an issue, please do not attend.
Other common restrictions include:
- You will not be permitted entry if you have a fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, or other symptoms
- No entry for those in the country for 14 days or less
- Temperature checks and wearing of masks will be required for all people entering
- Cheering style will undergo many changes (no balloon shoot, trumpets, whistles, high fives, etc.)
- Tight control over food and beverages sold within the stadium - some stadiums will NOT be serving alcohol at all
- Smoking areas may be closed
- Exchanges with fans for signatures, high fives, etc. will be suspended
- Retain your ticket stub for 14 days after attending a game to assist with contact tracing
Again, if you feel that such restrictions are too much, please do not request tickets. I expect that the restrictions in fan cheering are going to be the biggest difference, kind of detracting from the usual Japan Baseball Experience.
When you go into many of the stadiums, they will have you fill out a paper for contact tracing. In the event that someone in a seat near you is diagnosed with COVID-19, contact tracers will want to be able to contact you. If you get your tickets through me and don't have a domestic phone number, please feel free to use my phone number (included with the tickets). I can then pass on any contact information in English to you if necessary for the two weeks after attending. I'll have a record of your seat number, so can communicate that much with the contact tracers.
If you are in Japan and none of the above turns you off, please contact me and I'll supply you with costs and seating available. I will only charge you if I am able to get tickets.
Finally, the ball clubs are promoting the COVID-19 Contact App (COCOA) which uses the Apple/Google privacy emphasized framework and was created by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. Tech and privacy leaders all agree that best privacy practices are followed in the framework's design, so please put aside any biases you may have for the tech companies. The framework was also designed to work in the background using very little power. Your mileage may vary depending on how old your phone is. But this app, used in conjunction with testing and contact tracing, is one of the best ways to help contain this virus. Please do consider installing it, especially if you will be attending events like a baseball game.
The COCOA app is available at:
Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/jp/app/id1516764458
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.go.mhlw.covid19radar
It's going to be a completely different experience this season for those of you who are able to go.That's it for this update. Until more information is released, take care.
No Restrictions on Bags
A question I've been getting a lot lately is, "Can I bring my bag/backpack to the game?" YES! Bags and backpacks are allowed to all events in Japan. You may want to limit the size to something that will fit under the seat. The general rule is that, so long as it doesn't get in anyone's way, no problem.
On a related question, yes, DSLR camera and large lenses are also allowed.
All prices in US Dollars.
Game times in the Tokyo area may start 15 to 30 minutes earlier than originally scheduled.
Games between July 27th and August 10th are exhibition/practice games during the Olympic break.
Games on schedule are listed by home team.
* denotes game at stadium other than primary home.
** denotes tentative playoff game. Venue may change depending on the season outcome.
Red denotes tickets sold out or otherwise not available.
Yellow text denotes ticket prices to be announced. Will become available in future.
Click on team for prices/venue details and to order.
|Central Tokyo||Yomiuri GIANTS||G||Tokyo Dome|
|Central Tokyo||Yakult SWALLOWS||S||Jingu Stadium|
|West Tokyo||Seibu LIONS||L||Seibu Dome|
|East Tokyo||Chiba Lotte MARINES||M||QVC Stadium|
|South Tokyo||Yokohama BAYSTARS||BS||Yokohama Municipal|
|Osaka||Orix BUFFALOES||B||Osaka Dome|
|Osaka||Hanshin TIGERS||T||Koshien Stadium|
|Nagoya||Chunichi DRAGONS||D||Nagoya Dome|
|Fukuoka||SoftBank HAWKS||H||Yahoo Dome|
|Hiroshima||Hiroshima CARP||C||Mazda Stadium|
|Sapporo||Nippon Ham FIGHTERS||F||Sapporo Dome|
|Sendai||Rakuten Golden EAGLES||E||Miyagi Stadium|