To choose intelligently, you must first read our How It Works page.
To get a quick lay of the land, you might also take a peek at our Baseball Stadium Map of Japan on our JapanBall.com sister site.
I break your choices into two categories. Teams that play outside in stadiums explicitly built for baseball vs. teams that play inside in multi-purpose domed stadiums.
The teams you choose to see are not important unless you're a hard-core fan of a particular team. All games will be fun.
It’s the ballpark you want to choose carefully.
There are five teams in the Tokyo area. On the schedule shown on our Buy Baseball page, we've highlighted in blue the Tokyo teams.
The two most convenient teams to see are in central Tokyo: the Giants and Swallows. The Giants play in the multi-purpose Tokyo Dome, the Swallows in the outdoor Jingu Stadium.
If a choice between the two, I'd take the Swallows at Jingu Stadium. You see a baseball game in a baseball stadium, one in which Babe Ruth and other All-Stars visited years ago and which has been continually renovated.
Indoors at the Tokyo Dome does have its advantages on a hot, humid summer day or if you are concerned about rain.
If the Swallows or Giants aren't available, there are three other teams in the Tokyo area. The BayStars in nearby Yokohama, the Lions in western Tokyo, and the Marines in eastern Tokyo. Each is about 40 minutes by train from central Tokyo.
Of those three teams, the BayStars play outdoors in the best ballpark and the easiest train ride from central Tokyo. The train leaves you a couple of blocks from the ballpark. Lots to see around the area.
Go to the Lions or Marines only if you have no choice among the Swallows, Giants, or Bay Stars. The Lions play in an outdoor ballpark with an umbrella over it. The Marines play outside.
Three teams reside in the greater Kyoto area and are highlighted in tan on the schedule on our Buy Baseball page.
Using Kyoto as the starting point, the easiest to access are the Buffaloes in nearby downtown Osaka in the Osaka Dome. A bit further from downtown Osaka are the Tigers at outdoor Koshien Stadium. The Dragons play in Nagoya at the Nagoya Dome.
Fukuoka has the Hawks who play in the Fukuoka Dome.
Hiroshima features the Carp who play in the newest ballpark in Japan, Hiroshima Stadium, close to the central train station.
Sapporo is home to the Fighters who play in the Sapporo Dome.
Sendai has the Eagles who play in my favorite Japanese ballpark, Sendai Miyagi Stadium. If you go, spend some time before the game walking around the perimeter of the stadium. They have taken to a fine art using all their real estate for fun, both inside and outside the ballpark.
Chiba Marine Stadium – Marines (Eastern Tokyo)
Hiroshima Stadium – Carp (Hiroshima)
Jingu Stadium – Swallows (Central Tokyo)
Koshien Stadium –Tigers (Osaka)
Sendai Stadium – Eagles (Sendai)
Yokohama Stadium – BayStars (Yokohama)
Fukuoka Dome – Hawks (Fukuoka)
Nagoya Dome – Dragons (Nagoya)
Osaka Dome – Buffaloes (Osaka)
Sapporo Dome – Fighters (Sapporo)
Seibu Dome* – Lions (Western Tokyo) *The Seibu Dome is an outdoor ballpark over which they've placed an umbrella.
Tokyo Dome – Giants (Tokyo)