Baseball is the most popular amateur and professional sport in Japan and we can confirm that Japanese baseball games are an amazing experience! After hearing about the Japanese love of baseball, we definitely wanted to attend a baseball game during our family trip to Japan. We ended up attending a sold-out match between the Yomiuri Giants and Hanshin Tigers played at the Tokyo Dome. We loved how much the crowd got into supporting their teams, the chants and drums and the sheer excitement each time a run was scored! If you are sports nuts like us or simply want a glimpse into modern Japanese culture, attending a Japanese baseball game should be high on your Japan travel bucket list.
Note that COVID19 has caused access restrictions to baseball, so ensure you check current status before making your booking. Also, the options to purchase tickets through Voyagin below are not currently available.
It’s easy to watch baseball games in Tokyo or within a short distance of the city. In this article we will introduce you to 5 Japanese baseball teams – 2 baseball teams in Tokyo itself and 3 baseball teams near Tokyo. We will briefly talk about the records for each of the teams; and provide details on match schedules, team locations, home grounds, and how to get to each of the venues. Most importantly we will also tell you how and where to buy baseball tickets in Japan for each of the 5 teams, so you can choose a match that fits into your itinerary and therefore experience Japan Baseball for yourself.
- 0.1 Join the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group and Discord Server
- 0.2 Professional Baseball Regular Season Tickets
- 1 Japanese Baseball Season
- 2 Japanese Baseball Teams
- 3 Baseball Tokyo
- 4 Baseball Near Tokyo
- 4.1 Yokohama DeNA Baystars
- 4.2 Yokohama Baystars Tickets to see Baseball near Tokyo
- 4.3 Chiba Lotte Marines
- 4.4 Chiba Lotte Marines Tickets to see Baseball near Tokyo
- 4.5 Saitama Seibu Lions
- 4.6 Saitama Seibu Lions Tickets to see Baseball near Tokyo
- 4.7 Wrap Up
- 4.8 Join the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group and Discord Server
Join the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group and Discord Server
You are also welcome to join our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group and our new Japan Travel Planning Discord Server – they are great resources to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Professional Baseball Regular Season Tickets
This section is for you if you want to know how to buy Japanese baseball tickets without reading the rest of the article. Here are the quick links for 3 affordable online options for buying baseball tickets in Japan for games in or near Tokyo:
We recommend purchasing your Japan baseball tickets through the Voyagin Japan travel agency site. You can book tickets months in advance and there is a wide range of seating choices available. While there is a small additional fee compared to a team’s official ticket site, the booking process is quick, easy and seamless which is a big benefit and there are a range of support options available including chat, phone or e-mail to provide peace of mind.
One of the most popular professional baseball teams in Japan are the Yomiuri Giants, whose home ground is the Tokyo Dome, located on the northern side of Tokyo. The Tokyo Dome has a full roof so you can enjoy baseball matches in all weather conditions. You can easily purchase tickets through Voyagin, which includes options for both premium and outfield seating areas.
You can also purchase your tickets through each of the team’s official ticket sites. Three out of the five tickets are in Japanese, the booking process is not as intuitive as through Voyagin and there are not the same support options available, however the tickets may be slightly cheaper.
|Team||Offical Ticket Site Links|
|Yomiuri Giants||Yomiuri Giants Ticket Site (English)|
|Tokyo Yakult Swallows||Yakult Swallows Ticket Site (English)|
|Yokohama DeNA Baystars||Yokohama DeNA Baystars Ticket Site (Japanese)|
|Chiba Lotte Marines||Chiba Lotte Marines Ticket Site (Japanese)|
|Saitama Seibu Lions||Saitama Seibu Lions Ticket Site (Japanese)|
Japanese Baseball Season
The Japanese professional baseball season is held from late March to October, with games taking place on most days of the week apart from Monday. The season starts in late March and finishes in late September each year. Following completion of the regular season the Climax Series – the league playoffs – are held in late October.
The final stage of the season is the Nippon Series Championship between the league champions which is usually a series of seven matches held in late October/early November.
You can also see Japanese baseball games during the pre-season, and there are also All-Star games periodically through each year.
Japanese Baseball Teams
There are twelve teams competing in the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization, of which five teams are located in or close to Tokyo making it easy to watch a Tokyo baseball game. The teams are broken into two leagues: The Pacific League and the Central League. This article will look at the Tokyo baseball teams first, then the three teams near Tokyo.
If you’re in Japan and want to watch a baseball game Tokyo is one of your best options. There are two main teams to choose from. The first Tokyo baseball team is the Yomiuri Giants. The second Tokyo baseball team is the Yakult Swallows.
Yomiuri Giants (the Tokyo Giants)
The Yomiuri Giants are also commonly referred to as the Tokyo Giants. As an aside, as part of the writing of this article, we came across all sorts of interesting variations on Yomiuri (Yom-i-ur-i) Giants including: Yomuri Giants, Yomirui Giants, Yomiyuri Giants, Yumuri Giants and the Yomuiri Giants. Obviously, it’s a tough name to say and spell for non-Japanese speaking people such as myself.
The Giants are part of the Central League. They have a great record having won 36 Central League pennants since the inception of the Central League in 1949. They have also won 22 Japan Series Championships since it started in 1950. Four of those Championship wins have been in the 2000s with their most recent win being in 2012.
Tokyo Giants Schedule
The Yomiuri Giants Tokyo Dome baseball schedule can be found at this link. You may also be interested to see how many other events are held in this venue, including many music concerts. Here is the link for the full Tokyo Giants baseball schedule of home and away matches.
Giants Home Ground
The Tokyo Giants stadium is the Tokyo Dome. The Tokyo Dome is a fully enclosed stadium so you can watch the match in comfort regardless of the weather conditions. The Tokyo Dome seating capacity of 55,000 people means every seat is quite close to the action! On the Tokyo Dome baseball seating chart, you can see that most seats are located on the two sides of the playing triangle closest to the batting area. The Tokyo Dome is part of the larger Tokyo Dome City entertainment complex which includes an amusement park, hotel, hot springs spa complex and many more activities.
How to Get to the Tokyo Dome Stadium
The easiest way to get to the Tokyo Dome is to catch the train. The Tokyo Dome is a 450m walk from Korakuen station on the Metro Maranouchi Line, which is a 9-minute train ride north of Tokyo Station.
How to buy Yomiuri Giants Tickets to see Baseball in Tokyo
If you want to see a Tokyo Giants game, you can purchase Tokyo Dome baseball tickets at the gate but you may have difficulty getting tickets for the better seating positions to the most popular matches.
If you want to plan ahead I suggest that you click here to buy tickets through Voyagin to see a Yomiuri Giants game at the Tokyo dome. You can book Tokyo Giants tickets months in advance and there is a wide range of seating choices available. While there is a small additional fee, the booking process is easy and they offer a range of support options including chat, phone or e-mail to provide peace of mind.
How to buy Tokyo Giants Tickets through the Official Website
You can also purchase Yomiuri Giants tickets online through the official Giants ticket site. Tokyo Giants baseball tickets for games played at the Tokyo Dome range from 1,700 Yen ($US16) to 6,200 Yen ($US57) (including taxes), with higher prices for specific matches. Be aware that tickets often sell out quickly following the release of each ticket session. Tickets for the Tokyo Dome are usually released approximately 80 days prior to each match. This is also a good option to purchase tickets online but the process is not as clear and simple as it is through Voyagin.
Tokyo Yakult Swallows
Another great option to watch Tokyo baseball games are the Tokyo Yakult Swallows who are part of the Central League. The Yakult Swallows have won 7 Central League pennants and 5 Japan Series Championships. Their most recent Championship win was in 2001.
Tokyo Yakult Swallows Schedule
The Tokyo Yakult Swallows schedule for games at Jingu Stadium can be found at this link. Click on this link for the full calendar of home and away matches. One month of matches is shown on the schedule so just click on the month you want to look at.
Tokyo Yakult Swallows Home Ground
The Tokyo Swallows home ground is Jingu Stadium. Built in 1926, it is the oldest baseball stadium in Tokyo and the second oldest of all Japanese ballparks. Jingu Stadium has a seating capacity of 38 000 people. One of the fun things about this venue is that the Yakult Swallow’s fans celebrate by raising their umbrellas and singing which really adds to the match atmosphere.
Jingu Stadium is located in the Meiji shrine complex in Shinjuku, which is a shrine dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken and is one of Japan’s most popular shrines. The shrine complex is found in a forest of 70 hectares (170 acres) and consists of an inner precinct which includes the shrine buildings including a treasure house and the outer precinct which include Jingu Stadium, Tokyo Olympic Stadium and the Meiji Memorial Hall.
How to Get to Jingu Stadium
Jingu Stadium is in the middle of Tokyo in Shinjuku and beside Shibuya so it is very easy to access for many visitors to Tokyo. The best way to get to Jingu Stadium is by using either the subway or train. For the subway, you can use the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (G03) to get to Gaiemmae Station. The stadium is then a 5-minute walk from Exit 3. The other option is to use the Toei Subway Oedo Line (E25) to get to Kokuritsu-Kyogijo Station, with the stadium a 12-minute walk from Exit A2. If you want to use the train system, Jingu Stadium is a 12-minute walk from JR Shinanomachi Station or a 15-minute walk from JR Sendagaya Station,
How to buy Tokyo Swallows Tickets to see Baseball in Tokyo
Tickets to see the Tokyo Swallows play can be purchased at the gate with the cheapest ticket being the non-reserved adult outfield value tickets can be purchased for 1300 Yen.
How to buy Yakult Swallows Tickets through the Official Website
Another online booking option is to book through the Swallows ticket site which is slightly cheaper but you can only book up to about one month in advance and there are less seating options available.
Baseball Near Tokyo
If you want to watch baseball near Tokyo, there are three main teams to choose from. The DeNA Baystars play in Yokohoma to the south west of Tokyo, the Lotte Marines home ground is in Chiba to the east of Tokyo, and the Saitama Seibu Lions play out of Seibu to the north west of Tokyo.
Yokohama DeNA Baystars
The Yokohama DeNA Baystars play in the Central League. Compared to other teams, the Baystars don’t have a great record having won only 3 Central League pennants and 2 Japan Series Championships. However, they can boast recent success. In 2017 they had a 73-65 win-loss record and earnt a Central League pennant in 2017. In 2018, as at June 22 they had a 29-32 win-loss record.
Yokohama Baystars Schedule
The Yokohama Bay Stars game schedule can be found at this link for the full calendar of home and away matches. One month of matches is shown on the schedule so just click on the month you want to look at.
Yokohama DeNA Baystars Home Ground
The Yokohama DeNA Baystars home ground is Yokohama Stadium. It opened in 1978, is used for baseball, American football and live events. The stadium has a capacity of around 30 000 people. The stadium is in a great location next to Yokahama’s Chinatown as well as being near lots of other attractions. It is in Yokohama Park, it’s about 1km from Yamashita Park and is also close to Minato Mirai 21, the seaside CBD of Yokohama. At the stadium you can also get quality craft beer, quality food and great atmosphere and entertainment.
How to Get to Yokohama Stadium
The easiest way to get to Yokohama Stadium from Tokyo is to catch a train on the JR Keihin-Tohoku Line and get off at Kannai Station which is located beside Yokohama Station. The stadium is about a 2-minute walk from the station’s south exit. The total journey time is about 50 minutes from Tokyo Station.
Yokohama Baystars Tickets to see Baseball near Tokyo
It’s easy to purchase tickets from the ticket office at Yokohama Station for most matches as they don’t normally draw high crowds. An online booking option is to book through the Baystars ticket site but the ticket booking process is in Japanese.
Chiba Lotte Marines
The Chiba Lotte Marines (website in Japanese) play in the Pacific League. They have won 5 Pacific League Pennants and 4 Japan Series Championships (most recently in 2010).
Chiba Lotte Marines Schedule
The Chiba Lotte Marines game schedule can be found at this link for the full calendar of home and away matches. One month of matches is shown on the schedule so just click on the month you want to look at.
Chiba Lotte Marines Home Ground
The Chiba Lotte Marines home ground is Chiba Marine Stadium (also known as ZOZO Marine Stadium). The stadium opened in 1990 and has a capacity of around 30 000 people. Chiba Marine Stadium is located on Tokyo Bay. Makuhari Beach and Makuhari Seaside Park are located close to the stadium. There are also other attractions such as Mihama-En Japanese Garden in the Makuhari area.
How to Get to Chiba Marine Stadium
The most convenient way to get from Tokyo to Chiba Marine Stadium is to catch a train on the Keiyo line to Kaihimmakuhari Station. From Tokyo Station the train trip takes about 46 minutes. The stadium is about a 1km walk from the station.
Chiba Lotte Marines Tickets to see Baseball near Tokyo
Tickets to a game can be purchased at Chiba Marine Stadium. If you want to book your tickets online in advance of the game, the Chiba Marines have a ticket site but it is in Japanese.
Saitama Seibu Lions
The Saitama Seibu Lions play in the Pacific League. They are historically the most successful team in the Pacific League having won 21 Pacific League Pennants and 12 Japan Series Championships.
Saitama Seibu Lions Schedule
The Saitama Lions schedule game schedule can be found at this link for the full calendar of home and away matches. One month of matches is shown on the schedule so just click on the month you want to look at.
Saitama Seibu Lions Home Ground
The Saitama Lions home ground is the MetLife Dome in Tokorozawa, Saitama. It is an indoor stadium built in 1979 with a capacity of around 34 000 people. It was originally an open-air stadium with the roof being fitted later. There is a large gap between the roof and the stadium’s walls making it possible for batters to score an outside-the-park home run in an otherwise indoor stadium.
How to Get to MetLife Dome
The easiest way to get from Tokyo to MetLife Dome is to use the Yamanote Line or Marunouchi Line to Ikebukuro Station. Then transfer to the Seibu-Ikebukuro line and catch a train to Nishi-Tokorozawa Station. After that, transfer to the Seibu-Sayama line and catch a train to Seibukyujo-Mae Station. MetLife Dome is about a 5-minute walk from the station. From Tokyo Station, this journey takes about 1 hour to 1hr10 minutes.
Saitama Seibu Lions Tickets to see Baseball near Tokyo
Tickets to a game can be purchased at MetLife Dome. If you want to book your tickets online in advance of the game, the Seibu Lions have a ticket site but it is in Japanese.
We really enjoyed seeing a Japanese baseball match in a full stadium when we visited. We also went to see the Sumo Wrestling while we were in Japan. We have written a similar guide on How to buy your Sumo Wrestling tickets online to help you book in to participate in another amazing Japanese cultural experience.