Watching NPB/Pro Baseball in the Tokyo area

Last update: July 22nd, 2024

Notes for the 2024 Season

The preseason schedule is now available. Games will be held from Feb 23 to March 24th. Action starts in the Okinawa area and the first game in the greater Tokyo area will be on March 5th when the Baystars return to Yokohama Stadium.

Admission fees will be charged for these games. It's rare for a preseason game to sell out so just grab the tickets on game day at the stadium ticket office.


The regular season schedule has also been fully released. It usually takes awhile for the English version to get uploaded, so refer to the Japanese version below and use translation device to see it.

Opening day will be on March 29th (Friday) for both the Central and Pacific Leagues.  

The All Star Game will be at Hokkaido for Game 1 (July 23rd) and Tokyo's Jingu Stadium for Game 2 (July 24th).


Guide to getting tickets

Of the five teams in the Tokyo area, the Giants and Swallows have decent information available in English on their websites, including the option to buy tickets. Other teams will require a Japanese phone number for signing up and even with the aid of Google Translate, acquiring tickets might be a big pain.


There used to be organizations like JapanBall, where someone would secure tickets on your behalf for a fee. The NPB has apparently been cracking down on these type of services. 


Giants English Website

The ticketing site gives you the option to choose tickets from a seating chart. You either print the tickets yourself or pick them up at any 7-Eleven in Japan.

Not all tickets are sold through the official ticketing site and sometimes there is better availability showing on other agency sites (mentioned below).


Swallows English Website

The calendar shows the dates when home games are held. If the ticket sales have already begun, the "buy tickets" icon will be appearing. There is a seat view for each section which should assist with your preference. There is dynamic pricing so usually the price goes up as the game date approaches.


The Yokohama DeNA BayStars also recently opened an English ticketing option though it is poorly designed and not all the information is correctly translated.

Only a small number of tickets (Category FA and FB, infield seats on the third base side) are sold from this "English" platform.

Tickets will need to be retrieved from the LAWSON convenience store by first going to the Loppi kiosk that is located near the ATM or the copy machine. You then receive a receipt to take to the register where the staff will print out your ticket.


The Chiba Lotte Marines or Seibu Lions lack any English options, though it is rare for the tickets to sell out. Going to the box office on game day should be fine for a normal weekday game. 


Ticket Pia” and "e plus" are reputable online agents that handles tickets for all teams, but there is only a Japanese option

Also both websites will require a Japanese phone number when opening an account.


There might be other third party sites offering the tickets but there will likely be a heavy ”handling charge" involved. It is suggested you check very carefully (reviews from other users, type of seating) before making the purchase.


(FYI) For teams outside the Tokyo area:

The Chunichi Dragons recently added the English ticketing option in July 2024, using the same Ticket Pia platform that the Swallows use.

The Rakuten Eagles (based in Sendai), Hiroshima Carp and SoftBank Hawks (based in Fukuoka) all have the English option on their websites, but not the choice to purchase tickets directly in English. The Hawks do have a link posted to Klook Travel, a third party booking site where tickets can be purchased. The Hawks officially announced their partnership with Klook, so the tickets sold there are legitimate.


The season starts around the last weekend of March and continues on until early October. There are two teams in Tokyo and another three in the vicinity, so usually there will be at least one game going on somewhere. Just keep in mind there are usually no games on a Monday, unless it falls on a National Holiday. Games typically start at 6pm on weekdays and anywhere between 1-3pm on the weekends, though this can vary depending on the team. During the hot summer months (July-mid September), most games are moved to the night slot starting from 6pm. 


When getting tickets, take the following into consideration:

Home team fans sit on the first base side, the visiting team on the third base side (It's the opposite at the Belluna Dome; home fans on the third base side)

The most loyal fans occupy the outfield bleachers with continuous cheering/noise throughout the game. In contrast, seats behind home plate are much quieter, and often reserved for season ticket holders who may or may not show up.


Many teams now have a dynamic pricing system where the prices can fluctuate depending on the demand and whether it's a weekday or weekend. Games on weekends and holidays will always attract higher demand regardless of the teams they are facing. Weekday games earlier in the season (April/May) are easier to get, especially if the weather is still chilly at night. From late June to mid July, the Tokyo area heads into a wet season when games can get postponed; getting tickets for the Tokyo Dome or Belluna Dome will eliminate any risk of the game being washed out.

Stadiums around the Tokyo area

Jingu Stadium

Jingu Stadium More details

Home of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows

2023 Record: 5th out of 6 teams in the Central League

Opened : 1926

Capacity : 30,969 (2023 average attendance : 27,477)

GOOD: Wonderful atmosphere, fireworks after the 5th inning during the summer months

BAD: Showing its age in many areas, limited number of toilets. Many obstructed view seats in the outfield, near the scoreboard.

After repeating as Central League champions in 2021-22, the Swallows struggled to a 57-83 record for the '23 season. Attendance is still good though.

Baseball at Tokyo Dome

Tokyo Dome More details

Home of the Yomiuri Giants

2023 Record: 4th in the Central League, missed playoffs

Opened : 1988

Capacity :  46,000 (2023 average attendance : 38,145)

GOOD : No worries about rain (First domed stadium in Japan)

Excellent access to multiple train and subway lines

BAD : Not the most ideal place to go on a perfectly sunny day. Food and drinks are expensive; a beer costs 900 yen

FYI: Since 2022, cash is no longer accepted anywhere in the dome. Credit cards, or "IC cards" such as a SUICA/PASMO can be used for payment.

Yokohama Stadium

Yokohama Stadium

Home of the Yokohama DeNA BayStars

2023 Record: 3rd Central League, lost in the first stage of playoffs

Opened : 1978

Capacity : 34,046 (2023 average attendance : 32,126)

GOOD : Location next to Chinatown and central Yokohama, new ownership introducing fun entertainment before/during games. 

BAD : Lots of very steep stairs to climb if sitting in the upper sections. 

Built on limited space so concourse always congested 

FYI: The lowest attendance so far in the 2024 season was 29,227 so you can count on the seats to fil up quite nicely. Weekend games will sell out.

Belluna Dome

Belluna Dome 

Home of the Seibu Lions

2023 Record: 5th place out of 6 teams in Pacific League, missed playoffs

Opened : 1979 / Roof Added : 1999

Capacity : 33,556 (2023 average attendance : 20,040)

GOOD : It's right next to a rail station. Wide concourses with good view of the field. Major renovations in 2021 giving the place a more genuine ballpark feel.

BAD : Can feel like being in a sauna during the summers. No air-con. It's a weird "dome" without a wall. A bit far from most areas of Tokyo.

FYI: The Lions are in terrible shape through the first half of the 2024 season and the manager, Kazuo Matsui, was sacked. Plenty of empty seats for their games.

ZOZO Marine Stadium

ZOZO Marine Stadium 

Home of the Chiba Lotte Marines

2023 Record: 2nd in the Pacific League, lost in the final stage of Pacific League playoff

Opened : 1990

Capacity : 30,082  (2023 average attendance : 25,055)

GOOD: Much of the upper deck covered by a roof. Constant winds blowing from the Tokyo Bay behind the outfield keeps things cool even in the summer

BAD: Can feel extremely cold in spring/autumn. Distant from central Tokyo and another 15 minute walk from the Kaihim Makuhari Station.

FYI: 22 year old Roki Sasaki is the most exciting pitcher in Japanese baseball now with a fastball of 102mph. (Sasaki has not pitched since June 8 and only 9 games this season)


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