Tokyo Dome: in-depth

Outside the main entrance, Gate 22
Outside the main entrance, Gate 22

Completed in 1988, the Tokyo Dome was the first domed stadium to open in Japan. The concept became very popular and in the 1990's many other cities began building one.

The Yomiuri Giants used to share the stadium with the Nippon-Ham Fighters before they moved to Hokkaido in 2004.

In addition to the Giants games, the dome is used for corporate baseball games, occasional American Football and some concerts.

Bringing outside food or drinks is ok but cans/bottles are prohibited. There is a bag inspection at the entrance.

The Giants finished a disappointing 4th for the 2023 season, missing the playoffs for two straight seasons.  

 

Seating map on the Giants ticketing website
Seating map on the Giants ticketing website

GETTING TICKETS

The Giants have a functioning website in English with the option to purchase tickets through the e-Tix ticketing platform.

 

Starting in the 2024 season, there will be two tiers of pricing, Category I (regular price) and Category II (slightly higher) based on the expected demand.

 

Only a small number of tickets are sold through this platform (basically the areas that are colored on the chart). Even when the official ticketing site shows the seats to be sold out, there could be more available on Ticket Pia or Lawson Ticket, the other agencies that carry Giants tickets.

 

As with most Japanese parks, the home team fans sit on the first base side with the cheering section in right field. The third base side is a mix of home/visitor fans. It's perfectly acceptable to be wearing a Giants uniform on the third base side, but sections of the left field bleachers are reserved specifically for the road team fans.

HOME GAMES AWAY FROM THE TOKYO DOME

Like other teams, the Giants will be hosting a number of home games outside of the Tokyo area.

The dates are: Apr 23 (Hitachinaka), May 14 (Toyama), May 15 (Fukui), Jul 2 (Matsumoto), Jul 3 (Maebashi), Sep 3-4 (Kyocera Dome) and Sep 5 (Gifu). If any of these games are rained out, it will be rescheduled at the Tokyo Dome later in the season.

 

Do tickets sell out?

Sellouts were common in the past when superstars like Hideki Matsui were on the team. The 2023 season saw average attendance of around 38,000 while the capacity is 46,000, so seats are easier to obtain now with the team in a rebuilding phase.

Though it is only in Japanese, the Tokyo Dome City website has the updated status of seats available for sale at their ticket counter next to the Dome's information desk.

https://www.tokyo-dome.co.jp/dome/baseball/giants/ticket/ticket_sale.html

The information is located close to the gate 22, the main entrance of the dome. Hours are daily from 11am-7pm.

Even if tickets show as sold out on the official ticketing site, there might be some still remaining on the other distribution routes, so it is always worth checking the above website.

GUIDANCE ON SEATS (Category 1 - regular price/Category 2 - for high demand games)

Reserved S - Lower deck, Cat 1/6,800 JPY, Cat 2/7,300 JPY area above the team bench

These are the best seats available for non-season ticket holders. Note that the majority of the seats behind home plate are sold as season tickets and single game tickets rarely go on sale.

 

Like most Japanese stadiums, the protective netting extends from the backstop all the way to the foul pole. Unless you get seats at the very back (around row 47), it is not possible to get the nets out of your sight.

DAZN Excite Seat Cat 1/14,000 JPY, Cat 2/14,500 JPY

Several rows of seats extending out to the foul territory were added in recent years. Here the protective netting does not exist so the sight lines are very good.

For safety reasons, preschoolers are not allowed in this zone.

*Not sold through regular ticketing sites; must be a fan club member or season ticket holder.


Reserved FC Central (指定席FC中央), Upper deck Cat 1/3,200 JPY, Cat 2/3,600 JPY

Since many seats in the lower deck are sold as season seats, there is usually better availability in the upper deck.

While the action is far away, the height does provide an interesting vantage point that you won't get in smaller stadiums. 

 

Entry to the upper deck is through gate 40 (first base side) or gate 41 (third base side). 

 

Once inside, it is possible to go between the lower and upper deck, but access is limited to a few stairs.

Reserved D, Upper deck Cat 1/2,000 JPY, Cat 2/2,200 JPY

The cheapest tickets in the dome have a distant view but the price is very reasonable. 

They tend to be one of the last sections to sell out so if you have trouble finding any available seats, check to see if there is still some remaining in D.

Outfield, Cat 1/2,300 JPY, Cat 2/2,600 JPY

The area where the more serious fans sit, with constant chanting throughout the game. The seats here are very basic; no seat-backs or cup holders.

Right field is exclusively for Giants fans. For the left field, the few rows next to the foul pole is reserved for the opposing team fans. They are sold by the category of "外野指定席(ビジター応援席)".

"外野指定席(レフト)" is a kind of buffer zone while "外野指定席(レフト巨人応援席)" is a section for the Giants fans, towards the center field side.

The cheering section can be a lot of fun, but a first-time visitor could feel out of place here. Also anyone who wants to watch more quietly will have a better experience sitting in other areas of the park.

Standing only tickets will also be sold in limited numbers starting for the 2024 season. The price is 1,500 JPY and holders of these tickets can view the game from the back aisles in the outfield.

ACCESS TO THE STADIUM

The transportation could not be any better. The Korakuen station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line and Namboku Line is the closest, with the outfield entrance just steps outside the station. Kasuga Station on the Toei Oedo Line and Mita Line is also just a few minutes away. 

If you are taking the JR train, the Suidobashi Station on the Sobu Line is to the south of the dome. The main entrance to the infield is less than five minutes away. You'll need to walk another minute or two for the outfield entrance.

If 46,000 fans attend, the stations do get crowded after the game is over. Since there are so many options, within 10-15 minutes the congestion does ease a bit. There is no need to leave in the middle of game just to avoid the rush. Simply spend a few extra minutes walking around the dome and the crowds will start to disappear. 


TOPIC: Giants moving to Tsukiji?

The Nikkei newspaper reported on Sep 2023 that a consortium featuring Yomiuri (the parent company of the Giants) and the Mitsui Fudosan real estate company is proposing a redevelopment plan of the former Tsukiji Market site that would include the building of a new stadium.

There has been some speculation that the Giants are considering a new home field as the Tokyo Dome begins to show its age while other clubs like the Hiroshima Carp and Nippon-Ham Fighters have expanded their fanbase by opening an American-style ballpark in recent years.

The former Tsukiji Market site remains empty after its closure in 2018
The former Tsukiji Market site remains empty after its closure in 2018