Best time to visit Japan

Baseball Season in Japan 2024

An American sport with a Japanese twist

Best time: late March–October

Baseball Season
Baseball Season
Baseball Season
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There is a saying that many Japanese baseball fans are surprised to find out that Americans also consider baseball to be their "national sport." The Japanese are really into baseball and the season starts as early as February with training while the regular season games start in late March. The season lasts until October.

Professional baseball in Japan consists of two leagues—the Central and Pacific Leagues. Central League locations include Meiji Jingu Stadium, Nagoya Dome, Yokohama Stadium, Hanshin Koshien Stadium, Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium, and Kleenex Stadium Myagi. Pacific League games take place at Tokyo Dome, Seibu Dome Tokorozava, QVC Marine Field Chiba, Kyocera Dome Osaka, Fukuoka Yafuoku Dome, and Sapporo Dome.

The season finishes with the Climax Series league playoffs and is followed by the Nippon Series Championship between the two leagues. The rules of the game, as well as the field dimensions, are slightly different from the American version which makes Japanese baseball just a bit more difficult.

Practical info

When does the Japanese baseball season start and end?

Training begins in February while the main games begin in late March and last until late October. In the end, there are Climax Series league playoffs followed by the Nippon Series Championship that takes place between the two leagues. Show more

What are the field dimensions and rules that make Japanese baseball different from American baseball?

Japanese baseball has smaller playing fields compared to American baseball. The rules are slightly different as well. For Japanese baseball, games typically last for 12 innings and ties are allowed. If the game goes into extra innings, a runner is put on second base. Regular season games can also end in a tie if it remains tied after 12 innings. Show more

Where are the Central League games played in Japan?

Various stadiums in Japan host the Central League games. The stadiums include Meiji Jingu Stadium, Nagoya Dome, Yokohama Stadium, Hanshin Koshien Stadium, Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium, and Kleenex Stadium Myagi. Whether it's dining or entertainment activities, each stadium area offers a unique experience that baseball fans and tourists alike would love. Show more

Which teams usually make it to the Climax Series playoffs and the Nippon Series Championship?

The twelve teams that participate in the Climax Series playoffs are the six teams in both the Central and Pacific Leagues. The playoffs usually feature the teams that had the best records during the regular season. The final battle, across the two leagues, is the Nippon Series Championship, where the teams play for the top spot. Show more

What are some of the best cities to visit in Japan during the baseball season?

Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka are popular tourist spots during the baseball season. Tokyo Dome, one of Japan's largest and most famous stadiums, is located in Tokyo. The stadium area also has a diverse range of dining and entertainment options. Kyoto and Osaka, easily accessible from Kansai region stadiums, have witnessed a rise in baseball tourism. Show more

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