Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23: Tokyo

April 23: Tokyo

Take me out to the old ballgame
Buy me some peanuts
And crackerjacks

THB: No. Who's playing first.
DB: What's on first?
THB: What's on second.
DB: I don't know.
THB: He's on third.
DB: There I go, back on third again!

Pics: Shots from ballpark including one of the standing room only section (with newspapers spread out for them to stand on), one of THB chatting up organic vegetable grows at a farmers market, a few at the fish markte, and big Kaneko pieces in Roppongi Grand Hyatt

Up early and a 10 minute walk to the fish and produce market. More fish than you’ll ever see in a square kilometer, a square mile or a square ocean. Fish in various stages of barely alive to frozen and sawn in pieces. Also much produce, we see an auction going on, decide not to bid!

Stop and buy two of the famous NY Doughnut Plant donuts, eat with our café au laits in the hotel buffet. Also see about 200 young women waiting outside the hotel for a chance to see Jun Matsumoto, a local rock star and teen idol. This at 8am. When we leave around 10:30am, they are still out there in the cold and mist waiting.

We get good instructions to the subway, which is also massive, and separate from the metro system (that looks a lot like the subway to me!). We tour the Roppongi neighborhood, visiting museums (one on the 52nd floor of a high-rise with 360 views of the town deep in mist), eating at a pho place run by a guy from Myanmar (two great bowls of pho with spring rolls, $20), and looking at the Kaneko pieces in the Grand Hyatt.

On to the Tokyodome. We got a great tip from a guy in the subway earlier, take the train leaving from the station right under the hotel and you never have to transfer. We get off the train, exit and turn left: there is the Tokyodome.

Hey, domes suck, hard to see, bad lighting, artificial turf, loud, no weather…oops, the last is a benefit, since the game would be played in a drizzle if outdoors.

Here’s a brief summary (THB will do a separate posting for you baseball junkies):

• Our seats are as far out as you can get, except that they are 5 deep in standing room right (I mean right) behind us. $75/two tickets
• No t-shirts with the stadium name on it, get one with players from 2009 Yomuri Giants championship team, $40
• Hot dogs (no good), potato puffs (really not good), 2 beeru (lots of foam), and one ice cream sandwich (decent), $30
• Giants pitcher sucks, hangs in there. The Carp pitcher gives up a 2-run blast to Giants big number 4 hitter, Rah-meeee-ez, otherwise solid. Giants get to Carp in 7th to take a 5-2 lead,
• Stadium 85-90% full, left field bleachers hold solid section of rabid Carp fans. Rest of bleachers solid Giants fans, everyone wearing team shirt (red or white). Cheering, singing, rooting, drums, go non-stop in bleachers. When Giants break out in 7th, everybody in stadium waves orange towels.
• All the food servers, in concession stands or bringing beeru around are young women around 20.
• DB a hero for being at the game, being into the game, and for spotting for THB and his weak eyes (THB only person in stadium appearing to score the game, also one of two people in the stadium who has no clue to who the players are)

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