Wednesday, April 01, 2009

b?'s magical mystery stadium tour! #2

#2:Meiji Jingu Stadium 明治神宮野球場
Location: Tokyo, Tokyo.
Team: Tokyo Yakult Swallows
Capacity/定員: 37,933
Opened: 1926

Down to the final 2, and, as it should be, it comes down to East vs. West. Several of the top stadiums reside in the Western parts of Japan but coming in at #2 is the highest and last representative from the East! Jingu Stadium! Probably the biggest reason it's here is because it is the most accessible (good) stadium in all of Japan, as it is in central Tokyo. Jingu has its faults; artificial turf, lame home team!, but after its renovation before last season (switch to field turf, concourse upgrade and new video screens) Jingu has stepped its game up. Easy access from several stations (I use Gaien-mae (外苑前) on the Ginza line (銀座線)) but stock up on beer and other goodies before arriving as convenience stores are few and some don't sell alcohol! In this day and age!? One of the best factors that Jingu has is the outfield section which is fairly flat with a large open area behind the stands and wide aisles. The whole stadium is enclosed by a fence which is both strange and cool for some reason. Jingu however, has the same problem as nearly all other stadiums in Japan, fencing on the top of the outfield walls. I'm not sure why Japan likes this... maybe it's for fan safety? maybe it's for player safety? or maybe it's so fans don't mess with the game? Whatever the reason, tear them down! Jingu has a perfect balance of a very old, beautiful outside especially the promenade where you can wait in line before a game (except tigers games where the line stretches out for miles) and a comfortable, modern interior. For Eastern Japan, Jingu is by far and away, the best stadium to take in a game on a summer day, or an autumn day even. In summer, they even have fireworks (kinda weak though). Concession selection is good and there are plenty of beer vendors to quench your thirst, but security is pretty lax so bring your own! Hey, when it all comes down to it, it's the 2nd oldest (pro baseball) stadium running in Japan, and it's a gem!
location: +10
history: +10
fanmasphere: +1
concessions: +3
smoking: -2
bathrooms: +4
sight lines: +5
field surface: +2
outside: +4
surroundings: +3
seats: +3
atmosphere: +2
security: +4

total: +49

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