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Buying Japan Baseball tickets

Buying Japan Baseball tickets

Old Jul 5, 14, 7:50 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post

When you say football, what type of football are you talking?
They don't play chess here, this is a reference to checkers.
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Old Jul 23, 16, 4:16 pm
  #47  
 
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I figured I would toss out my experience buying Japanese baseball tickets.

I've been able to buy tickets from some teams direct from the team website. Those were Hanshin Tigers, Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, and Orix Buffaloes. All three give you a QR code when you buy the ticket. For Hanshin I had to scan the QR code at a kiosk outside the ticket office at stadium and it prints ticket. For Nippon Ham Fighters (Sapporo Dome), I could just walk up to the turnstiles and scan QR code and they give you a little stub reminding you of your seat. Haven't been to the Orix Buffaloes game yet (it's in Kobe, they sometimes play there, usually at Osaka Dome).

I understand the Yomiuri Giants have an easy online ticket purchase system also. The Yokohama Bay Stars offer online purchase but I couldn't get past their account creation setup.

I've also bought 4 tickets from 7ticket.jp, the 7-Eleven ticketing outlet. You have to create an account, which requires using Google translate to understand the website and inputting your name in Japanese characters to set up the account. Kanji, katakana, I can't remember. There are various websites that will translate your name or into Japanese and then you can copy + paste that and set up your account. You give them your email address in English characters.

Once your account is set up, you can pull up the games you are interested in and see the available seats and prices and pick the exact seats you want. The challenge though is that each login requires you to enter a CAPTCHA code, which is of course given in Japanese/Hiragana, even when you are using Google translate to use the site.

The way I found to do that is using this site:

http://www.lexilogos.com/keyboard/hiragana.htm

It gives you a Japanese keyboard and allows you to select/type Japanese characters.

So what I have been doing is using the split screen feature on my macbook, with the CAPTCHA code on one side of the screen and Japanse keyboard on other side. It's just a matter of studying each character of the code carefully, finding and typing them with the keyboard, then when you have all five characters, cutting and pasting them into the CAPTCHA answer box.

I'm getting better at it. When I first tried this I would make 3-4 mistakes before getting the CAPTCHA right, now I can usually get it on the first or second try. The only advice I can give is that if you're not sure if you are selecting the right character, you probably aren't, a lot of them look alike but when you find the right one it's pretty obvious you have it right.

You select the seats and place the order and then it gives you until 11:59 p.m. or 11:29 p.m. Japan time the next day to collect tickets at a 7-Eleven. I think this means that if you want maximum time, you order the tickets shortly after midnight Japan time and you'll have almost 48 hours.

You print your order and bring the printout to a 7-Eleven cashier, it has a bar code, she scans it, prints tickets, you pay.

I ordered 3 tickets from 7ticket.jp the night before I left the USA, printed out the orders, landed in Japan at 7 p.m. next night and stopped at a 7-Eleven on the way to hotel and collected them. If you haven't been to Japan before, they have a lot of 7-Elevens, their ATMs are also one of the best places to get yen, as most other ATMs in Japan won't take foreign cards.

I realize you can buy tickets from the 7-Eleven ATM/copy machines but I didn't want the awkwardness of trying to get a cashier to help me do this, and I like studying the seating charts and pricing and picking the exact seat I want (box seats on aisle if possible and not right behind home plate).

A few other points -- for some stadiums when you look at the seating chart you will see a large empty box of a blocked off area in the first base box seats and third base box seats. That are is for the cheerleaders and, at least in the Sapporo Dome, the dancing robot. They only dance between innings.

I got eighth row, third base box seats at the Sapporo Dome, I don't recommend sitting that close there. The seats in the first twenty rows don't have much seat pitch, so you see more of the head of the person in front of you then you would expect and I felt just a little like I was in a basin and couldn't see deep down the left field line or some of the foul territory along the third base side back behind the plate. So I recommend sitting 20th row or higher if you have box seats at the Sapporo Dome.


I'm on the train from Sapporo now down to Sendai. The run down to Hakodate is not Shinkansen, but I've got a nice seat, 6D, solo seat in the Green Car on left side of train with view of water as it hugs the coast. Seat configuration is 2-1 in back of car and 1-2 in front of car, going left to right, with 6D, 7D, 8D, (and to a lesser extent 9D) towards front of car appearing to be the best seats for view.

Last edited by jphripjah; Jul 23, 16 at 6:03 pm
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Old Jul 23, 16, 4:30 pm
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Fantastic post!!!!
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Old Jul 24, 16, 6:38 pm
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Here are a few more observations about buying tickets and attending baseball games.

1. When you reserve the tickets on 7ticket.jp, you don't actually need to print out the voucher to collect the tickets and complete the purchase at a 7-11. You can just show the cashier the voucher on your phone and they will scan the bar code or type in the transaction number. 7-11 charges a fee of 108 yen per ticket.

2. I think for 4 of the 5 tickets I reserved online, it gave me until midnight the following day to purchase and collect the ticket, but the last ticket I bought for a Fukuoka Hawks game in September it gave me 3 days to collect. Not sure why, maybe that's the Hawks policy, maybe it's because the game is more than a month away.

3. The only downsides I see to using the 7ticket.jp system are the annoying Japanese CAPTCHA and the fact that you can't purchase tickets weeks/months in advance of the game if you're not in Japan. However, I've heard that Yomiuri Giants and Hanshin Tigers games are the ones that sell out the most, and you can buy those direct from the teams' websites.

4. I've read a lot about how the home fans sit on side of home dugout in Japan, and visitors sit on other side. Most teams have home dugout on first base side, some on third base side. My observation is that this only matters if you want to sit in the bleachers in the "cheer section" or "ouendan." The visiting team cheer section "Ouendan" is in the outfield bleachers on the side of the visitor dugout, the home "ouendan" is in the opposite outfield bleachers. All the other seats are more or less filled by home team fans.
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Old Jul 26, 16, 6:30 pm
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jphripjah-I am interested in your experience buying direct from the Ham Fighters website. I would not mind reserving a seat for a game in early September. You mention they give you a QR code. Can you elaborate a bit? Does that mean you get a code when you buy the ticket on line and then use that to enter the stadium?

I am not really interested in the 7-11 system as you mentioned having to pick up the ticket the next day. Kind of difficult to do when I am not yet in Japan. Normally if I buy tickets once in Japan I just go to a Loppi machine at Lawsons and buy them there. That machine I can work in a jiffy.
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Old Jul 27, 16, 7:39 am
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Yes, I bought the ticket online through their website.

http://www.fighters.co.jp/ticket/

I'm sure I used google translate to navigate the website and purchase the ticket.

I just looked at their site again and unfortunately I can't replicate the ticket purchase process now. I think you have to click on "seat view" and then "purchase." That may prompt you to create an account with them before you can purchase the tickets.

If I recall correctly, they offer different options for ticket delivery, and one option was by QR code. That's what I chose. I bought the ticket, gave my credit card number, and they emailed a link to the QR code. Then I just took my phone with me to the game and pulled up the QR code and showed that at the turnstiles. They scanned it and I walked in, not unlike using a mobile boarding pass to board an airplane.
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Old Jul 27, 16, 5:12 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
If I recall correctly, they offer different options for ticket delivery, and one option was by QR code. That's what I chose. I bought the ticket, gave my credit card number, and they emailed a link to the QR code. Then I just took my phone with me to the game and pulled up the QR code and showed that at the turnstiles. They scanned it and I walked in, not unlike using a mobile boarding pass to board an airplane.
Wanted to very much thank you for your advice. I bought a 4500 yen ticket, 3rd base side and now have the QR "ticket". Easy to do, did not need a Japanese name, etc. Would not take AMEX card, so I used Visa. ( I could have bought a 5000 yen ticket but saw that was in the first 20 rows which you had warned about).

Very happy with the purchase. This was the only ticket I was slightly worried about. Already have a Giants ticket, and the rest of the games I plan on attending will all be in the Kanto region...Swallows, Lions, Baystars and maybe the Marines. Those I can buy easily, although I still may preorder a Swallows ticket since it is against the Carp and they are on a roll these days. I will be there first 2 weeks in Sept and I know weather(Typhoons) can affect things, but with my only 2 prepurchase being in domed stadiums I won't have to worry about rain cancellations.

Also going to attend a couple farm league games just to see those (Giants, Marines). Can't bet the price of the Marines (free) and Giants is 1000 yen.

As a post-script...why can't baseball and sports tickets in North America be sold without gouge type markups? The Ham Fighter tickets had no markup at all. I was looking at 2 Triple A tickets in Buffalo NY. By the time fees the tickets had jumped in price over 50%.
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Old Jul 27, 16, 5:23 pm
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I was in Sendai for three days in early July and found myself back in Tokyo on a Tuesday afternoon with about nine hours to kill before a HND - LAX flight. While on the metro, it dawned on me to check to see if any games were happening in Tokyo and saw that the Giants were playing the Tigers at the Tokyo Dome. I headed down there, half expecting to not be able to get tickets due to the match up but despite walking up prior to the game, I was able to get in.

I posted in this thread years ago about buying tickets from JapanBall, so this was my first time buying baseball tickets in person (although I have been to see FC Tokyo and bought tickets at the box office). I would assume that some of it was due to the fact I was in Tokyo but the Giants seemed decently well equipped to handle the non-Japanese/non-so-great-at-Japanese speakers. Besides myself, there were definitely some other groups waiting in line who did not speak Japanese and everyone seemed to be able to purchase a ticket. I was told by the friendly lady at the box office that a couple of sections I was interested in were sold out and ended up about three rows down from the top along the third base line.

Good fun as always but that was my third dome in a row, sadly. Was supposed to see the Golden Eagles v. Seibu Lions but since I was afraid of a rain out, I headed up to Yamadera instead on that day.
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Old Jul 28, 16, 12:14 am
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I'm off to Kobe tonight, Osaka Dome tomorrow. That will be 8 stadiums for me, all this year, counting 2 preseason games in April. Then Fukuoka and Yokohama in September will make it ten.
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Old Jan 31, 17, 4:26 pm
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Looking to buy a Giants ticket for March31. They do not appear to be on sale yet. Does anyone know when they are released? It looks like it is opening day, so I suspect that will be a hard ticket to buy.

Is opening day a big thing in Japan as it is stateside?

The Swallows have not released their 2017 schedule yet it seems.

Should I do both? I'm a big baseball fan and have always wanted to go to the Tokyo Dome.
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Old Jan 31, 17, 5:18 pm
  #56  
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Originally Posted by rivlinm View Post
Looking to buy a Giants ticket for March31. They do not appear to be on sale yet. Does anyone know when they are released? It looks like it is opening day, so I suspect that will be a hard ticket to buy.

Is opening day a big thing in Japan as it is stateside?

The Swallows have not released their 2017 schedule yet it seems.

Should I do both? I'm a big baseball fan and have always wanted to go to the Tokyo Dome.
A game at Tokyo Dome was not that impressive. Do yourself a favor and see a game at Honshin Koshien Stadium.
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Old Jan 31, 17, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by rivlinm View Post
Looking to buy a Giants ticket for March31. They do not appear to be on sale yet. Does anyone know when they are released? It looks like it is opening day, so I suspect that will be a hard ticket to buy.

Is opening day a big thing in Japan as it is stateside?

The Swallows have not released their 2017 schedule yet it seems.

Should I do both? I'm a big baseball fan and have always wanted to go to the Tokyo Dome.
March 31 Giants game at Tokyo Dome is the first official season game. The game starts at 6 p.m. and Tokyo Dome opens at 4 p.m. Limited advance sale of tickets start at Feb. 10 12:00 noon Japan time, limited advance sale is available via Giants Club and E Plus ticket sales website. General sales start at Feb. 25 11:00 a.m. Japan time.

And, yes, opening day is popular in Japan, too.

Opening day of Yakult Swallows is on March 31 6 p.m. at Jingu Stadium, sorry you won’t able to do both.
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Old Jan 31, 17, 8:12 pm
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Originally Posted by AlwaysAisle View Post
March 31 Giants game at Tokyo Dome is the first official season game. The game starts at 6 p.m. and Tokyo Dome opens at 4 p.m. Limited advance sale of tickets start at Feb. 10 12:00 noon Japan time, limited advance sale is available via Giants Club and E Plus ticket sales website. General sales start at Feb. 25 11:00 a.m. Japan time.

And, yes, opening day is popular in Japan, too.

Opening day of Yakult Swallows is on March 31 6 p.m. at Jingu Stadium, sorry you won’t able to do both.
Thanks!!!!

Is that info only available in Japanese? I understand the Tokyo Dome isn't all that exciting, but I worked in Tropicana Field for years, so can't be that much different.

Does Japan have dynamic pricing? Would it be best to attend Opening day at the Swallows for cheaper, and then attend a game at the Tokyo Dome the next day when tickets are easier and cheaper?
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Old Jan 31, 17, 11:06 pm
  #59  
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Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
A game at Tokyo Dome was not that impressive.
I have seen this sentiment on FT. But how exaggerated is this opinion? Is it really a matter of night and day when comparing a Giants game to other teams, or is it just a matter of degree?

I ask because we will have time to fit in one game while in Tokyo (July 2-4). The schedule shows a selection of Marines, Giants, or Lions. I like the idea of watching the Giants because the stadium is conveniently located (obviously) and we're SF Giants fans at home (is it cliche to bring our home apparel?). But I do want the "full" Japanese baseball experience.

FWIW, the son of a friend (a Floridian) plays for Hiroshima. I'd love to watch him play, but doing so would take time out of our Kyoto trip. In particular, the Swallows host the Carp the evening of July 7, but we plan on heading down to Kyoto by train that day, and it would obviously get very late after the game is over. I also don't want to take time away from Kyoto to see an Osaka game on July 8. That's our only full day in Kyoto.
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Old Feb 1, 17, 7:43 am
  #60  
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The best part about any baseball game in Japan are the spectators. Individual players "receive" their own chants, and it's an all-around nutty experience.

If someone invited me to another game there, I'd rather have a seat facing the crowd than the players.
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