It’s an exciting time to be a Hanshin Tigers fan! Last Saturday, the Tigers defeated the Giants 8-4 to advance into the Japan Series for the first time since 2005, pretty big news! They’ll be playing 7 games against the Softbank Hawks from Fukuoka, starting this Saturday.
I was watching last week’s game on my walk home, and opted to head straight back out to Shinsaibashi once it became clear this was going to be one hell of a game. I watched the game at Balabushka, and after the win headed back a small baseball bar on Dotonbori, called Toracy.
This is a really cool little bar, everyone inside was going crazy after the win! Gotta admit I’d had a bit drink, but I remember chatting to a bunch of people and arm wrestling some random dude with huge arms, I lost, twice. Unsurprisingly, things were pretty noisy outside – Dotonbori is traditionally a spot for Tigers fans to celebrate a big victory! That night over 50 people jumped into the river from Ebisu bridge – again a tradition! It was so busy I couldn’t get near, but here’s a great video from someone else:
When I first went to a Tigers game last year, I was just expecting a fun afternoon of beer and a bit of baseball, but across the course of the game we got really drawn in, and met so many friendly fans who made Emma and I welcome – we really started to care. This year we’re official fan club members and have been to Koshien a good half-dozen times, would’ve been more if it weren’t for some cancelled games! Anyway, I’ve said this is passing to many people, but let’s make it official…
If the Tigers win the Japan Series, regaining champion status for the first time since 1985, I’ll jump into Dotonbori river! SPLOOSH!
No matter what happens over the next few days, the Tigers have had their best season in almost ten years – before I first came to Japan, and I’m glad I’ve been here to enjoy their success!