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“Great Stadium to Watch a Game”
Review of Seibu Prince Dome

Seibu Prince Dome
Reviewed May 26, 2014

The Seibu Dome is a great place to watch baseball. I went here with my Japanese colleague to take in a game between the Seibu Lions and the Tokyo Giants in interleague play (Pacific vs. Central League). This stadium is unique in that it is domed but there are no walls in most sections of the stadium. And where there might have been partial walls, they did not meet the roof. As such, it is still partially open air. This offers the pleasant feature of allowing enjoyment of the game in the fresh air without it being affected by the elements. The stadium concession stands were a little primitive by US stadium standards but they were still extensive. There were several food choices including noodles, sushi and other Asian fare as well as Western stadium food such as KFC. Japanese baseball is a unique experience as the fans from the two teams sit, for the most part, on opposite sides of the stadium. In this case, there were a large contingent of Giants fans since Tokyo was an easy train ride from Saitama. When each team is at bat, their fans are led in organized chants and cheers to support their teams. For the home team, this included a drum (a la the movie "Major League") and a horn. There were also notable differences in some details such as the fact that the Manager can remain on the field as a new pitcher is warming up, players can play catch in front of the dugouts during the game and other such nuances. But the key thing is that the quality of play has always been very good from what I observed. The play tends to go on for a while (almost 4 hours in this case) as Japanese hitters are more patient and pitchers tend to nibble the corners instead of challenge the hitters. This makes for deep pitch counts and longer playing time. This was the eighth Japanese Major League, or Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), stadium to which I have been and this was probably one of the most enjoyable games I have witnessed. It helped that there was an exciting finish with a two-out, 3-run single (yes, single) in the ninth inning by the Tokyo batter (I think it was Abe) who had two strikes on him at the time. It was a hit that fell between the 2Bman, CF and RF and was off the glove of the 2Bman who unfortunately fell injured and had to be carried off the field by stretcher. That hit erased a 3-1 Seibu lead. Overall, it was a fun game to watch. If you are visiting Japan, a visit to an NPB game can be a very enjoyable experience. Even if you are not a baseball fan, it is an interesting window into Japanese culture. While Sumo might be the uniquely Japanese sport, Baseball is still the National game and the populace follows their teams passionately. The manifestation of this passion is intriguing to witness.

1  Thank Debbie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 28, 2014

This stadium is very close to Yokota Air Base (about 20 mins by car). You could even ride a bike, and I would guess it would be about an hour for the ride. It is only about 6 miles away. Tickets are reasonably priced and you can easily get them at any convenience store. Now, the home crowds sit on the 3rd base side while the visitors usually sit in right field. If you pick general admission tickets, then make sure you get their at least 30 mins prior to game start. If you have a larger group, then I recommend at least an hour so you can all sit together.
The food and souvenir prices are all reasonable, and actually a bit cheaper than American baseball stadiums.
If you have kids, they will be entertained throughout with the game and all the people, noise and music going on. I don't know if I would recommend very young children like two and younger, simply because the noise and crowds might scare them.
Overall, this is a nice place to see a game.

Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012

I have attended games at the Seibu Dome in 2008 and 2012. Although it is not the best baseball stadium in Japan from a design / facility / amenity point of view, it is actually my favorite place to watch a baseball game in Japan. The reason for this is very simple - good sightlines, relaxing environment and pleasant surroundings. Fans are not so rabid - at least in the two games I attended - that they became a distraction in their intensity.

The stadium design is one of a kind. The stadium is called a dome, but it was originally built as an outdoor stadium - all in a single level seating bowl so typical of many Japanese ballparks. A number of years later, a dome was added over the top of the seating bowl and field, but it was built up on supports, not attached to the seating bowl. As such there is about a 10-20 foot gap between the stadium itself and the dome and from most seats in the stadium, one can see outside.

The stadium is entered from the outfield and you must go into the gate that corresponds to whether your seat is on the first base or third base side. Concessions are located on the outside of the concourse - effectively outdoors, as are restrooms. The team used the posting money received from the Red Sox for signing Daisuke Matsuzaka to spruce up the facillty, adding two sections of in grandstand concession stands and considerably upgrading the scoreboard technology. Neither improvement changed the character of the place however.

A branch line of the Seibu private railway will bring you right to the forecourt of the Seibu Dome, with a long walkway lined with concession stands and with fight song / pep music playing in the background. The downside is that unless you catch one of the three or so direct trains between the Seibu Railways station at Ikebukuro (adjacent to the JR station and subway station) to the ballpark both before and after the game, you will have to change trains at Nishi Tokorozawa to travel between Ikebukuro and the ballpark. Changing trains on the way to the stadium involves staying on the same platform. One must change platforms on the return journey. Thus, the ballpark is not the easiest of the Japanese ballparks to travel to, but in my view the trip is well worth it.

2  Thank jbtexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile
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