Japanese High School Baseball is comparable to American collage football in popularity. A nationwide tournament "Kōshien(甲子園)" is held twice a year. It is televised and draws enthusiastic viewers from all over Japan.
In this article, we will introduce Kōshien, the most emotional sports tournament in the world!
What is Kōshien?
In Japan, Kōshien generally refers to the two annual baseball tournaments played by high schools nationwide culminating at a final showdown at Hanshin Kōshien Stadium(阪神甲子園球場) at Nishinomiya in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.
They are organized by the Japan High School Baseball Federation in association with the Mainichi Shimbun(毎日新聞) for the National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament in the spring (also known as "Spring Kōshien") and the Asahi Shimbun(朝日新聞) for the National High School Baseball Championship in the summer (also known as "Summer Kōshien").
Remembering the Glory Days
These nationwide tournaments enjoy widespread popularity similar to that of NCAA March Madness in the United States, arguably equal to or greater than professional baseball. Qualifying tournaments are often televised locally and each game of the final stage at Kōshien is televised nationally on NHK(日本放送協会).
The tournaments have become a national tradition, and large numbers of frenzied students and parents travel from hometowns to cheer for their local team. It is a common sight to see players walking off the field in tears after being eliminated from the tournament by a loss.
The beginning of a legend
The star players of the championship team achieve a degree of celebrity status. For the players, playing at Kōshien is the door to playing at the professional level. Due to the recruiting practices of Japanese high schools, top prospects often play on strong teams that are able to reach the final tournament at Kōshien. Many professional baseball players first made their mark at Kōshien, including Ichiro Suzuki.
If you have a chance to see a baseball game in Japan, GO!!!
Advance ticket can be brought from sales sites(Japanese Only). On the day ticket may be become sold out, so we recommend you to buy advance tickets. The ticket fee is around the same for both spring and summer.
Spring Koshien: 23th March to 3rd April, 2018
Summer Koshien: 5th August to 22nd August, 2018
・ONE DAY Ticket: JPY 1,500 (about USD $12.0) children: JPY 600
・BOX SEAT (4~5 person): JPY 8,000 ~ 13,000 (about USD $64.3 ~ 104.5)
・PAIR SEAT (counter table with TV): JPY 6,000 (about USD $48.2)
・ALPS DECK SEAT: (seating capacity: 16) JPY 16,000 (about USD $128.6)
＜Find seats map＞
・ONE DAY Ticket and BOX SEAT is ③～⑤ and ⑩～⑫ area.
・PAIR SEAT is ⑥～⑨ area.
・ALPS DECK SEAT is ①②, ⑫～⑭ and ㉔ area.
※1 Once you get the ticket, you can watch all games of the day. (There are one to four games per day.)
※2 Advance ticket for Summer Koshien is sold from mid-July.
1-82 Koshien-cho, Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo prefecture 〒663-8152
5minutes by foot from Hanshin Railway Koshien Station(阪神甲子園駅)