Take Me Out to the Ballgame

If you're in town March through September, consider seeing the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks baseball team play one of its 70-some home games in Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome (tel. 092/847-1006), the first retractable-roof stadium in Japan. Tickets start at ¥1,500 for an unreserved seat in the outfield and are available at major convenience stores or at the box office. Personally, I find watching the spectators as much fun as watching the game, with their coordinated cheering, flag waving, trumpet blowing, and more. Oddly enough, the roof is kept closed (in case it rains and so that players aren't distracted by their shadows), but when the Hawks win, they open the roof and celebrate with eight specialty fireworks. And this being Japan, the dome is part of a larger Hawks Town complex (www.hawkstown.com) with a hotel, restaurants, and other amusements. To reach Hawks Town, take the subway to the Tojinmachi stop, from which it's about a 15-minute walk. Or take bus no. 39 or 306 from gate 5 of the Kotsu Bus Center in front of Hakata Station to the Fukuoka-Dome Mae. On game days, there are also special shuttle buses departing from the bus centers in Tenjin and Kotsu Center near Hakata Station.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.