Blog This

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chunichi Dragons

Last Sunday I had the good fortune to attend my first professional baseball game in Japan, possibly first professional game ever. I think the only game I've gone to that wasn't mine or my brother's was the Vancouver team. Anyways, this lived up to and exceeded what I was expecting. The stadium wasn't full but there was a lot of people there and they were all dedicated fans. Almost everyone was wearing some sort of Dragons paraphernalia or carrying something with the teams logo. This team is probably so well supported now in the pre-season because they were the 2007 Japan Series champions. They lived up to their hype as they won this game 2-0. Their official name is the Chunichi Dragons and their home field is the Nagoya Dome in Nagoya.

Fun Fact: The Dragons was the team featured in the Tom Selleck smash hit "Mr. Baseball." Also, part of Mr. Baseball was filmed in Okazaki, so I will definitely be watching that again when I come home. I've mentioned the movie to some Japanese people and they've never heard of it, but maybe that's because it's a 90s movie starring Tom Selleck.

I went with 2 girls from work (left to right: Heather, Milla and myself).

Friday, March 07, 2008


So this is more than a month late, but apparently someone (i won't name names) is still interested in what I'm doing over here, so here it goes. Near the end of January, Kelsey and I took a night bus from Nagoya to Hiroshima. It took about 8 and half hours and I barely slept a wink. After finding some food at the bus station we went looking for our hostel but on the way we stumbled across the A-Dome site. The weather was cold, wet and dark which suited the somber site of the attack quite well. The sight of the building didn't quite make the impact on me that I was expecting until we walked through the Memorial Museum. At first glance the A-Dome looks like any dilapidated building but once seeing pictures and reading stories about what actually happened, it is amazing that it is still standing. Near the A-Dome in the park is the children's memorial site and that is where we found the paper cranes. These were first created when a young survivor developed Leukemia and remembered an old Japanese legend that says that anyone who makes 1000 paper cranes will be granted a wish. She completed over a thousand before her death and after her passing her friends created book of her letters and the memorial site for Sadako and children of the attack.
The Memorial Museum was breathtaking. If you ever get a chance to come to Japan I highly recommed going to Hiroshima. There is an endless amount of information, pictures and items from the attack. There are things as simple as dishes that had been fused together because of the extreme heat. At the point of explosion the bomb temperature was about 300,000 C and at the hypocenter above ground level the temperature exceeded 6000 C which is about the same temperature as the outer layer of the sun. There's also simple artifacts such as the piece of sidewalk that is turned into a horrifying piece of history because the simple shadow burnt into the pavement which marks the body of the human being who was sitting there as the bomb was dropped.
The next day we went to Miyajima. This is an island that is about a 5 minute ferry ride from Hiroshima. You may have seen pictures of the great torii or gate in adds for Japan, as it is one of the most photographed sites. On the island we saw the great torii and it was really beautiful, however the tide was out and it would have been a nicer view if the tide was in. Also, on Miyajima deer roam free, much like Nara. For lunch Kelsey and I splurged and had the local delicacy of raw oysters. They were presented very beautifully and they were huge. The rain had stopped so it was nice wandering around the island and checking out the sites such as Itsukushima Shrine which is partially built over water and had great views of the torii.
We also checked out an art museum, some tasty restaurants and some shops while were in Hiroshima, however the Memorial Museum and Miyajima were the highlights and memories I will keep with me forever.