Hokkaido Day One: 98 Percent Straight

Today I embarked on a ten day trip to the northern most of the main islands of Japan, Hokkaido. I decided that I have been active on this blog at all because I could never find a clear or unique purpose for it. I decided to go with a modern classic, “The Travel Blog.”

So for the next 10 days I will be writing about my trip here in Hokkaido. I can’t guarantee updates everyday as some of the more remote places don’t have wimax coverage in their area, but when I am ear civilization again, I’ll throw up some post

The first three days I’ll be in Sapporo and going to see the Hokkaido Nippon Ham professional baseball team (they are my favorite of the Japanese teams). After that I will be heading to Obihiro, then to Asahikawa, followed by Wakkanai, back south to Furano, and finally back to Sapporo for three more days of baseball.

You’re probably thinking now, that’s a lot of baseball game. You must really like this team. I do really like this team, but to understand why I’d want to see six games, I’ll break it down. A few years back I made of list of things I wanted to do while in Japan. Things like go to Okinawa, see that famous Penis festival, climb Mt. Fuji, and see Darvish pitch a home game in Sapporo. Darvish is one of, if not the best pitcher currently playing in Japan, and he pitches for my team (figuratively as well, as he is quite the lady killer). He may go to the Major Leagues in the States, so I wanted to seem him before his inevitable departure (to the Braves, I hope). To semi-guarantee that I would see him pitch, I chose to watch six games.

So, I flew in to town this afternoon and after arriving in Sapporo I found a coin locker to store my backpack. The kind of backpacks that smelly 19 year old college kids wear when traveling through Europe or Southeast Asia to discover “what it all means.” The kind of back smelly dispossessed 30 somethings wear when they travel to Europe and Southeast Asia to discover… you know that kind of backpack. It’s a nice backpack, but we aren’t here to talk about backpacks now, are we?

Yay! I'm here!

So I bustled on over to Sapporo Dome. I picked up a Darvish #11 jersey and headed into the Stadium. Compared to the shit-hole that is Tokyo Dome, Sapporo Dome is awesome. I still prefer open air stadiums to domes, but the inside of this one is nice. The bathrooms are nice, the food is quality (not that bathrooms and the food are connected, just making a list), it’s just a nice new stadium.

I arrived in the bottom of the first, so I hurried to find my seats. When the Fighters play in Tokyo Dome the fan / cheering section is usually free seating, but I like that I had an assigned seat. Since I was arriving late it guaranteed a nice spot.

I quickly pulled out my newly purchased jersey and donned it. I also purchased some new noise sticks. I’m not sure if that is what they are called, but they are hollow plastic sticks you bang together to make noise. Japanese baseball is unique in that it is so loud and their is a lot more cheering compared with American Baseball. I mean each player gets their own song/chant when they are up to bat!

Darvish is Warming Up His Arm

When Darvish took the mound I was excited. I felt like a school kid. I got lucky earlier this year and saw him pitch at a game in Tokyo Dome. Being at a Home game in the home stadium (the Fighters play 8 home games a year in Tokyo to make the fans they left behind happy) I was even more excited. I love watching this guy pitch. He’s only 24 years old (I just had to check that, and OMG! his birthday is totally in 3 days!! Happy Birthday Darvish!! I love yo… your pitching!) *ahem* Only 24 years old and he is one of the best in the league. He has a career ERA of 2.12. The past 4 years he’s been consistent at around 1.8. His career WHIP is 1.02 (league leader the past 4 years). God, he is awesome.

Will you sign my boobs?!

Yeah, I have a man-crush on Darvish. He’s young, cool, talented,successful, and totally dreamy. Watching him pitch a complete game tonight with 14 strikeouts was awesome. Bases loaded in the 2nd inning and he pitched his way out. He may play for my team, and we also play for the same team… Don’t get me wrong, I’m straight and pretty sure of that, I think. At least 98% of the time.

Darvish, you amazing man you. That other 2% is when you’re on the mound.

Oh yeah, we totally beat the Softbank Hawks 4-0 tonight.