Choosing Seats for a Game at Koshien – A Fan’s Guide

You found a way to get tickets to your game at Koshien. Now the question is, which section do you want to sit in? How can you make your Koshien experience the best one possible for you? What dictates your decision? Cost? Atmosphere? Food? View? We’ll break down each section and give you the low-down on all of the above factors, plus maybe even a little more!

Just a few notes about food in particular. Obviously, you will be able to get food from anywhere in the stadium that you want, no matter where your seats are. You can even bring in food (and drink) from the outside! There’s a good bento shop just outside the stadium, for that matter. But quick, easy access to that food is a different matter. We will break down what some of the key available foods are in each part of the stadium.


First of all, a look at ticket types…


Behind Home Plate

You might be wondering why the section behind home plate in the above diagram is white and has no section name. Well, those tickets are not for mere mortals like you and me. Only when rich businessmen hook it up will you get to see the game from this area. And once upon a time (OK, maybe three or four times upon a time) I was blessed with such seats. It’s an amazing view, and you definitely feel a bit elite when you sit here… but it certainly is not the most lively of areas. Still, it’s nice to be able to put your food on a flat surface in front of you, instead of having to put it in your lap.


Ivy Seats

Cost: ¥4,500 on weekdays, ¥4,800 on weekends/holidays AND vs. Giants. No child discounts.

Comfort: Back rests, arm rests, cup holders, reasonably spacious. It just doesn’t feel very crowded at all, even if every seat is full. If you’re sitting high enough up, you will be sheltered against the elements, which is good if it’s a rainy day, but ultimately it makes the balloon launch a little less enjoyable because you’re shooting your balloon forward instead of upward.

Atmosphere: Outside of the crowd behind home plate, the is the most laid back part of the stadium. You get some people slapping their bats together and singing the cheer songs, but you can very easily have a conversation with the person next to you throughout the game. You can also concentrate fully on what is happening pitch-by-pitch, and if you’re sitting close enough, you can even get good pictures of the Tigers as they come back to the dugout after the visitor half of the inning.

Food: To be updated once the season starts.


Breeze Seats

Cost: ¥4,500 on weekdays, ¥4,800 on weekends/holidays AND vs. Giants. No child discounts.

Comfort: Basically the same as the Ivy seats, but you may find yourself amidst the visiting team’s fans, especially if that team is the Carp or Giants. If you’re sitting high enough up, you will be sheltered against the elements, which is good if it’s a rainy day, but ultimately it makes the balloon launch a little less enjoyable because you’re shooting your balloon forward instead of upward.

Atmosphere: And because the visitors’ fans may be interspersed here, there is even less of a festive atmosphere during the game. One of my experiences here came during the best game EVER. We had a row of Carp fans in front of us, and a row of them behind us, too. It made for a really ulcer-inducing first half. All this to say, if you’re sitting here, you better find your fellow Tigers fans and cheer extra loud with them!

Food: To be updated once the season starts.


1B Alps Seats

Cost:¥2,500 (kids < 12 ¥1,000) on weekdays, ¥2,700 (kids ¥1,100) on weekends/holidays AND vs. Giants

Comfort: Just flat benches as far as the eye can see. If the crowd is full, it can be a bit cramped here. And if the team is not playing well, it can be rather painful after awhile. (I bring a cushion!) But if the team is winning, you won’t even notice it at all! On the plus side, if the seat(s) beside you (or in front of you) are vacant, you can stretch out a little, making this (in a way) more comfortable than the Ivy seats — no arm rests means you can let it all hang out!

Atmosphere: In my opinion, these seats offer you the best of both worlds – you get a decent view (see below) of the whole field, you get a lot of crowd involvement and noise, and you get a reasonable price. Almost all fans sing along to the cheer songs, almost all fans have cheering bats, and you’ll also find a lot of fan club jerseys in the crowd. Aside from the right field stands, this is the most festive part of the stadium.

Food: To be updated once the season starts.


3B Alps Seats

Cost: ¥2,500 (kids < 12 ¥1,000) on weekdays, ¥2,700 (kids ¥1,100) on weekends/holidays AND vs. Giants

Comfort: Very much the same as the first base alps. No backs on the seats, no arm rests. Since this section typically sells out less quickly than the first base side, you are more likely to have more space to stretch out a little… but don’t bank on it!

Atmosphere: Depending on the opponent, you might find yourself in the minority. By my estimation, this section is probably 80% Carp fans, 50% Giants fans, and under 20% for any other team – even dipping below 10% visitor fans for the less popular teams. Still, you are closer to the left field visitor seats, so you will get an earful (or two) of the other teams’ songs. That’s not necessarily a bad thing… but if you have just one chance to see a Tigers game, try to stay on the right side of the field.

Food: To be updated once the season starts.


Right Field Seats

Cost: ¥1,900 (kids < 12 ¥600) on weekdays, ¥2,200 (kids ¥700) on weekends/holidays AND vs. Giants

Comfort: Just hard seats. No backs, no arm rests, no frills. But you might not even need the surface under your butt, because…

Atmosphere: It’s a party from before the first inning until after the last out is recorded. Especially if the team is winning! You’ll be as close to the ouendan (cheering squad) as you can be, and this will always be the loudest, rowdiest, funnest section to be in. If you are looking for a baseball experience that is different from what you’re used to stateside, then look no further – you will become a Hanshin Tigers addict if you sit (stand) here!

Food: To be updated once the season starts.


Left Field Seats

Cost: ¥1,900 (kids < 12 ¥600) on weekdays, ¥2,200 (kids ¥700) on weekends/holidays AND vs. Giants

Comfort: No different than the right field stands, as far as seat quality goes. The view here is pretty awesome (better than the awful picture shows). However…

Atmosphere: You’re on the wrong side of center if you want to cheer for the Tigers. You might get lucky and find yourself surrounded by mostly yellow jerseys, but then again, maybe not. It depends on which team is in town. Also, on the one occasion that I sat here, I was just a few rows below the Dragons cheering squad. And since they won the game and our offense was brutal, it was a long night of listening to chants and cheers that did not tickle my ears. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Food: To be updated once the season starts.


Left Field Visitor Seats

Cost: ¥1,900 (kids < 12 ¥600) on weekdays, ¥2,200 (kids ¥700) on weekends/holidays AND vs. Giants

Comfort: Unless you love the other team, its fans, and their chanting, this is a rather emotionally uncomfortable section. Basically it’s the same style of seating as the left and right field bleachers.

Atmosphere: The other team’s fans will be as loud as they can be. As you can see from the map above, the size of the section depends on the visiting team. The biggest sections are reserved for Giants and Carp fans (and they will spill out into the surrounding areas as well), while the smallest section is reserved for Eagles fans. But really, the Swallows, BayStars, and much of the Pacific League also has pretty poor showings at these games. Still, if you’re a Tigers fan in the middle of this section, it will be rowdy at all the wrong times.

Food: See Left Field Seats…


Ponta Deck Seats

Cost: ¥48,000 on weekdays, ¥56,000 on weekends/holidays AND vs. Giants. *** You get 16 tickets for this price!

Comfort: Pretty awesome. There are a couple of picnic tables and long wood benches. You won’t find yourself getting too comfy but the awesome thing is, you can get up, move around, stretch, whatever, without getting in other people’s way.

Atmosphere: Chill. Feels like you’re watching the game from your back porch, which has an aerial view of Koshien Stadium. You’re sitting/standing at the very far top corner of the 1B (or 3B) Alps, right next to the Right Field (or Left Field) stands, so you get lots of noise and vibrance… but you also have your own area from which to enjoy the game with friends.

Food: You are unfortunately about as far as you can get from concessions. See 1B/3B Alps for your best food options. Also, beer girls (and the rest of the grandstand vendors) have to climb extra stairs to get to you, so you might have to wave a bit madly to get their attention!


Mitsuya Cider Box

Cost: ¥14,800-29,000 on weekdays, ¥16,000-¥30,000 on weekends/holidays AND vs. Giants. *** Some boxes seat four people, others seat five. For more information, click here (Japanese only). Your ticket also gets you a free Asahi soft drink.

Comfort: It appears to be a blend between the Ponta Deck – it’s table-and-bench style, and the Ivy/Breeze upper seats – you’re sheltered from the rain and sun.

Atmosphere: You might have a support pole obstructing part of your group’s view, but at least you’ll have a TV to watch replays and get a clear view of what you might otherwise miss. I can’t imagine the balloon launch is a ton of fun from these seats, as the ceiling is pretty low. I haven’t ever sat here so I don’t know exactly what kind of atmosphere there is, but I’d imagine it’s what you make of it, since you’re kind of boxed in with a few of your closest friends!

Food: See Ivy and Breeze Seats section.


Seven Eleven Twin/Triple Seats

Cost: ¥9,400 (twin) / ¥14,100 (triple) on weekdays, ¥10,000 (twin) / ¥15,000 (triple) on weekends, holidays AND vs. Giants

Comfort: The lap of luxury. Literally. Cushioned seat backs. Arm rests. Cup holders. Aisles on both sides. About as comfy as you’re going to get as a “commoner” at Koshien.

Atmosphere: As you’re on the third base side in the Breeze seating, there probably isn’t a whole lot of fan noise during most of the game. Since I have not ever sat here, I’m not going to pretend I know what it’s like. But if I get around to it this season, I will fill you in.

Food: See Breeze Seats section.


So there you have it. Choose your seats wisely! Or better yet, plan on attending several games, and try out different sections to see which suits you best!

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T-Ray is the founder, chief writer and Junior Executive Vice President of Hanshin Tigers English News (H-TEN). Find him on Twitter @thehanshintiger.

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