And with the cool November-autumn breeze, baseball season has descended upon Zamami. The number of tourists has dropped off as compared to the peak summer months. Zamami’s residents, a majority of whom are involved in tourism related work, have enthusiastically found themselves with enough free time to test their skills on the diamond. While the Zamami Sports Day a few weeks ago may have been a good warm up, for those participating in this week’s baseball tournament, the name of the game is specialization. Teams have been holding evening practices under the lights on Zamami’s baseball field for the past month, and the time has come to put that effort to the test.
For visitors looking to take in the spectacle, there will be two games per night, at 18:30 and around 20:00. The November baseball season in Zamami is a relatively short one with 5 days worth of double-headers on 11/5 (Wednesday,) 11/6 (Thursday,) 11/7 (Friday,) 11/10 (Monday,) and 11/12 (Tuesday.) As with the village sports day, Zamami Village’s various hamlets and teams will compete against each other for the championship title. For spectators who happen to be in the area, feel free to bring your own beer and food to the athletic park on the right side of the port if you were facing the ocean. You will know exactly where it is as soon as the sun begins to go down. There aren’t many bright lights in Zamami and you will be heading towards possibly the brightest lights in the village.
Although the stadium lights will give you the sense that you’re heading to a big-league game, you won’t find the typical vendors, crowds, or facilities. Instead, what you will find is a close-knit community enjoying a cool autumn night over a game of baseball. In my books, that is real entertainment worth much more than over-priced tickets. So come join us in enjoying Japanese baseball at its grassroots level. Having been played in Japan for nearly as long as in the U.S. (try since 1872) and without another historically major spectator’s sport like American football, ice-hockey, or basketball, baseball is very much so “Japan’s Game.”