JAPAN — Day 3

Our 3rd day in Japan started with a subway ride to an area in Tokyo called Harajuku. When we first got off the train, everything was fancy . . .

. . . but after walking around for a bit, we found a street (called “Omate Sando Dori,” I think) that looked like this:

As you can see, it was teeny-bopper central.

My mom and half-sister poked around a trinket store; I stood beside the lamppost and people-watched.

“Where are all the black people?” I thought. “Where are the minorities? How come there’s no ethnic variety?”

And then, as if on cue, I spotted a young Latino couple walking toward me. The man was tall and athletic-looking, and when he got a bit closer, I noticed that he was wearing large diamond earrings. His female companion was a foot shorter and slightly heavy. I tried to pull out my camera just to document the simple fact of seeing LATINO PEOPLE IN JAPAN, but I was too late — and then it hit me: I had just spotted Felix Hernandez! Here’s a picture of him (in the tan jacket) from behind:

That IS Felix Hernandez, right? (For anyone who ends up reading this entry years from now, know that the A’s and Mariners are in town for a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome.)

The street got more crowded . . .

. . . and then really REALLY crowded:

I was more interested in the graffiti than the shopping:

It was pretty cool to see graffiti in both English and Japanese. Here’s some more:

Of all the people that I saw throughout the day, these two were my favorite:

Lunch was a mini-adventure. I ordered some fried bally things with avocado and shrimp:

Seems harmless, right? Well, look what popped out when I bit into one of them:

See the purple thing with the suction cups? That would be octopus. Oy/ew/no.

At 12:45pm, I parted ways with my mom and half-sister and headed back into the subway:

I rode the Marunouchi line to the Korakuen stop, which you can see below on the map:

Then I headed toward the following sign . . .

. . . and was on my way to baseball bliss:

To read the full story (and see 60 photos) about this game at the Tokyo Dome, click here.


  1. Double T

    Zack, did you go to the second game? When I clicked the thing to read about the game, it just came up as a your first game.

    Everyone- How many people were disappointed with the Doritos Locos Taco at Taco Bell? I could barely taste the nacho cheese. Word on the street has it that Taco Bell is making a Cool Ranch Dorito Taco this fall.

  2. Zack Hample

    Sorry for the confusion. The game that I attended on March 28th was “Day 3” of my trip. I decided to blog about that game in one entry and then blog about the rest of the day in another entry. My next entry will be titled “3/29/12 at the Tokyo Dome.” I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post it before I get back home to New York City, but I promise it won’t take more than another day or two.

  3. Ben S

    Hey Zack, How terrible are the Mets’ policies about going down to the dugout without a ticket for there? Because we are friends with Dbacks coach Glenn Sherlock, we plan on trying to chat with him before one of the Dbacks/Mets games in May. Please let me know!

  4. kslo69

    Two interesting thing in the “Felix” photo, the word “Lotteria” is the spanish language word for “Lottery”, and the Keith Haring mural. It’s gotta be a tribute, right?

  5. ben jordan

    personally I never liked the big egg – too impersonal – I always went to Yakult Swallows games in Gaienmae – outdoor stadium built int the 20’s. When swallows score everyone dances with disposable umbrellas. Not quite like watching the mets now …. the octopus balls are a famous street food – there should have been a picture of an octopus on the stall. They’re called tako-tako. If you hit harajuku at the right time (sunday mornings) you can see the japanese rockabilly elvises dancing at the entrance to yoyogi park. Good times.

  6. mlblogsfishfry55

    You were right about Marlins Park, I went last night and it was IMPOSSIBLE to ballhwak. Even during BP you have to have a ticket for the section you want to get into, so you’d have to work your semi-illegal magic. I’m not sure if it was only that way for these exhibition games in order to work out logistics, but I sure hope that policy is changed for the regular season.

  7. Nicholas Le

    Hey Zack,

    I take it that you didn’t like the takoyaki (the fried octopus ball)? Haha. Sounds like you had an adventure. Great reading for me. It’s been a while since I took a look at your blog.

  8. Zack Hample

    BEN S-
    It’s awful. Check out my newer entry (3/29/12 at the Tokyo Dome). I answered you there.

    Well, how about that. I hadn’t noticed until you pointed it out.


    I wish you’d been there as my personal tour guide. I would’ve bought you all the tako-tako you could eat.

    Yikes, I’m sorry to hear that, but c’mon, don’t make me sound like a criminal just because of my Houdini-like usher-eluding skills. Let me know if the policies change before I’m there in six weeks.

    It’s easy to talk the talk . . .

    Ha, yeah, not so much. Thanks for checking out the blog.

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