Asahi Japan Tour 2019
Written by Wylie Waters
The 2019 trip to Japan was a special trip for me. I would like to thank my family for giving me the opportunity to go, as well as thank my coaches, friends and other player’s parents who helped make our trip possible.
Although I have ties to Japan through my Great Grandparents, this was my first trip to Japan. In fact, my Great Grandfather played a few games for the Vancouver Asahi Team in the early 1930’s and knowing my Great Grandfather had ties to Asahi made this trip extra special for myself and my family.
Our trip started on March 15 where we stayed in Yokohama.
There we got the opportunity to practice with the senior players from Yokohama Minami Boys and Izumi Little Senior Club. The practice was very organized and fun, but was a workout that many of us had never experienced before. We then realized how hard the Japanese players practice. The respect the players have for the field, equipment and people is unbelievable and I would love to demonstrate this back home.
Tokyo was exciting to visit as we got to experience taking the train and subway system. We watched a game at the Tokyo Dome and saw the famous Ichiro Suzuki play in his home town after coming back from retirement. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric from the roaring crowd.
We also got to visit the Tokyo Giants practice facility and see a game with the Giants prospects playing an exhibition game against a Japanese college team. After the game we got to meet Scott Mathieson, this was special as he is from BC and a former MLB player that is now playing for the Tokyo Giants.
We then travelled to Hikone by bus and on the way, we were lucky to see Mount Fuji on a clear day.
When we arrived, we received a warm welcome from the people of Hikone.
The team went to Koshien Stadium to watch a senior high school game and that was quite an experience. Watching the large crowd of people and the teams cheering squads was something that you would not see at home. I enjoyed the exciting atmosphere of the stadium and the style of the baseball the teams were playing. The caliber of baseball was very high and competitive.
Another highlight for me was taking the Shinkansen to Hiroshima where I met some relatives, who showed us around the city. We were able to visit the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, looking at some serious history. We saw the Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium where the Carps play. One day I hope to return to Hiroshima to see more of the city and maybe see a Baseball game.
The overall trip to Japan was an excellent experience that helped show my family and my self a culture different to our own. Through the Shin Asahi Japan Tour, I got to experience a side of Japan involving Baseball that I never would have had otherwise. I learned that you should always respect the field, equipment and others around you while putting in full effort into everything you do.