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Off the road

Japanese Baseball

Baseball (Yakyu in Japanese) is the most popular sport in Japan, though it is not a major sport in the world. When baseball was imported from the USA in 1871, it was played as an amateur sport. After the first professional team started in the early 20th century, baseball became a popular national sport.
Kokoyakyu
For Americans, it would be interesting to watch a NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) game and compare the difference between Major League Baseball. The season of NPB games are from the end of March to late October. There are 12 teams in 2 leagues (Central League and Pacific League). You can see the games mainly in their home ground of Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Yokohama, Chiba, Nagoya, Osaka, Nishinomiya, Kobe, Hiroshima and Fukuoka). A ticket costs around 1,000 yen to 6000 depending on the seat.

As well as professional baseball, Amateur baseball is also a popular spectator sport, people especially love to watch high school baseball games (Koko-yakyu). In March and August every year, the national high school baseball championship tournament is held at theKoshien Stadium in Nishinomiya City. It is something of an annual event for the Japanese and during the tournament period, the 60,000-seat stadium is filled full with spectators and as they cheer for their local teams. It would be a good idea to to go to the stadium if you stay in Kyoto or Osaka during the period.

Japanese baseball.com
http://www.japanesebaseball.com/
Kokoyakyu
Baseball Guru.com
http://baseballguru.com/bbjp1.html

High school baseball
http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2006/kokoyakyu/

Tokyo Big3 collage baseball league http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Big6_Baseball_League

J-Hoppers Hostels

J-Hoppers Group Site

Hostel in kyoto

J-Hoppers Hostel Kyoto

The hostel opened in Kyoto in 2002. It's an 8 minute walk from JR Kyoto Station. There are many important historical sites such as Toji Temple or Fushimi-Inari Shrine. The nearest bus stop is right in front of this hostel , which is on the quite convenitnt bus route to access to other major sights such as Kinkakuji, Kiyomizudera or Gion.

Hostel in Hiroshima

J-Hoppers Hostel Hiroshima

The hostel opened in Hiroshima in 2006. The builing used to be a Japanese style ryokan and most guest rooms are Japanese style with tatami matts. Located near the Peace Memorial Park and A-bomb Dome. You can also go to Miyajima, which is one of the 3 most scenic spots in Japan, by tram.

Budget hotel in Osaka

J-Hoppers Hostel Osaka

The hostel opened in Osaka in 2008. It's just about 15 minutes walk to JR Osaka station, which has extensive travel links to everywhere. It could be a starting point for all sightseeing places not only Osaka but also Nara, Kobe, Koyasan and Himeji.

Guesthouse in Hida Takayama

J-Hoppers Hostel Takayama

The hostel opened in Takayama in 2009. It's just 3 minutes walk to JR Takayama station. Takayama has preserved the feeling of a castle town. There are lots of historical spots such as Histrorical Govement House, San-machi-suji lined with stores selling the traditional wares and craftman's workshop and Hida Folk Village.

Sharehouse in Kyoto