Jingu Stadium Ballpark Beer Review

“Nama biru” is Japanese for “draft beer.”

Go to Jingu Stadium in Tokyo for a game — it’ll cost you half as much as the Tokyo Dome, and you’ll get to see the same game.

You know what will stick with you? The little things. You see, they have baseball in Tokyo, but they don’t call it that. They call it basebaru. Same thing, but a little different. Maybe it’s the metric system, or maybe it’s just society.

The beer experience fits right in — baseball with a little dash of shoyu.

Enter the stadium — owned by a Shinto shrine in the neighborhood whose grounds are mostly used by teenagers for makeout sessions — and pass the umbrella-toting cheer section. Take your seat and order up a curry rice bowl to put down a landing pad. Ignore the banner-waving visitor cheer squad. Note Matt Murton. Gawk at the cheerleader/dance squad as they pump and twirl to something that vaguely sounds like hip-hop.

Ready for a beer?

Just hail the young girl with the draft beer pony keg on her back.

By the time you’ve soaked this all in, it probably doesn’t matter that the beer choices are limited to the big Japanese beer companies — Sapporo, Yebisu, Kirin, Asahi — and their biggest beers. In fact, the pilsner-lite Japanese lagers might just be a perfect complement to your salty octopus balls.

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With a phone full of pictures of pitchers’ fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A’s or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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