Cheer on the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, one of Japan’s most beloved and successful baseball teams, in a hyper-modern stadium.
Fukuoka Yafuoku! Dome may be the world’s largest geodesic dome and the first stadium in Japan to have a retractable roof, but on game days, only the fans’ enthusiasm is noticeable. One of Japan’s most widely supported baseball teams, the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks were the first team in the Pacific League whose annual attendance surpassed 3 million people, in 2001, and their popularity has not diminished since. Put on a yellow and black baseball cap and head to the stadium to take in the atmosphere of Japanese baseball culture.
Join the throngs that stream from the subway station before the game begins. The huge stadium has welcomed crowds of more than 50,000 people for concerts by world superstars from Frank Sinatra to the Rolling Stones to Korean boy band Super Junior. Stop in the shop to pick up Hawks gear or peruse the selection of exclusive MLB collectors’ items here. Watch the cheerleaders shake pom-poms on the sideline, laugh at the antics of Fu-san, the mascot and get wrapped up in the infectious enthusiasm of stadium DJ Tsubasa.
If there are no games scheduled, head to the stadium for a backstage tour. Follow a “Dome Queen” around the complex, through the main field, the locker rooms and even the dugouts. Touch Japan’s tallest outfield fence and visit some of the areas usually closed off to visitors. With a bit of luck, spot a player and head home with a real celebrity selfie.
Fukuoka Yafuoku! Dome is the centerpiece of the Hawks Town entertainment complex in northern Fukuoka, located next to Momochi Beach. Walk from the closest subway station in 15 minutes, which is a 17-minute ride from the airport or 11 minutes from the Hakata station. A variety of buses run directly to the complex and the stadium from throughout the city. Drive from the airport in about 20 minutes. Metered parking is available in the complex, but it can be difficult to find and expensive on game days. Purchase tickets to games and book tours online.