Photoscape / Birth of a New Baseball Stadium in the Tokyo Hills
2:00 JST, January 2, 2024
Aboard a helicopter that took off from Haneda Airport, a construction site resembling the shape of a fish came into view as we flew over the Tama Hills of Tokyo’s Inagi City.
Here among the rolling hillside, a new training complex for pro baseball’s Yomiuri Giants is in the early stages of being built. Called Tokyo Giants Town, it will be Japan’s first to integrate an aquarium with a baseball stadium, the outline of which can be seen as the pilings for the first floor stick out from the ground.
To the southeast is the Yomiuriland amusement park. While it is still difficult to get a mental picture of the finished stadium, the unique perimeter road surrounded the site is unmistakable from 600 meters above.
Excitement is building among area residents with each step forward in the construction of the new stadium. In the Inagi municipal government building, an artist’s drawing of the new stadium and Giants goods are on display in front of the planning and policy division on the fifth floor.
Young staff members set up booths at local events to spread public awareness, and tours of the construction site are being considered. “I want people to feel that it is good to live in Inagi,” said Shin Uehara of the division.
In mid-November, a number of Giants players visited Minamiyama Elementary School located near the site for a clinic in the schoolyard. The faces of the young students showed they were all business as they learned the techniques of the pros.
The gleam in one young girl’s eyes expressed her excitement over the stadium being built so close by. “Part of me can’t believe it, but I can’t wait,” she said.
The stadium opening is planned for March 2025, and behind the left-field bleachers, the aquarium with underwater corridor is slated for fiscal 2026.Yomiuri Shimbun photos
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