Kyoto Baseball

Baseball is the most popular team sport in Kyoto and the game is diligently followed by youngsters.

The game is extremely popular in the high schools, colleges and universities and most of the educational institutions participate in the local and national level baseball tournaments. Kansai Big Six Baseball League is a baseball league for the colleges and the universities, which is held in the central Kansai region of Japan that includes Hyogo in the west to Kyoto in the east. The league has been an integral part of the Japan University Baseball Federation for more than fifty years now. Kyoto University and Ritsumeikan University of Kyoto are members of the league and colleges affiliated to these universities participate in the league every year.

The rise of baseball in Japan and Kyoto can be traced back to the nineteenth century; it was introduced in the year 1872 and since then the game has caught the fancy of the nation. It gained immense popularity in the junior high schools and senior high schools and the first professional baseball league in Japan started in 1920. Today Japan is one of the powerful baseball playing nations in the world and many Japanese baseball players are now playing in the Major League Baseball in the United States. Kyoto like other cities of Japan also witnessed the rise of the baseball game and the residents of the city closely follow the game.

There are numerous baseball fields in the city and young people practicing the game in these fields are a common sight in the city. Many school teams of Kyoto play baseball and amongst these teams Heian and Toba in particular, have been performing well. Recently these teams made their presence felt at the annual tournament held in Koshien Stadium, Nishinomiya, near Osaka. Amongst the baseball teams belonging to other cities, Hanshin Tigers, which is a team that plays Japanese baseball league, enjoys popularity in the city. The popularity of the club can be seen from the fact that the shops in Kyoto are stuffed with merchandise of the Hanshin Tigers.

Overall baseball is the most watched team game in the city and whenever there is a baseball match; people flock to the stadiums or watch the matches on television.
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