Unless you are new to Japan today, you should know that the number one sport is not sumo or football, but baseball. From March to October, every day, matches are broadcast on TV, children play from an early age at school. In short, it yakyū as it is called here is extremely popular.
If you are bored of karaoke and prefer to stay outside, it is an alternative to spend some time on the cheap. A must for all young people who want to train in baseball, batsenter allows you to work on the turn or throw. There is one near Kabukicho in Shinjuku.
The establishment is divided into two parts. An interior where retro arcade machines are adjusted and an exterior where you can hit the ball. Different speeds are offered. Beginners will avoid repeated strikes and will choose cabins at 70 km / h. The most experienced will choose those that are 110 or even 130 km / h. For 300 yen (€ 2.25) 26 balls are thrown (about each 10th to 15th second).
We enter the cabin without telling anyone. Once in a while you pay. It is “self service” and 24/7. You pick your bat, put on a glove and after depositing the three 100 yen coins, the game can begin.
The players are quite young, on average 15-35 years old. On batsenter, we meet young girls who have come to encourage their girlfriends, even come to show what they are capable of for the girlfriends, groups of friends and single men who have come to perfect the movement before the weekend match.
The exercise is great fun. We often hit the ball even when we are beginners. The difficulty is sending it back to the front or side. The second activity offered by batsenter is thrown. It is a skill exercise where you have to throw the ball on a panel with nine numbered squares that respect the order of these squares (from 1 to 9).
300 yen for just over 5 minutes of play, it is still very affordable. The batsenter is an activity that the tour guide rarely offers you, and yet it is one of the favorites of an entire generation of Japanese. In addition, you have almost no other chance of doing so outside of Japan and the United States.