After few months, I am starting to realize why Japan has so many leisure complex. I thought at first it was just to attract foreign tourist the same way as what other countries are doing, but the longer that I stay here, the more inclined I am to conclude that the Japanese need this. I don’t mean to disrespect or to imply anything bad, but the mere fact that a typical Japanese family where both mom and dad are working 10-12 hours a day and spent more time on train rides than at home; they need something to look forward to during weekends, somewhere to forget about work for a while and spend a quality family time.
Tokyo Dome City is another leisure complex created to suit those needs. It covers all the relaxation requirement of the whole family- it has a baseball stadium for dad’s, LaAqua spa for mom’s, anime shops for teenagers, amusement park for kids and varieties of restaurants for a family feast. Another reason that makes Tokyo Dome City standout is the indirect implication of another Japanese culture that is hard not to notice- they are fanatic. The complex houses three major Japanese obsession- baseball, anime, j-pop.
Tokyo Dome is the home stadium of two professional baseball teams (Yomiuri Giants and Nippon Ham). With a seating capacity of 55,000, during game season they are jam-packed as usual. No one can deny the fact that Japanese are very good with this game and I can see that most kids are dreaming to be on the league someday. I walked around and see what else I can find besides the hub less ferris wheel and hyper-rollercoaster, when I started to notice a few giddy teenagers standing patiently and seems to be waiting for someone. As I continue walking around the area, there seems to be more and more teenage girls standing and holding a huge paper bags with magazine photo cutouts of some dude. Well, they are definitely waiting for someone and ready to dash mad when this j-pop boy band group “Hey! Say! Jump” makes an appearance. I continue walking around when another batch of few teenagers sitting on a pavement floor and watching intensely whatever it is on a 32 inch television. So I did the same thing and see what’s playing- a group of Japanese actors who gave life to the Power Rangers series.
If everything that the complex offers has nothing that will makes you to loosen up, I suggest to walk about 500m away from the dome, simply follow the white wall, then you will find Koishikawa Korakuen. Another beautiful Japanese landscape garden, peaceful and serene- what I need after a week of very long office hours.