Watch sporting events in Hokkaido and Sapporo
AIR-G’ Radio personality, Yui Hayashi

In Hokkaido, where winter sports are very popular, you can enjoy watching sports throughout the four seasons. The passion of residents when supporting their local teams is universal. We asked radio personality, Yui Hayashi, who broadcasts sports information on her radio show on Sapporo FM radio station AIR-G’, about how to enjoy watching sporting events in Sapporo.

There are many sports with bases in Hokkaido, such as baseball, soccer, basketball and futsal

“I watch games with the Nippon Ham Fighters (baseball), Consadole Sapporo (soccer), Levanga Hokkaido (basketball) and Espolada Hokkaido (futsal). In particular, in the case of Consadole Sapporo, in the corner of the show where I introduce sports supporters, I really felt the strong ties and passion of the Consadole Sapporo supporters. The lines formed by supporters on their way from their homes to the Sapporo Dome or other stadiums creates an atmosphere quite different from usual. Even though it’s a city I’ve lived in for years, it feels like a travel destination. At the stadium, there will be occasional booing, encounters with people who support the players as if they were their own children, and of course ecstatic cheers as the score goes up. I make just as much noise, supporting the team while alternating between feelings of hope and anxiety”.

Enjoy sightseeing during away games

“I love the time and space where we are all rooting for the same team”, says Hayashi. But it’s not just here in Hokkaido—the unity of supporters at away games in other regions becomes even stronger. When you visit Sapporo, if your local team is playing the Hokkaido team, please drop by the stadium and experience an away game.

“If your team wins the away game, the sightseeing afterwards is even more enjoyable. You won’t know the atmosphere of an away game unless you go. Of course, Sapporo’s supporters support their teams passionately, even on away games. In Hokkaido ballparks and stadiums, you will really get a sense of just how passionate Hokkaido supporters are”, she says, explaining the great enjoyment of games at Sapporo Dome. “Sapporo Dome has a great variety of food on sale inside the stadium. You will surely have a great sense of fulfillment, watching the game while enjoying the taste of Hokkaido and drinking Hokkaido beer

Sports you can enjoy watching throughout the year

“In Hokkaido, winter sports are also very popular, so you can enjoy watching games throughout the year. In winter, there is lively support for basketball and ice hockey. For ice hockey, head down to Tomakomai’s Shiratori Ice Arena by JR train and support your team on a day trip. The players are fast, the sound of bodies crashing into the walls is impressive, and we supporters also get all tense and excited. You are probably thinking the arena is cold. Actually, the seats are heated, so you can enjoy watching the game, feeling warm and comfortable. There are many other winter sports I would like to try watching in future, such as ski jumping and curling.”

When Ms. Hayashi goes to watch sporting events, she always invites a friend to come along with her to support the team. It is her hope that as many people as possible become interested in local sports. Supporting local sports teams actually creates sightseeing opportunities. When your team is playing away, you can turn it into an opportunity to visit a city you have never been to before and, as well as watching the game, enjoy the chance to explore somewhere new.

Yui Hayashi

FM Radio AIR-G’ personality

Born in Chitose, Hokkaido, in 1985. After graduating from Hokkaido Musashi Women’s Junior College, she passed the AIR-G’ FM Hokkaido personality audition held in autumn 2006. Debuted as a reporter in February 2007, she is currently in charge of AIR-G’ “BOND GIRL!” (Live on air Fridays 13:00–17:50