Swing, Sing, and Go Floating into Space!
Chase Those Home Runs!
It was 9pm and the night had only just begun in Otsuka. I left the hotel and headed towards the symbolic Otsuka establishment – Hyotanjima Otsuka Batting Center. As I left the southern exit, there it was! The glitz and glamour, the retro signs harking back to the Showa period, and the bright lights of this place are sure to surprise the uninitiated. This is the godfather of batting centers; a popular spot frequented by locals both young and old. Having made the trip to this mecca, I picked up a bat and began to swing. The fast pitches range from 85km/h to 130km/h and are pretty close to the real deal. THWACK! Yay, I made contact with the ball! The perfect way to start a night of fun and vigor!
Musical Duets at a Local Watering Hole
With my spirits high and my blood pumping, I set off towards a bar for a more immersed local Otsuka experience. My destination? “Snack Sunlight”. I ventured down to the 2nd basement level and opened the door to a bright voice greeting me, “Welcome!” The smile of Shizuyo-mama, the person running the shots, soothed me to the core as I slipped into the local watering hole. “Come on now, sing us a song!” I heard through one ear. This place just happens to offer karaoke for free to all patrons. “Let’s sing the next song together, young miss!” yelled another voice. The lively conversation continued throughout the night filled with excitement and glee. I was completely immersed in the atmosphere and switched into party mode!
Is This Space?! A Calming End to the Night
Feeling pleasantly exhausted with excitement still coursing through my veins, I headed off to my final destination. After sweating through sessions of swinging and singing, an almost gravity-defying (??) galactic experience awaited me. What’s the first place that comes to mind when you mention space in Otsuka? You got it! “Otsuka Kinen-yu”! Walking through the attendant’s booth revealed a public bath with an expansive ceiling covered in a cosmic mural. Entry and towel rental costs only 500 yen, so I went in with only my modesty for my trip to outer space. Public baths aren’t just your average bath – they’re cultural experiences. Well, off to space I go! SPLOOSH!
Otsuka Batting Center
- Add : 1-52-4 Minami-Otsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan
- TEL : +81 3-3946-7608
- Open/Close : 9：00～22：00
This is a pretty famous spot and is sometimes filmed for TV series. Even amateurs can enjoy themselves. Swing up a storm!
- Add : 3-50-3 Minami-Otsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan
- TEL : +81 3-6912-6301
- Open/Close : 9：00～22：00
A bar run by Shizuyo-mama. Afternoon karaoke is also offered here, so head over from midday to sing your heart out.
- Add : 3-38-15 Minami-Otsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan
- TEL : +81 3-3986-0126
- Open/Close : 14：00～25：00
- Closed : Fri
Founded in 1926 (the first year of the Showa period). A public bath long-loved by locals. Also great for the excellent service offered by the lady in charge.