The preamble

Gazing at the Dome

The Dome is located in Nishi-ku, one of Osaka’s older downtown districts. When it was completed on March 1, 1997, the structure was called Osaka Dome, but on July 1, 2006, the name was changed to Kyocera Dome Osaka. Despite this, many locals continue to refer to it as Osaka Dome or simply the Dome.

In Japan, there are six dome-shaped stadiums used primarily for baseball – Sapporo, Tokorozawa, Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka, and Osaka. What makes the Osaka stadium distinctive is the silver bowl-like structure on top of the cylindrical section and the large hatband-like corrugated tubes attached that recall the body of a snake or dragon. These tubes, visible from any point around the structure, add some variety to the Dome’s otherwise uniform features.

A shiny silver color when completed, the Dome is reminiscent of a flying object from some distant planet, and originally seemed to signal a bright future for the area. Local residents anticipated that it would play a leading role in a major regional development project. But although all-star professional baseball games, magnificent concerts, and entrance ceremonies for huge universities and companies are often held inside, the Dome has simply turned into a strange gigantic structure that quietly lurks in the background.

At 83 meters, the Dome is lower than the famous Tsutenkaku Tower (app. 100 meters) in Osaka’s Shin-Sekai district and is overshadowed by surrounding office and apartment buildings, making it difficult to catch a glimpse of the entire structure. At times, expecting an amazing transformation, I have gazed down at the Dome from the window, emergency exit, or roof of a high-rise, but it always looks the same.

While wishing that the Dome might one day be designated as a tangible cultural property, I hope that you enjoy savoring the charms of Osaka as seen in these photographs taken from the surrounding area.

Tomatsu Shiro




 日本に野球を主体としたドーム型球場は、札幌、所沢、東京、名古屋、福岡そして大阪の6ヶ所ある。大阪ドームの特徴は、円筒上部に銀色のお碗を臥せた構造に、蛇あるいは竜の胴体を思わせる鉢巻状の大型波打ちチューブが取り巻いている事である 。この波打ちチューブが360度、何処から見ても同じドームに若干の変化を顕している。




東 松 至 朗