Ever been inside a

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Ever been inside a baseball stadium full of trade show exhibitors?

From the entrance at the top of the stadium, I saw a sea of black heads moving like water, currents eddying around islands of booths. The huge space, from home plate to outfield, was arranged to exhibit tableware.

The Tableware Festival had it all: plates, bowls, forks, spoons, chopsticks, lacquerware, candles, placemats & linens, everything that goes on a table was shown or sold. Famous interior designers mocked up tiny dining rooms, a contest of professional and amateur tableware makers hinted at the future of plates. Huge displays of regional Japanese ceramics filled sparsely decorated but extrememly crowded booths.

The attendees were primarily middle-aged women. Many of them dressed up for this event; how they tottered around Tokyo Dome in high heels all afternoon is beyond me. There were a few younger women and a sprinkling of old men. Aside from Tod, who accompanied me, and the event staff, there were no young or middle aged men. Quite a change from summer days at Tokyo Dome when the Yomiuri Giants host home games in the stadium.

I wonder what the next unusual Tokyo Dome event will be?

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