A total of about one million spectators attended four different parades as the Hanshin Tigers and Orix Buffaloes each celebrated their championships Thursday in the streets of both Kobe and Osaka.

Earlier this month, the Central League champion Tigers defeated the Pacific League champion Buffaloes to win the first Japan Series between teams from western Japan's Kansai region since 1964.

The Tigers paraded through the center of Kobe in the morning, while the Buffaloes made their way down Osaka's main drag, Midosuji, before the clubs traded places in the afternoon.

Orix Buffaloes manager Satoshi Nakajima waves to fans in Kobe as his team parades through the city on Nov. 23, 2023, to celebrate the club's Pacific League championship. (Pool photo)(Kyodo) 

Although the Tigers' home park, historic Koshien Stadium, is in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, their association with neighboring Osaka goes back to the club's founding in the 1930s as the Osaka Tigers.

And while Orix is now based in Osaka, the franchise's roots are in Hyogo, where the club played in Kobe for over a decade, which manager Satoshi Nakajima alluded to in the afternoon.

"I want to thank you for staging this grand parade," said Nakajima, who had played for Orix in Kobe. "Since Kobe is our former home, we were really looking forward to this. I never thought we would be able to do this here."

Hanshin Tigers players riding on buses celebrate their Japan Series victory in a parade down Osaka's principle thoroughfare, Midosuji, on Nov. 23, 2023. (Kyodo)

In Osaka, Tigers manager Akinobu Okada, who had played on the Tigers' other Japan Series championship team in 1985, said, "I feel a very keen sense that we accomplished something having battled for the whole year."

"Our results are our way of repaying your support, and in the end, we felt winning was a must."

One fan, 70-year-old Yoshitake Toriyama, who watched from the Osaka parade route, expressed gratitude to the teams.

"I was conflicted about the Kansai showdown, but both teams energized the region," he said.

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