Kansai economy roaring after Hanshin Tigers win

Baseball fever is sweeping the Kansai region, and fueling a shopping frenzy, after the Hanshin Tigers won the Central League pennant for the first time in 18 years.

The Hanshin Department Store in Osaka opened its doors half an hour earlier than usual, but there were plenty of people already waiting to snap up commemorative goods.

Fans could buy championship cakes for 1,800 yen, about 12 dollars, apiece, or all kinds of snacks already boxed in packaging to celebrate the win. For those feeling lucky, there were bargain-price mystery bags.

Komori Eiji of Hanshin Department Store Umeda said they are happy that they can have this kind of sale after an 18-year wait. "I want to share this joy with our customers and make it a festival," he said.

Miyamoto Katsuhiro, an honorary professor of Kansai University, estimates that Hanshin's victory will boost the local economy by more than 87 billion yen, or about 590 million dollars.