Hey, it’s travel story time.
During my frist trip to Japan I went to numerous concerts in Japan (more exactly 9) and also followed one of my favourite band for 3 dates. And it was quite an adventure to be honest.
Before I start to tell you more about it, allow me set up a bit of background.
By the time of my first trip, I was 18 freshly graduated from high school, so this trip to Tokyo was sort of a big gift from myself to myself. Also, I was quite a lot into Visual Kei.
If you don’t know what visual kei is, just click here.
Table Of Contents
Visiting Japan and more specifically Tokyo was something I have been wanting to do for a very long time. Needless to say that when my friend and I booked everything I was over the moon. Even more, since I knew I’d attend several concerts, including 3 dates of my favourite band, Alice Nine, that I had been dying to see.
If you’re curious here is the dates I did
CONCERT IN JAPAN
04/08/12 - V-NATION BORN/MEJIBRAY/AND/D=OUT/EXIST TRACE/SCREW/V-NEU/AYABIE/HERO/
JIN-MACHINE @SHIBUYA-AX 05/08/12 - ScReW 「Royal Night Show」 Vol.4 @ Takadanobaba Area 08/08/12 - the GazettE - STANDING LIVE TOUR12 -HERESY PRESENTS- HETERODOXY @ Zepp DiverCity 11/08/12 - J - 2012 LIVE [ON FIRE]Add Fuel to the Fire 15/08/12 - Alice Nine - Court of Nine #2 @ Zepp DiverCity 16/08/12 - Alice Nine - Court of Nine #2 @ Zepp Nagoya 18/08/12 - SPEED DISK PRESENTS Guest: Ayabie / guild / Kra / Kameleo / SCREW / DuelJewel [Cast] / ν [NEU] @ Shibuya O-East 22/08/12 - Alice Nine - Court of Nine #2 @ Zepp Namba 29/08/12 - Sadie PRESENTS 「THE UNITED KILLERS」 Sadie/DaizyStripper/THE KIDDIE/UNiTE @ Ebisu LIQUID ROOM
FOLLOWING A BAND AROUND JAPAN
Alice Nine’s live came after I had previously been to 4 concerts so I had a vague idea of how things were going to be.
The first live was in Tokyo at the Zepp Diver City, which is in a shopping centre, pretty nice venue. Nothing major to say about this as we were in Tokyo already. The live was so great, probably something I will never forget as it was my first time seeing this band live. My inner fangirl is still thrilled about it 5 years later.
2nd live. The 2nd live was the very next day, so in the morning we got up early and went to do activate our JR Pass at the train station to head to Nagoya. The Shinkansen is amazing so easy, so clean. After that, all we had to do was taking the subway only for one station – which we could have done by foot but when you have no idea where you are the subway is easier.
Now here is the thing, our JR Pass only allowed us on certain kind of trains. By the time the concert was over, we were left with no trains to take. After wandering around for a while looking for a place where we could stay like a bar or a McDonald’s open 24h/24h luckily for us my friends spot some night bus and yay our JR Pass did allow us to get on!
So by dawn, we were back in Tokyo.
The 3rd and last live as we didn’t feel going to one in between further north was a few days later. The date couldn’t have been better since the day after our JR Pass was over.
This time it was in Osaka so a bit further than Nagoya. As before the Shinkansen ride was a bliss.
However, we got lost trying to find the Zepp Osaka. My friend’s direction lead us to a zone with nothing? We were a bit taken aback and running out of time. We headed to the nearest police station where the nicest police officer did his best to give us the way in English on a paper. Thanks to him we made it to the venue.
After the concert, all we had to do was to found a night bus again and we were back in Tokyo.
HOW TO GET TICKETS?
For 5 of those concerts, the booking process had been quite easy, as at that time those bands were all part of same label PSC. The label which had set up a now-closed overseas fan club. So basically all we had to do was to order our tickets through their website and collect them on the day of the venue.
For the rest of them, it wasn’t hard either actually.
Japan has a load of convenience store where you can not only find a delicious snack and food (what ? I love konbini don’t judge me) but also Loppi Machine in the Lawson’s one.
Loppi are red machines that you can usually find in the corner or near the magazine section in Lawson’s.
It might be a little tricky to use if you don’t read Japanese at all, but HMV japan as put up a really helpful guide on how to get your tickets. Read it here !
So all you need to do is to find the L-Code and go get your ticket with those instructions!
If you’re interested in Visual Kei live, another useful website to know who and when which bands are playing is VisuNavi. You can also find L-Code there for the Loppi Machine.
The main issue is by the time you’re in Japan you might get the ticket with an awful number and get bad seats or get inside last. Although I guess it’s not so bad compared to the tickets being sold out.
Which might be the case for the biggest events.
There’s also another way to buy tickets nowadays, HMV Japan eng is now working with Loppi and Lawson Tickets
HOW ARE CONCERTS IN JAPAN?
Organisation wise attending a concert in Japan might be a little different from attending one in Europe.
- All tickets are always numbered: This way you don’t have to queue for hours since basically, you have to wait until xx till xx numbers are called out to get in.
- There’s often if not all the time a 500y drinks to buy in addition to the venue once you get inside.
- In Japan Para Para is something pretty common. It’s different for each band/songs. Basically, it’s a little dance you do with your arms.
- You can go and buy goodies a few hours before the live actually start. Also after, however, most of the good stuff is sold out before the live.
- Here in France, most people carry their bag if they don’t leave it at the “Conciergerie” if there’s on. In Japan there’s always lockers inside or near the venue, people are almost with their bags inside. Also since a lot of girls actually come with suitcases for the goods they buy it’s quite useful.
- Other band or labels usually send flowers crown to bands playing they’re displayed at the venue. It’s also a thing for members birthday.
Going to live in Japan is part of my best memories, obviously, some people might think it’s a little silly to go to so many concerts while travelling, but I don’t think it was, it’s a great experience for me and I had load of fun. And we still saw a lot of the city and did much more than just go to concerts. I’d gladly do it again in the future if given the opportunity 🙂
Hopefully now if you’re ever planning to go to a concert in Japan now you know what to do or what to expect. If you went to a concert in Japan let me know how was your experience!
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