Osaka Flight or How does this work?

Chronologically it would now be the time for recap of the PASSPO Osaka Flight. But I realize now, that writing weeks AFTER the event doesn’t suit my memory. Well, writing right after the event doesn’t suit me either as I am mostly dead tired then. Quite a dilemma. But I am a little clever and came to the following solution: Part 1 – Instead of giving a recap NOW I will focus today on the venue and the organization of the concert in Osaka. This may help other people’s who want to go to for the first time to a Japanese idol show in the future. I know from myself, that I had many questions and doubts before, even after reading some blogs about it. In my later blogs I will then give my summarized impressions on PASSPO‘s One-Man-Flights, both in Osaka as well as Nagoya. If you mind this approach – I don’t care. *hahaha* The second part of my solution: WordPress allows for changing the date of the posts so while actually writing this up weeks later, to the outside perspective it will look like a same day release (if they don’t happen to look at the time stamp)!

The One-Man-Flight was taking place on the 21.07.2014, a Monday, at the Osaka venue Club Quattro. Most idol groups try to avoid doing shows during the week as Japanese tend to work until late which results in low attendance. If you are therefore wondering, why PASSPO made this decision and held it at Monday: It was a holiday in Japan! So no mistake in management here, but I come to them later. It also was perfect for my travel purposes by the way, as this schedule was a deciding factor for booking this trip. You see, this way I able to work until Friday, start my flight at Saturday and with the 1 day time difference land early at Sunday in Japan. I had 1 full day to prepare and acclimate myself – well, until the announcement of the Single Release Event on Sunday shortly before my trip. But that I didn’t mind in the slightest, obviously. If the normal schedule would have had the Osaka Flight on a Saturday, I wouldn’t either been able to visit this show or had to pass on TIF, which I wanted to attend, not only because of PASSPO‘s participation there, but it was an outstage-festival that I never experienced in this way before: Full of different idol groups of whom some “look” really interesting. And of course “sound” interesting also. As if I focus on looks there *cough* So a general “HOOORAY!!!” to holidays!!!

Okay, the Monday morning arrived and because I had no idea when to get in line for a Japanese concert, I just arrived there around 10 o’clock – which was MUCH too early! In Germany I am used to fans already waiting in front the venue hours or even days before. Here it was different. Only two people which I later recognized as passengers were there already. My first thought: The show was cancelled (I admit, I am a bit of scaredy cat.). But no, some other passengers came by, all armed with mobiles displaying Twitter, so this danger was out of the way! Phew! And after seeing some Club Quattro personel arriving with bags of food, I concluded that the PASSPO crew was already ‘in the house’. They always photograph their food and put it on Twitter. That’s how I know.
The next question that arose: Where would they sell the merchandize and where do I line up for it? Before though some needed basic facts about the Flight today: The venue was in the 10th floor of a building, access would be over two elevators or a nearby staircase (which I learned later). The Flight was, as most PASSPO shows, in 2 Parts: The first starting 13:00, the second 18:00. Both with access half an hour before. I could assume therefore, they will start selling around 11:30. But those elevators were closed for the 10th floor. I couldn’t imagine them to open those later for selling merchandize near the venue, so I assumed the will later put a little store in the waiting passage near the elevators on the first floor. I learned later that my intuition is completely out of sync with the Japanese way of handling things…

As there was nothing else to do than watching the (very slowly) growing mass of people waiting for access, I took a look around and was greeted by the sight of a Tully’s Coffee! A Subway would have been more PASSPO style (passenger-insider) but it was enough for my purposes – drinking a cold coffee while sitting outside and watching the passerbys, keeping close eyes on the venue in case of sudden movements. One mentioning about the weather: It was hot, like 33 degrees, but in the shadows it was still manageable. After the cup was empty and I killed enough time, I went back to the venue, where the amount of passengers at last was worthy the occasion. Although this meant losing a good spot for merchandize sales I felt more comfortable now, not being the only one standing around there. A foreigner, taking small strides around the same area – alone – would eventually arouse suspicion later. Surprisingly I really was the only foreigner there. Whatever, 11:30, the supposed time for the sales start, finally arrived – and past. Inwardly already saying good bye to T-Shirts and Towels, suddenly the elevators worked and passengers started entering. Wow, so excited. I got in line, at the end of course, as I knew about my representation responsibilities as the only foreigner around. After a fast elevator ride the door opened and – I had to line up again, this time in a nearby staircase. But at least I caught a glimpse at the merchandize stand, which was placed in an small room before the stage entrance. Never would have thought of that! The procedure that followed was this: Lining up, buying merchandize, after that leaving the venue again and start waiting – again – outside. Now I know why Japanese are that slim – from going back and forth so many times. (If you wait on my report regarding their merchandize, I will post about that another time.)

After waiting again for like half an hour, the merchandize sale seems to have ended as now personnel form the Club Quattro requested everyone to line up in the staircase, this time by number of their tickets. For those who don’t know, most tickets in Japan are numbered and the entry will be according to those. So fans with lower numbers will obviously be the first to enter (and get a good spot near the stage). That is why fans of idol groups are often in the respective fan clubs – to get those early admittance tickets. Anyway, in the staircase the put on those little signs saying (150~, 200~, 250~ and so on): This was meant to be the ticket number and showed, where you had to line up. I was integrating myself after the sign 350~, as all my tickets were around 400. So quite bad, although there was also a good crowd of people behind me, obviously with even higher numbers.
After a short while the crowd began moving and soon I heard the the personnel, shouting the numbers for entry, in Japanese only of course. In Osaka they were calling something like “Number 220 and consecutive”, always in increments of 10. So after that “Number 230 and consecutive” an so forth. Finally my number range came up, I showed my ticket, bought the ominous drink ticket, ordered a beer and entered the Door to Heaven, or something similar to that.
The same procedure was happening later for the Part 2. So you either read this article again or just call it a day!

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