For my recent trip I will try a new approach on blogging, in style as well as the amount of coverage. Honestly it takes too much time for putting up detailed summaries of each day, so I try finding a less complex but for me more motivating way. And if there is anything missing in my reports, just ask me by using the comment section 😉
For those of you who don’t read my schedule page, these is the summary on my last trip, including the shows I attended and other important data:
Flight to Japan
Arriving in Japan, Hostel Check-In, Sleeping
Girl’s Bomb (Chu-Z), Meeting Marty, Yutan
iPop Festival at Sunshine City (Stella Beats, PiiiiiiiN), Meeting Caio
PASSPO (Release event), Meeting Marty
staying at hostel, scheduling shows/buying tickets
Tsuzuki Kana (met Hideki there)
Lovely Doll (In-Store Live)
Party Rockets GT
Eating with Julian and Marty
Bellring Girls Heart (Kanra Seitansai, 90 min live), met Satoru
Eating with Julian and Marty
Bellring Girls Heart (45 min live)
Chu-Z (Asuka Birthday)
PiiiiiiiN (free 1 hour live)
Meeting Tokyo Rockets in an event
Bellring Girls Heart (90 min live)
Eating with Jorge at Yuka’s restaurant
Predia (5th Anniversary One Man)
Idol Koushien (Bellring Girls Heart, JyuJyu, Party Rockets GT, PiiiiiiiN)
Meeting Caio, Marty, Keitaro, Rick
Alice Project Countdown
Eating with Allan, Meeting Eddy
Moso Calibration (Tour Final), Eating with Allan
Bellring Girls Heart (One Man)
PiiiiiiiN (2nd Anniversary Live), Meeting Marty
Festival (Luce Twinkle Wink, Lovely Doll, Chu-Z)
Meeting Allan, Eddy, Aaron
Flight back home
As you can see, the amount of shows each day ranged from several to none. I have to admit, that on certain days I was really not in the mood for lives and could have get some rest otherwise. Much of my dissatisfaction then arose from failed attempts in conversation with idols; lack of sleep, food or energy; or basically the fact, that while staying for a longer period this time, it all became too much sometimes – especially when I had to endure waiting times at festivals with uninteresting groups. Should have done more museums, Zoo, Aquarium and stuff like that maybe. But honestly, this was not really what I was in for this trip. Although the weather was very nice for this time of the year – temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees, blue sky, no rain – it was still not the kind of climate that I enjoy staying out. Temperatures of, say, 13 degrees still feel cold to me after some time. But anyway, for the shows and running around in the city it was perfect, as I could leave my hostel with a minimum of clothes, compared to weather much colder.
Meeting several different acquaintances and friends was a highlight of the trip. Too bad, that we hardly have any overlap in groups, so that we can enjoy lives together. I get back on that later.
The hostel I stayed at (1 Night 1980 Hostel) was a type of capsule hotel. It was my first time at such accommodation, but I liked it. It was just one station away from Ueno (Iriya, Hibiya Line), the capsule was big enough to sit in it, I had lots of space for my luggage and hearing people snore doesn’t disturb me that much. Too bad it is so cheap that it is already sold out months in advance, lol.
When it comes to the lives I am very happy to inform you that I managed to see all the groups I care about, and some more. *yeah* I was also surprised on the amount of idols remembering me, some even by name. Nothing motivates me more nowadays than that. I never thought it to be possible, given the fact how rarely I am in Japan in contrast to the amount of fans going to their shows and events like everyday. As I also managed – finally – to handle different sorts of ticket acquisitions, I also saved up on entry money. Of course this was used up for the travel expenses, as for the first time really I decided on visiting several lives on one day, often just to see some specific group. I am not sure what my opinion on that is. Just going for the live of the group and the event afterwards, then leaving the venue is as strenuous to me as staying at the festival for a longer time, though having no interest in the other groups. I don’t know how fans of just one group manage to deal with that. In contrast though I enjoyed those festivals who had a lot of groups I care about. Time was flying fast then – and the frustration grew when a live was scheduled at the same time an event of another group took place, lol. Still I am glad in following that many(?) groups. Not only for the sake of enjoyment of festivals but also as listening to the same kind of songs like everyday really bores the hell out of me, no matter which group it is. And my dedication and emotional attachment for certain idols is not as deep as those of many fans I know. It certainly is interesting how many different layers there are to idols and fans alike and how diverse their approach to the topic is.
Oh, and when it comes to oshimen: I keep to my statement of not having one that can be regarded as such. I have with most groups a member I prefer, but that is it. Neither do I find someone the cutest, the funniest, the most talented or whatever else there is people are drawn by to idols. For me the lack of communication (on my part) makes it impossible to invest myself more into a specific girl. Also add to it the fact, that I have no interest in the idol/group besides their music. I don’t care for photobooks, their private live, or whatever. Blogs/Twitter I only skim through for getting details on lives/events. Those photo sets at the merchandise stand I only buy for the fact, that it gets me event tickets. But this doesn’t stop me from showing my surrounding that I am indeed a fan of idol music: I put all my chekis on the wall in the corridor of my apartment, have my DVDs, signed CDs etc. openly on display, a poster of Bellring Girls Heart in my office and wearing idol merchandise quite a lot. Why should I hide what motivates me more in live? The fact that the music is performed by idols doesn’t make it less valuable to me than any other kind of music would be. There are some great producers backing some of the groups I like, who in my opinion deliver at least the same high quality music then many “regular” artists. And others are just great fun.
Regarding my next planned trips to Japan: I won’t make it to TIF because of work. Too bad, as this time TIF will last for three days instead of two. Sounds great, but let’s await what the organisers really will make out of it, then don’t forget – having to walk around in the terrible Tokyo summer heat out in the open now for a longer time… Even the idols complained last year.
Another date to travel would be April 30th, the date for the Tokyo Dome City Hall Live of Bellring Girls Heart. You can’t imagine how much I want to be there, especially after what happened on this trip. But again: Because of work I won’t be able to make it. And I won’t just travel to Japan fo a weekend – I wouldn’t be able to handle the short time between flights and the amount of money I would have to spent just for one day. To see it positively: The live is scheduled in the midst of Golden Week – certainly a great time for idol events but also a time frame where the prices and demands for flights, hotels and everyday living (just imagine the crowds of people all being on a holiday) will explode immensely.
Instead I favour two options for my next trip:
Going to Japan BEFORE Golden Week or AFTER. The first option would include a One Man live by Party Rockets GT. My love for this groups rekindled a lot during the recent trip. The second option has nothing idol-specific scheduled yet, but I could include my birthday in the time frame and isn’t @JAM Expo usually at the end of May? Anyway the weather should be great then as well.
I also plan on a second trip this year, either in Octobre or Novembre. Here I also find difficulties with my work environment, as one of my colleagues usually takes her holidays at the beginning of Octobre. But besides that I should find no hindrance in applying for leave. There is also a special reason for traveling: Caio wants to go for a trip to Korea, or more specific Seoul, for some days. If possible I will join him there and afterwards stay for one or two weeks in Japan.
I have to stop my post here. I need to find a different job now, as it interferes with my idol schedule too much.