The unimaginable happened: A day without any idol event! Really, there was nothing going on which suited my interests. That change in pace though was quite welcomed, as I still suffered some sleep deprivation and a lot of future days were also without events yet, so I needed to make plans and look for new announcements – which actually appeared in numbers and for groups I didn’t dare to dream of (f.e. Bellring Girls Heart, JyuJyu). What was lacking in most cases were tickets, but I wanted to change it that day, by finally daring to use – for the first time ever – the several ways of purchasing tickets in Japan. So far I didn’t as my lack in knowledge, either in language or the right procedure, kept me from it.
My only means of getting tickets up until now was via an online ticket vendor (I recommend japanconcerttickets.com) – very expensive, or by buying tickets directly at the venue on the day of the event (Day Tickets / Door Tickets). No chance in saving some money by purchasing it earlier. I still am unable to purchase tickets way upfront for the lack of a Japanese credit card, which is necessary if you don’t have a postal delivery address (in Japan) or if you can not collect the ticket in time in Japan directly. But that day changed everything. I did “master” the purchase of tickets by several different methods. Though I didn’t buy some of the below mentioned tickets that day, I will comprise all of it here in this blog post.
This is a very easy method. Just look for a Tweet or information on the official website / blog of the idol, as it will often provide the link to some form of reservation form, mostly Google Forms. In it you generally have to put the following infos:
- Your name – either in hiragana, katakana or both (nickname is sufficient)
- Your Mailaddress
- Amount of tickets
Use a translation tool, if you can’t figure out the details. After you sent the form you will receive a confirmation by mail in time. For admission at the event you mention having a reservation (Yoyaku) and then either tell them your name (and the name of the artist you booked by, if it is a festival) or just present them the mail – as print-out or on mobile. This way you will get a discount on the entry fee. You still have to buy a Drink Ticket though 😉
I used this procedure for
Tsuzuki Kana (2 times)
Chu-Z (for a festival on 18.12. and 04.01.)
Bellring Girls Heart (2 times)
The group provides a constant ticket reservation form at their website. On Twitter they announce when reservations for certain (not all) lives are open and when they are closed. If you get no reply, it means that the reservation period is over or sold out.
It was announced on their blog that for a Mini Live at Akiba Sofmap you had to purchase photo sets of the group at the counter. This would provide you with the entrance ticket for the live and additionally allowed the participation at the events, according to the further amount of photo sets purchased. I bought myself 4 sets – 1 for the entry ticket, 2 for an individual cheki, 1 for a signature on it.
This group offers another form of reservation: They announce the live date(s) with a Tweet and for the actual reservation you just reply directly to it – by stating the event location and date of it (if several are mentioned in the announcement) plus the amount of tickets. Your Twitter name is used as reference. If you want them to use another, you have to state the name as well. A confirmation by direct reply will follow later (in my case after 4 hours).
Online Ticket Website PIA (Collection at Seven Eleven conbini)
I used this procedure for the aquiration of tickets for the Alice Project Countdown. Handling an actual ticket website is the most difficult, as you have to register there beforehand. But then it is pretty easy to fill out the order forms (again with the help of translation tools). Pia is special, as it is the only online ticket website, at least to my knowledge, which allows the reservation of the ticket without paying for it. This will be done when you collect the ticket at one of the many Seven Eleven conbinis. This has to happen during the next three days after the purchase though. So this method can not be used for ticket reservations way before your trip, when you are outside of Japan.
Loppi Machine (LAWSON conbini)
I tried to purchase a ticket at LAWSON with the help of Marty, who had managed to do it for the first time some days before. We extra met that day at Akiba for it. We handled it well, until the final display showed that the reservation period for the event already was over. So all effort was in vain. But at least I now knew how to proceed at the machine and used this knowledge some days later, by buying myself a ticket for a festival on 28.12. The only part where I struggled a bit was figuring out the button for putting a space between my last and first name.
The trip in Akiba with Marty also lead to my discovery of the Akihabara Drug & Café, for short Akidora, a venue I always overlooked although it is located right opposite to Akiba Cultures Zone. But so far I never I had an event there. This would change on that trip – the next day for a festival with Tsuzuki Kana.
Something different but interesting was announced just the day before: The @JAM Expo, a big idol festival similar to TIF, restructured themselves completely. Last year the festival took place indoors at Yokohama Arena, lasted one day and was at the end of August, a time were it is still very hot and humid in Kanto-region. Now they extended it into a two-day-festival, at the end of Septembre and with a relocation to Makuhari Messe near Chiba, making it outdoor. My comment to this is simple: This should easily be the BEST idol festival ever, far superior to Tokyo Idol Festival for example:
- A massive amounts of groups,
- Outside-Festival during a pleasant climate,
- no overcrowded entrances / exits to stages
- The possibility of a huge amount of stages
- No “free” visitors / bystanders, meaning no families, trash wotas,…
Probably won’t have the time to check it out this year, but I hope it turns out as great as it promises to be. Then next year chances are high that I will schedule my trip around its next edition.