I can’t even begin to describe my holiday. The concert was awesome beyond words — like awesome covered with sparkles and pretty, shiny stuff.
Buying tickets to anything in Japan is almost impossible unless you live there. Buying tickets to see the most popular J-pop band in the country is insane (as the receptionist at our hotel said “Japan’s hottest ticket”).
We managed to buy tickets off an auction site via a third party bidder – most people on the auctions won’t sell overseas. We spent quite a few nights sitting up watching auctions, getting outbid or having them cancelled. All kinds of worries. Finally we won two tickets. Separate auctions, different parts of Tokyo Dome.
There were so many things that could have gone wrong with our tickets passing through so many hands! The seller mightn’t send it, the third party bidding company might be dodgy (I did research them thoroughly!), the ticket might go astray in the post or arrive late.
I won’t say how much it cost, but it was plenty.
Got to the hotel, checked in and asked if there was any mail for us. It had arrived!!! Our tickets!!! The guys working the desk were very amused at our excitement.
Got to our rooms and put them in the safe. There was only one more thing that could go wrong. Apparently, in a move to stop scalping, the staff at Japanese concerts have been known to check ID against names on tickets!
Yeah, you can go through all that and still get sent home.
We got to Tokyo Dome early because we wanted to get merchandise – uchiwas (fans), penlight, etc and also go through the doors with the crowd when they opened to be less conspicious.
Well I don’t know how inconspicious you can be as the only 2 white girls in a crowd in Japan! We wandered around, took some photos of a few choice outfits – some girls had gone all out with their fangirling! A few took photos of us too or came up and talked to us. I think even a few more took sneaky mobile phone pics too. Also, I don’t think Japanese people realise that we know what the word “gaijin” means…lol.
Then we had to separate to go in different gates.
I lined up, hoping I’d get in okay, trying to mix into the crowd. Then security sectioned off my section behind so I was like last in line! I tried to move but didn’t want anyone getting pissy with me for pushing in.
Got to the door and they did a bag check. Got to the ticket checking and they didn’t even look at me. I could have been Sakurako Tanaka (or whatever name was on the ticket in kanji) or I could have been Donald Duck for all they cared.
I was still a bit worried though.
Almost in when I got stopped and asked if i had a camera. I did so I got escorted to a desk where I had to fill out a form with my name and phone number. Oops. But all good.
Got to my seat. I knew I had a good seat – arena (ie floor) but had no idea where, not being familar with Tokyo Dome. Also they can only post general info on the auctions to prevent tickets being cancelled.
Okay, I was at the left side of the stage, 8 rows from the front. Also 4 seats in from the aisle (I call it the aisle but its not the aisle you walk down, they have aisles where the members zoom down in carts during the show… I was 4 seats in from that – hell yeah, I got to see them up real close).
Anyway, I was the only one in my entire section, again sticking out like a sore thumb so went off to meet my sis in the smoking room. Yah for smoking room. Actually not so yah, it was awfully smoking and foul.
Got back to my seat. A sour faced woman and her sour faced daughter sat one side of me. On the other side were 2 girls. One kept smiling at me in that way like she wanted to talk but was worried about embarassing herself. I kinda felt like that too and was too nervous to remember any Japanese.
It was the longest wait, omg, this was my dream to be at this concert and I never thought I’d make it. I still thought something would go wrong!
Finally Tokyo Dome went dark and everyone turned on their penlights so the whole place sparkled. The band started, I could hear them but couldn’t see them!
They came in on a giant blimp floating from behind the stage! Because I was so close to the front of the stage, everyone got to see them and were cheering but I couldn’t… finally they got out far enough. I screamed and screamed!!
The rest of the concert past pretty much in a daze. I sang along and did all the dances — the crowd have special dances, well hand movements etc they do to the songs. It was so incredible, beyond awesome.
Afterwards, I got my camera and meet up with my sister. We waited for the crowds to clear before tackling the subway then changed and headed to the bars in Shinjuku.
Shinjuku was foul. I think it is prolly always foul on a Friday but, being sober at midnight and wandering around, you notice the foulness more. We were about to give up when we stumbled into a tiny bar. The only other customers were a couple. Ordered a drink and ended up staying for hours! The guy customer had been to Australia heaps of times and loved it. They totally indulged all our post-concert fan-girl ravings too. Plus the barman, who was super cute, is in a band (not pop). He gave us his youtube details so I’ll post the link later.
Anyway, after much drinking and half English/half Japanese ranting and badly drawn maps of Australia, we had to leave. Swapped name and address details in case we were ever in the same country again. The guy in the bar gave us his business card and asked us if we knew anything about manga. I know jackshit about manga… and he said he was the editor of One Piece. OMG, even I’ve heard of that. It’s like one of the most famous manga ever.
Anyway much more to say but will end there. Got I haven’t even mentioned how we nearly died on the Jetstar flight when it tried to land!!!