Monday, June 19, 2017

(Japan Oct 2016) Day 9: Watch Hey! Say! JUMP concert at Yokohama Arena


Day 9 (8 Oct 2016): Watch Hey! Say! JUMP concert at Yokohama Arena. 
Stay Tsurumi (Kawasaki) 


This was the day I've been looking forward to for this trip.

Going to my first Johnny's group concert (Hey! Say! JUMP) at Yokohama Arena!
Months ago, I've made plans with a fellow HSJ fan (who happens to be working at Japan) and I went with her to this concert.
(Johnny's groups are groups managed under Johnny's & Associates, and they are: SMAP (well, they disbanded last year though), TOKIO, V6, Kinki Kids, Arashi, Tackey & Tsubasa, NEWS, Kanjani8, KAT-TUN, Hey! Say! JUMP, Kis-my-Ft2, Sexy Zone, ABC-Z, Johnny's West)

To give you an idea of how difficult it is to be able to attend a Johnny's concert as a foreign fan:
1) Only fanclub members are able to ballot for the tickets to the concerts

2) In order to join the fanclub, you need to have a Japanese address, Japanese phone number, and be able to make payment for the subscription fees at the post office at Japan.
Therefore, it is extremely difficult for overseas fan to be able to join the fanclub unless they have contacts in Japan whom are able to help them.

3) You have to win the ticket balloting in order to be able to get the concert tix.

4) It is actually forbidden to resale concert tickets (but there will still be people who does so anyway) and even though the original selling price of a concert ticket may be around 7000yen, but resale costs might cost anywhere between  20k to 150k yen!!!
If the resale ticket you've bought have been reported as a resale ticket, you will be denied entry to the concert even though you have the ticket.  There are also times when they will counter check the name printed on the ticket against the fanclub membership card's name to make sure that it is the same person at the concert entrance.

Luckily for me, my friend is a fanclub member so I went with her.

For this particular concert, it was located at Yokohama Arena, which is just about 10mins walk from Shin-Yokohama station.
Since the North Entrance of the station is nearest to the concert venue, so we both arranged to meet up near the North Entrance.
When I arrived there, I saw alot of fans (you can kinda tell who they are supporting by the uchiwas they are carrying or the member color coordinated outfits that they are wearing) gathering in groups with their friends.

One thing to note though, almost all of the toilets in this area will have LOOOOOOONG queues since there are sooo many people heading for the concert at this time.  It took me at least 15mins to queue for the toilet, and it was a toilet near the upper floors of the station building since the bottom few levels' toilets had even longer queues.


It was raining by the time we started walking towards Yokohama Arena, and even though I don't know the way, it is easy to just follow the crowd. 





Screenshot of the concert venue, from the concert DVD 

Staff are EXTREMELY STRICT about no photography at the concert venue.  
During the entire concert, I saw many staffs walking up and down the stairs, watching the rows of fans to ensure no one is taking photos.  If you are caught taking photo, you will be asked to leave the venue.
Even when I was just taking out my bottled drink from my bag, I already noticed that a staff was watching my actions to determine if I am taking out a camera or not.  


Screenshot from the concert DVD

Screenshot from the concert DVD

The streamers that I managed to pick up during the concert. 

After the concert, we followed the crowd back to the train station. 









After bidding farewell to my friend at Shin-Yokohama station, I headed back to Tsurumi station where my hotel is at, to meet up with my hubby whom I've kinda left him to roam about Kawasaki on his own while I went for the concert. Heh.

After resting at the hotel for awhile, we headed out to Landmark Tower for some Pokemon and JUMP shop shopping.








Next up, is the Jump shop that's located just across from the Pokemon shop.
There were quite a number of Haikyuu products.

















Can't really remember what we ate for dinner on this day though.  Probably we just bought some food near Tsurumi station and brought back to our hotel room to eat.




Go next to Day 10: Visit Yokohama

Sunday, June 11, 2017

(Japan Oct 2016) Day 8: Visit Ueda and Karuizawa

Day 8 (7 Oct 2016): Visit Ueda and Karuizawa (Nagano). Stay Tsurumi (Kawasaki) 

After we arrived at Tokyo station in the early morning from the overnight train, we deposited our luggage at Tokyo station's lockers, and then took a Shinkansen to Nagano area's Ueda to spend a few hours in the morning.

From Ueda station, we took a short 5-10mins bus ride to reach Ueda castle ruins









Bear in mind though, this was just a few months after Pokemon Go came out, so my hubby and I spent some time walking around the castle grounds looking for pokemon and taking down pokemon gyms. lol
We also spotted this sign just outside the small shrine on the castle grounds, reminding Pokemon Trainers not to trespass onto the temple grounds. Haha.









From the castle ruins, it is about 15-20mins walk to Yanagi Street, which is a small street with some old buildings and shops.






Yanagi Street






We didn't spend much time here, since we had to catch the Shinkansen to go to the outlet mall at Karuizawa after this.  We kinda half brisk walked and half jogged for about 15-20mins to reach Ueda station from Yanagi street.








This Green bear with red apple, whose name is Arukuma, is the official mascot for Nagano.  





Saw Arukuma again at the convenience stand at Karuizawa station



 Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza is located just opposite Karuizawa station actually.  
I've been to Karuizawa a few times previously, but this would be my first time visiting this shopping plaza.


 First stop, lunch. 


We chose to have our lunch at this restaurant which specializes in sauce katsu.  
Sauce Katsu is also a speciality cuisine in this region of Japan.



After lunch, time to start shopping.  I'm looking for some jeans, while the hubby is looking to find some shorts.












lockers at the shopping mall.
Around 4plus, we took Shinkansen from Karuizawa back to Tokyo, where we then retrieved our luggage from Tokyo station, and then headed over to Tsurumi near Kawasaki where our hotel for the next few nights is located at.