♫ ~one more time, two more times~ ♫

21 Aug

On Sunday, I finally went to my first concert since coming to Japan with JET!  One of my favourite pastimes in Japan is going to theatre shows and concerts, and I was especially excited for this one because it was for one of my favourite bands, Hey! Say! JUMP.  And so, S and I rose bright and early to catch the 7:15 train from Kiryu to Takasaki, where we took the shinkansen or Japanese bullet train to Nagano, where the concert was being held.  The trip was long and we were quite sleepy (I had to wake up around 4:45 to get ready and make it to the train station on time!) but luckily, the excitement for what was to come steeled us for our long journey!  Besides, we looked great in adorable matching outfits (this is normal for Japanese idol group concert-goers; we were definitely not the most matching out of all the girls we saw) featuring member colours (often members of Japanese idol groups have a “member colour” that they often wear in shows or have their names written in on goods; Sarah’s favourite member’s colour is red and mine favourite member’s colour is pink, as you might guess from the photo.)

ImageOn top of how tired we were, it was about a million degrees out, but we survived our trip and managed to meet up with J at the venue!  There, we stood in line for goods (the goods vendor was outside and the line was long, so as a result, we got very hot and sweaty and S got very sunburned) but eventually emerged victorious, having spent our money and collected our spoils.  They were sold out of the t-shirt (how does that even happen at concerts?), so I couldn’t get that, but I think between the tote bag, two photosets of four photos each, a clearfile, and the pen light, I got enough.  To clarify, photosets are common concert or play goods in Japan, usually consisting of two or four photos of a certain member, and clearfiles are common Japanese file folders made of translucent plastic (the Gunma folder I got in Maebashi is also a clearfile).  Pen lights are the Japanese answer to lighters or cell phones in America; they essentially are some sort of cute shape light a night light on top of a rod so that fans can hold them up during the concert and move them in time with the music.  Especially because Japanese fans tend to be more subdued than American fans at concerts in terms of noise level, penlights are a good way to show support for the band.

After that, we had about an hour before the doors to the venue would open. Like basically everyone there, we were hot, thirsty, hungry, and tired of standing around in heels, so we headed to a mall next to the venue and grabbed coffee and food from the Dotour there.  Of course, the place was packed, and we ended up having to sit on the ground and eat, but practically everyone was in the same position as us, so it hardly seemed like a big deal.  While we were sitting, we also looking over our photos and the pamphlet that S got before heading back to the venue, the Big Hat arena from the Nagano Olympics (complete with Olympics themed decorations all over the place.)

Back at the arena, we distributed uchiwa before going our separate ways; J had bought her ticket separately, so she was seated away from us.  In fact, we weren’t seated at all… we had standing spots.  We thought that this was going to be awful, but as it turned out, we were on the first balcony (the next level up from the arena) right next to a part of the catwalk.  We could easily see anyone walking around the catwalk and figured they could see us fairly easily, too.  Highly relieved, we settled into our spot and waited for the show to start.

Image

Once the show did start… it was quite the experience.  Johnny’s and Associates’ talents’ concerts are always high budget and over the top; Johnny’s is known for crazy costumes covered in glitter and feathers, extensive sets complete with neon lights and automated moving elements, and the use of wires and moving stage parts.  The group started the show on platforms held above the stage by wires before they were lowered to the stage, and there was quite a lot of flying throughout the show.  The singing and dancing were all great, and at one point near the end of the show, when the members were walking around the catwalk, I’m fairly certain one of them saw S and I and did a double take because he was so surprised to see foreigners!

By the end of the show, we had managed to get two encores out of them and they were all clearly hoarse, and all in all, it was amazing.  I had a really good time, and despite how tired S and I were by the time we made it back to Kiryu, it was totally worth it!  After such a fun time, I’m definitely looking forward to the next concert I’m going to next weekend!

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