Surviving your first Japanese Concert

What can you do when it’s a rainy day and you’re on the Internet? Maybe buy a concert ticket? Well that is what I decided to do when I was bored one rainy day.

Now, buying a concert ticket in Japan is not an easy thing to do. Especially if you live outside the country. I luckily live here and so it’s a little bit easier. The hard part is navigating the ticketing sites, which don’t always respond well to google translate. So, after signing up for an account on one of the ticketing sites I was able to slowly navigate my way to buying a ticket to the concert that I wanted. This process was slow and required extensive use of the google translate app on my phone. Eventually though, I bought the ticket. The cool part? I hadn’t actually paid for it yet. Japan has a pretty cool system in place where you can pay for things at the convenience store. You just select the store you prefer and then head there and show them your number and they’ll print it off for you and you pay for it there. It’s super convenient if you don’t have a Japanese credit card, which are notoriously hard for foreigners to get.

So the ticket was bought and paid for, and all that was left was to wait for the concert that weekend. What concert? Well, in the past year or so I have become a fan of a certain anime that features male idol characters, and has a ton of songs to go along with it. The cool thing is that the voice actors, called seiyuu, are the ones performing all the songs. So because of that show I became a fan of several different seiyuu. Now, not only do these seiyuu do the voices in various anime and video games but many of them also have singing careers and have their own bands or singles. The concert I was heading to was for a favorite voice actor named Morikubo Showtaro. He has some pretty awesome music, I would totally recommend checking it out, and I was really excited to see him.

So the concert was at a pretty off the beaten track place in Kyoto, at least in terms of touristy areas, and it was pretty small. Kyoto isn’t exactly the go to place for concert, unlike Tokyo or Osaka. So this concert was standing room only and maybe only 800 people. Now, I’d looked up online when the merchandise booths opened and I arrived a little early to check out what kinds of merchandise there was. I was surprised at the amount of fans I saw there with merch from previous shows. So I bought a few things and then checked my purse into the coat check since you aren’t supposed to bring large bags and things into the concert. After that I intended to get some food but halfway there I realized that I’d left my ticket inside my checked bag like an idiot and so I had to go back and get it.

Because I bought my ticket last minute I ended up waiting until almost last to get in to the concert and so I was standing at the back. Thankfully, being just over average height here has its advantages as I could easily see the stage even from the back.

The show itself was great! There was a ton of songs, with little breaks for Morikubo to talk to the audience in between. As for the concert itself, the fans are defiantly more reserved than concerts that I went to back in Canada. They mostly stay in one place and there is no real dancing besides some serious arm waving. The exception to this was the group of girls at the back of the concert who where full on head-banging the whole time, whipping their long hair around like crazy for most of the songs. It was odd and I was hit by their hair more than once but at least it was a bit of a breeze?

All said and done the concert was super fun and an experience that I am so glad that I had, especially in my first few weeks of being here when I was just sitting around most days. I am really looking forward to getting to see more concerts this summer and the rest of the time that I am in Japan!