15 August 2010

How to buy concert/butai tickets at resale ticket stores. (Tokyo)

I know I've promised somebody at some time I would do a blog post for this and since it's a slow news day and I've gotten serious again about having about a post a day I decided to do it now.

This post is for buying tickets from the ticket resale stores, or the ones I knew about in Tokyo. The stores I'll be covering is the one on Takeshita Street and then a small chain called Yokohama Ticket, which has three stores in Tokyo.

For those who don't know, these resale ticket stores tend to be small venues that deal in buying tickets from people to resell to others. For artists that tend to sell out at the fan club level these are very helpful in actually getting a ticket if you're not a fan club member or since they only sell what they actually have you can try your luck at getting good seats as they will usually tell you the area and row the ticket is for. The stores are nice because any one how has the cash (and they will only accept cash, no cards) can buy the tickets they have there.

Of course for the good seats expect to pay above the original ticket price. In fact unless it's either not a lot of demand for the amount of tickets they have or a few hours from the start of the concert you're most likely not going to find a ticket under the original ticket price, even for bad seats.

All of these stores are small and can get crowded without many people in there. The tickets will be in locked glass cases so first find the ticket(s) you want then flag down one of the store clerks to get you the ticket. Also tickets are almost always sold in ones or twos, so don't expect to be able to find tickets for three or more with seats together.

Also I've never run into someone working at these places that knew English so you need to know at least some Japanese. If you can at least remember the words and phrases for buying and basic information about the concert in Japanese (artists name/location of concert or date/and numbers), you'll probably be okay. And if words fail you pointing can help too. And when you're at the counter don't worry when they start talking a lot while pointing at the ticket, they're just verifying it's the ticket you want so nodding your head and saying 'hai' should be all you need for that.

And now that's out of the way I'll talk about the stores.

Probably the easiest to find is the one on Takeshita Street which is in Harajuku. Just get off the train and find the main gate for the Harajuku Station. Across the street will be the entrance to Takeshita Street (and the first photo of this post is the entrance though the Koishite Akuma banner won't be there anymore). You just follow it straight down and once you pass the 7-11 start looking on your left for a shop that will have what look to be fliers for concerts plastered all over the front. And then you're at the store. I never really paid attention to the name of this store but it's the only store that looks like that on the street. This one mainly has idol tickets and Johnny's related tickets tend to be to one side of the store.

Now Yokohama Ticket has a website but to my knowledge you can only buy the tickets at either of the three stores they have. The locations they are in are Shibuya(渋谷), Ueno(上野) and Shinjuku(新宿). I mainly used the Shibuya one and sometimes the Ueno store. I think I may have gone to the Shinjuku store once and I had just happened to run across it. The website does have directions to all three stores at the bottom of the main page.

I did a screen capture of the tickets for Arashi's upcoming concerts. As you can see you're going to have to be able to recognize the Japanese used for group names. You can also see how they have the tickets listed and the prices they go for.

A simple breakdown of the columns on the page is the left most will tell you which store has the ticket. I number in the next column can be ignored and then you have the date and venue name for which concert the ticket is for. The next column can be ignored and then you have seating information, such as the area of the venue you'll be in the row and a set of seat numbers that the ticket(s) will be in. You then have the price followed by the number of tickets. The tickets with the box on the far right have already been sold, I believe they update frequently but even so there's always a chance the ticket you may want won't be there anymore when you go if you wait too late.

I came to like this store if partly because of this website as it helps give an idea of how much tickets are going for even if I didn't get my tickets from them. Also they have a much greater variety for non-idol artists.

Of course if you're using these stores they only sell what they physically have on hand so you won't see the tickets go on sale until people actually have gotten their tickets in the mail and sold them off. So if you're only visiting Japan for a short while, have a lot of extra spending money and want to see a concert but won't be heart broken if you don't then using these stores won't be bad. Or if you're living in Japan for a long period time but maybe not long enough for a fan club membership to be worth it then these stores are nice to know about as they save you the hassle of trying to buy online. Otherwise you're better off using other methods to get the tickets you want.

I hope overall this is helpful and gives some people another option for trying to see Johnny's while in Japan.

No comments: