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Travel: Concert venues in Tokyo

00:17 JST January 11, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Venues marked out by bubbles and a number

1. TOKYO DOME

Tokyo Dome

The Tokyo Dome English website looks so…1990s!  The original Japanese Tokyo Dome website is here if you wanted to have a look.

Closest train stations (about 5 minute walk from venue):

  • Suidobashi station (JR Chuo and Sobu line)
  • Suidobashi station (Subway Mita line)
  • Kasuga station (Subway Oedo line)
  • Korakuen station (Subway Marunouchi line)
  • Korakuen station (Subway Namboku line)

If you come in from the JR line, you can actually see Tokyo Dome from the station.  It’s the big egg-shaped dome across the road.  If you have trouble seeing it, you’ll definately see the roller coaster rides that surround it in the Tokyo Dome City area.

2. YOYOGI DAI-ICHI TAIKUKAN (Yoyogi First Gymnasium)

Yoyogi Dai-ichi Taikukan

Unfortunately I can’t find an English website, but the Japanese website is here.

Closest stations (about 5 minute walk from venue):

  • Harajuku station (JR Yamanote line)
  • Meiji Jingu-mae (Harajuku) station (Subway Chiyoda line)
  • Meiji Jingu-mae (Harajuku) station (Subway Fukutoshin line)

You want to be careful with the Yoyogi Dai-ichi Taikukan if you’re coming by the JR Yamanote line, a lot of people (including me) get off at Yoyogi station because they assume it’s close to the venue since it has the same ‘Yoyogi’ area name in it.  It isn’t close.  It’s one station away from where the actual venue is.

3. NATIONAL STADIUM

National Stadium

Again, no English website.  For the Japanese website of the National Stadium (or Kokuritsu Kyogijo), click here.

Closest stations:

  • Sendagaya station (JR Sobu line – 5 minute walk)
  • Shinanomachi station (JR Sobu line – 5 minute walk)
  • Kokuritsu Kyogijo station (Subway Toei Oedo line – 1 minute walk)
  • Gaen-mae station (Subway Tokyo Metro Ginza line – 15 minute walk)

It’s hard to miss the National Stadium, just look for a giant concrete stadium with huge lights above it.

One thing about the National Stadium is that even if you don’t get tickets, it’s an open roof stadium so you can hear everything from outside!

A lot of fans do hang around outside during a concert, but I wouldn’t advise you to stay the entire time because locals living around the stadium often complain about fans causing trouble.

You don’t have to go on the concert day because you can also hear everything while they do rehearsals the day before the concert.  I know this because I was passing the stadium over the summer and heard Nino doing his sound check for the Arashi concert.

4. AKASAKA BLITZ

Unfortunately, no English website.  For the Japanese website of Akasaka BLITZ (and Yokohama BLITZ), click here.

Closest stations:

  • Akasaka station (Subway Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line – outside station)
  • Akasaka-mitsuke station (Subway Tokyo Metro Ginza line – 8 minute walk)
  • Akasaka-mitsuke station (Subway Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line – 8 minute walk)
  • Tameike-sanno station (Subway Tokyo Metro Ginza line – 7 minute walk)
  • Tameike-sanno station (Subway Tokyo Metro Namboku line – 7 minute walk)

5. ZEPP TOKYO

Unfortunately, no English website.  For the Japanese website of ZEPP Tokyo click here.

Closest stations:

  • Aomi station (Yurikamome line – 3 minute walk)
  • Tokyo Teleport station (Rinkai line – 5 minute walk)

6. 日本武道館 NIHON BUDOKAN

No English website about the hall itself, but for the Japanese website, click here.

Closest stations:

  • Kudanshita station (Subway Tokyo Metro Tozai line – 5 minute walk from exit 2)
  • Kudanshita station (Subway Tokyo Metro Hanzomon line – 5 minute walk from exit 2)
  • Kudanshita station (Subway Toei Shinjuku line – 5 minute walk from exit 2)

Other venues around Tokyo:

SAITAMA SUPER ARENA

For the English website of the Saitama Super Arena click here.

For directions to the venue, click here.

The trains pass right next to the Saitama Super Arena so you can get a good view of it from the window.

Just a word of advice about using the Saikyo train line: It’s one of the most-used train lines in Tokyo!  (I think so anyway)

A lot of people who work in Tokyo live in Saitama so this is one train line I would advise you to avoid using during peak hour traffic (before 9am and around dinner time) unless you want to end up as one of those people in the crowded train photos in Japanese travel guides.

YOKOHAMA ARENA

For the English website of the Yokohama Arena, click here.

For directions to the arena, click here.

I’ve never been to Yokohama Arena, but I do love Yokohama.  It’s an amazing sea town and if you have time to have a look around then do!

Chinatown is in Yokohama too, and they have excellent food there.

Tips about going to concerts

  • Official merchandise is sold at concert venues, usually just outside the hall/stadium/dome/arena and sometimes also inside.  BUT!  If you want to buy merchandise outside make sure you get there a few hours before the concert begins.  The more popular the group, the longer the queue.  I’ve been in queues that have lasted an hour or so, but Arashi queues in the past few years have been insanely long.  Like, several hours long.  Make sure you’ve gone to the toilet before lining up, take enough water to stay hydrated, maybe something to nibble on, etc.  It might be worth going with someone so you can take turns in buying food or drinks while you wait.  In general, you don’t need a concert ticket to buy merchandise sold outside the venue so it’s normal for some fans to buy merchandise on a day when they’re not seeing the concert.  Merchandise inside venues goes on sale when the doors open.  These queues are generally quicker.
  • Johnny’s concert tickets are mostly sold through their official fan club in Japan.  If it’s not a Johnny’s-artist-only concert, tickets can go on sale in shops and online stores.  Johnny’s strictly forbids the tickets to be re-sold, but to be honest, you can find a number of them in street ticket stores or fans selling them outside concert venues or through the internet (be prepared to pay sky-rocketing prices though).  It’s a little sad, but for some international fans, this is the only way they could get tickets.
  • You may know it already, but fans are asked not to bring giant cardboard panels with messages on them.  Only fans (the one you fan yourself with) are allowed and you’re asked not to raise them above your head (think of the person behind you).  Having said that, there seems to be no limit with how many fans one can bring.  I was sitting next to a fan who was holding up 8 fans at once last year.  She had four in each hand, with each held up in between two fingers.
  • Don’t be shy about dressing up in costume!  You’ll see a lot of fans who have made home made costumes that are exact copies of outfits their Johnny’s group wears in some music video or show.  I’ve seen fans with home made T-shirts and yukata (summer kimono) with names of their favourite Johnny’s star written on them too.
  • By the way, if anyone wanted an not-ruined-by-my-stars Tokyo subway map, click here to find the original.  Actually, Tokyo’s main subway system, the Tokyo Metro, has a good website in English that gives you advice about Tokyo.
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