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03 January 2018 @ 11:05 pm
Concert Venues Data  
With the announcement of KAT-TUN's concert in Tokyo Dome next April, as well as a long list of already known tours for the beginning of 2018 and the details NEWS's tour presumably forthcoming, I figured now might be a good time to share my knowledge of various commonly used concert venues around Japan. As I've been located in Kanto area for the past 6ish years, I unfortunately haven't been to many venues in the west and south, but I have amassed a somewhat long list of venues in which I've seen concerts, so I figured my experiences might be useful to other people, as well.

So, I decided to write up a short report of each of the venues I've been to, with information that I wished I knew before I went. I hope that this can be of use to other foreign concert-goers and make people's concert experiences easier!

The list is written from north to south, give or take. Each venue is under its own cut, so hopefully the list is easy to navigate, but if you're having trouble with anything, let me know!

Hokkaido & Tohoku

Makomanai Sekisui Heim Ice Arena
Getting to the venue
The fastest way to get to the venue is by bus from Makomanai Station. Figuring out the bus system can be somewhat confusing at first (especially if you're coming on a goods presale day or something, where there will be less fans), but on the day of a show, there will likely be a lot of fans whose lead you can follow. The venue or the city (unsure which) runs exponentially more buses on the day of an event at the arena, so there's not too much of a crowding issue or wait if you just missed the previous bus. Getting back from the venue also wasn't as bad as I had previously expected. The bus stop is about a block from the actual venue, but there's pretty much nothing else around, so it's relatively easy to find it. Including the bus ride and the walk, I'd estimate it takes about 20 minutes, but that depends on traffic and any obstructions like snow.

I have also seen girls walk from Makomanai Station, but I personally wouldn't, especially wearing concert shoes. Google can probably give you an estimate of how long the walk will take.

Nearby food options
There's pretty much nothing close to the venue, as it's in an out-of-the-way suburb of Hokkaido. It's likely you could find a convenience store near the station, but I wouldn't count on being able to get food after arriving. If you want to eat before the show, I would bring food with you.

Nearby places to wait
The outside of the venue is paved, but there isn't that much space. That said, the venue is absolutely tiny, so there won't be that many people there, either. There really isn't anywhere to sit down or do anything besides stand, however, and there's no shops or restaurants really convenient, so you want to plan accordingly when you go to the venue.

Goods line situation
The goods line at Makomanai Sekisui Heim Ice Arena is probably the shortest one I've ever waited in. There's just one little goods area set up outside the arena, but there are so few people that even on goods presale day I didn't have to wait more than ten minutes once the line opened. If you're going to multiple venues in one tour, I would definitely suggest buying goods in Sapporo, because almost no one is there.

Bathrooms
The line for the bathrooms was long the one time I was there, but I recall the bathroom being mostly clean. The venue is tiny and the bathrooms are pretty small to match, but I don't recall there being a big problem besides remembering to line up early. There were some Japanese style toilets in my recollection, but it wasn't impossible to get a Western one if you wanted.

Things to bring besides concert goods
Anything you want to protect you against the elements... which, in Sapporo, is more likely to be a heavy coat then a sun umbrella, I suppose. As a caveat, I was surprisingly cold during the actual show; normally, the inside of these venues are very warm from all the lights and the fire effects during the concert, but I was cold even during the show in Sapporo.

View / Obstructions
The place is tiny, so you should have a good view no matter where your seats are.

Restrictions on things you can bring in
I don't know if this was related to the venue or the tour, but the one time I went here, they checked my uchiwa size to make sure it wasn't larger than the permitted surface area. It was really unexpected.

Existence and placement of carts
This is going to sound weird, but I honestly don't remember. If someone has data on this, please let me know!

Gintape distribution
I'm not sure if this was a problem with the concert itself (I went to the very first show of the tour, so they were still working out the kinks) or the venue, but the gintape distribution was horrible when I saw a show there. I was in the arena right up next to the center stage and I didn't get any gintape, lol. But I'm really not sure if this is an outlying experience or not, so please let me know if you have other data about this.

Tachimi
I'm sorry, I have no clue. Fill me in if you know!

Other
When you search for this venue online, you end up getting lots of hits for the Sekisui Heim Super Arena in Miyagi, so be careful if you're googling the venue to get more information.

Sendai Sekisui Heim Super Arena
Getting to the venue
There's a shuttle bus from a stop near the east exit of Sendai station that runs to the venue before and after the concert. Tickets for the shuttle bus can be reserved in advance or purchased on the day of the event, but they're cheaper in advance, so I would suggest buying them before you get there! You can buy them from any 7-11, so it's easy to buy them even if you're in a different part of Japan. The bus ride takes about 45 minutes, and if you're aiming to go to the venue about 2 hours before the show, there will probably be a long line, but before that and you should generally be able to get on the bus almost immediately. Going back to the station from the venue, the system is worked out really well and they have enough staff to make it run really smoothly, so you don't really need to worry about it being hectic or not being able to get onto a bus!

Nearby food options
There's literally nothing at all near the venue, so be prepared to bring anything you want to eat with you. There are some vending machines in the Sub-Arena with bottled drinks, but I would't rely on that. It's very similar to Ecopa (see below) in how isolated it is, so if you're planning to be there for a long time, bring food with you!

Nearby places to wait
The Sub-Arena is basically used as a waiting area during concerts, and is a small complex attached to the Sekisui Heim Super Arena main venue. There are very limited chairs, but girls sit on the floor, as well, which is relatively clean. It's marginally temperature controlled in early spring, so it was warmer than outside, but I was still a bit chilly. I've never been in the dead of summer or winter, but I assume it would be temperature controlled. There is also a lot of paved area outside, so if the weather permits, standing or sitting on the ground outside is also an option.

Goods line situation
When I saw a show in Sekisui Heim Super Arena, I lined up around 3 hours before the show, and there was almost no line for goods. The goods were being sold inside a large space in the Sub Arena, but the line extended out the door once it got a little longer. Since the venue seats less than 10,000 people, the goods area was relatively small, but it's also impossible to get to the venue quickly from the station, so there weren't a lot of people coming just to buy goods who weren't seeing the show. All in all, if you plan your time well, it should be easy to get goods in Miyagi!

Bathrooms
There are bathrooms available in the Sub-Arena before the doors open. Until about an hour before the doors opened, the line for these bathrooms was relatively short, but around an hour before the doors opened, the lines became very long. I haven't used these bathrooms, so unforutnately, I can't comment on if they're nice or not. Inside the venue, there are quite a few bathroom areas, and most of the men's bathrooms have been changed to women's temporarily for Johnny's shows, as well. However, the women's bathrooms have a high ratio of Japanese-style toilets to Western-style toilets, whereas the men's bathroom have only Western-style toilets, so if you want to avoid the Japanese-style, I would advise going to the bathrooms that used to be mens! You can tell which ones they are because they sign is covered up by a temporary sign that says women's, whereas the ones that are always women's have a permenant sign. There are also wheelchair accessible bathrooms, but I don't have experience with them. Somewhat far from the venue, near the bus stop, there are also portable toilets, but my guess would be that they're all Japanese-style.

Things to bring besides concert goods
If you're going to want something to eat or drink, I would suggest bringing that, since there's not really a good place to buy things. Also, if you want to sit on the floor, you could bring some sort of tarp. If it's hot or raining and you plan to line up outside for goods or to get into the venue, obviously an umbrella would be a good idea. In general, it's similar to Ecopa (see below), except getting there is a lot easier.

View / Obstructions
The place is quite small, and the view is good no matter where you are! It only seats around 7,000~8,000, so it really is a nice intimate space!

Restrictions on things you can bring in
I haven't experienced any.

Existence and placement of carts
In the show I went to, there were no carts in the stands, but I'm unclear if it was because that's how the show was, or if it was because the venue didn't allow for it.

Gintape distribution
The gintape distribution was pretty average for a small venue. The way the gintape shooters were set up, most of the arena and some of the lower stands on the right and left of the stage got gintape. The extremities of the arena (since arenas tend to be longer than they are wide, those in the part that's longer and farther away from the center) and the lower stands farther away from the stage didn't get good gintape coverage.

Tachimi
None in my experience.

Other
I really enjoyed seeing a show in this venue! If it's not to far away from you, I would definitely reccomend it!


Kanto

Tokyo Dome
Getting to the venue
Tokyo Dome is easily accessible either from Tokyo Metro Korakuen Station or JR Suidobashi station. Korakuen is a little bit closer to the actual dome; when you exit you’re near La Qua, the mall complex right next to Tokyo Dome, and gate 25 and gate 11, which are typically the arena entrances. If you’re looking for gate 20-23, 30 or 31, or 40 or 41, it might take an equal amount of time to come from Suidobashi as to walk around the perimeter of the dome. Coming from Suidobashi, you’ll pass Tokyo Dome City Hall as well as the majority of Tokyo Dome City.

Nearby food options
Tokyo Dome is literally surrounded by shops and restaurants, so there’s no shortage of food, though during a concert, there may be a shortage of tables at these restaurants. The dome itself houses several restaurants on the ground level, and both the shopping areas of Tokyo Dome City and La Qua have dozens of food options. There’s also a Starbucks, a convenience store, and a few other food options in the outer part of the building that houses Tokyo Dome City Hall.

Nearby places to wait
Like the above, there are a ton of shops and restaurants around Tokyo Dome, but the mall and surrounding shopping areas will be crowded leading up a concert. In terms of escaping extreme weather in the summer and winter, it might be hard to find a place to sit inside in the mall or a restaurant unless you camp out for a while in advance or get lucky, but if you don’t mind sitting outside, there are tons of places to sit down and relax until the concert. The area outside the main gates (low 20s, 30/31, and 40/41) has a lot of low walls and bench areas to sit down, and the area by La Qua/Gate 25 also has some low walls that provide decent seating.

Goods line situation
Tokyo Dome actually has two totally separate goods sections, which is really convenient when the place is packed. The goods area at the main gate (low 20s, 30/31, and 40/41) is the main goods area, so there’s quite a few places to line up and generally, they’re pretty good at getting the line through quickly. I actually haven’t gone to this goods area very many times because I usually take Tokyo Metro to Tokyo Dome and arrive near Gate 25, but the few times I’ve gone, my experience is that it’s sort of a one-way flow, and it’s hard to go back through one of the lines if you forgot something. The other goods area is by Gate 25, and it’s slightly smaller than the main goods area. The line tends to be short because it’s the less well known of the two, but at really major events like when Countdown goods and JUMP goods for New Years were being sold at the same time, there’s no way around a long line at either goods area. However, this one tends to be less linear and more like the typical Johnny’s goods area, so I’ve never had any problem doing the three lines inside the goods area in any order I wanted.

Bathrooms
Tokyo Dome is huge and designed to handle tens of thousands of people, but the bathroom lines do tend to get long. If you need to go to the bathroom, I’d suggest lining up as soon as you get into the venue so you’ll be sure to get through with time to spare. There are bathrooms every so often around the venue, but if lines are long, staff may suggest you go to a different line that may be faster-moving. The lines tend to coil through the stairwells and get a little confusing, so make sure you’ve actually found the end of the line, because if you cut into the middle of the line by accident, the people behind you definitely won’t appreciate it XD; The bathrooms themselves aren’t anything to write home about, but they’re nice and clean and, as far as I know, 100% Western style toilets. There is also at least one (probably more) instance of outdoor bathrooms around the perphery of the Dome, and to my surprise, I recently discovered that these are quite nice! They’ve been recently renovated and are actually nicer than the inside bathrooms, so don’t fear those if you’re looking for a bathroom before entering the venue. XD;

Things to bring besides concert goods
I would suggest binoculars no matter where your seat is, even if you’re in the arena, for reasons I express below. Other than that, Tokyo Dome is surrounded by a lot of shops and resources, so you don’t particularly need to worry about bringing anything in particular. If it’s raining or really sunny, you can buy an umbrella in La Qua, etc.

View / Obstructions
Tokyo Dome is really huge, and my general feeling is that you don’t get an amazing view pretty much anywhere. In the past 6 years, I’ve had seats everywhere from the front section of the arena to the back section of the 4th floor, and there’s basically always something you can’t see well. There tends to be a large speaker stucture (large black speakers on really tall metal poles) to send the audio out to the back of the venue that sometimes can block your view. In particular, Gate 25 second floor stands tend to be bad because they’re behind the main screen, so you won’t be able to see any screen particularly well. You can generally get a good overall view from the 3rd floor balcony or 4th floor front few rows, whereas in the arena or the first few rows of the stands, you can get a good up close view when the guys are close to you but you probably won’t have a great view when they’re far away. The second floor stands can be really hit or miss— sometimes you get a good angle and sometimes your view is blocked by something or far away from the catwalk.

Restrictions on things you can bring in
None.

Existence and placement of carts
There are no upper carts in Tokyo Dome; because the area is so large, there are huge carts that are actually set up on top of cars outside the outer catwalk that go near the lower stands.

Gintape distribution
Don’t count on getting gintape in Tokyo Dome no matter where your seats are. In the past 6 years of going to Johnny’s concerts in Tokyo Dome, I've gotten gintape three times; twice in the arena B block (quite close to the main stage) and once in row 12 of the stands. Generally speaking, the center of the area around the center stage and chunks of the lower stands will get gintape; the 3rd and 4th floor get none in my experience. The area is just too wide to get good gintape coverage.

Tachimi
None.

Other
I often joke that there are “no good seats” in Tokyo Dome because the venue is so large that it’s impossible to be close to the guys all the time, so my personal suggestions is that you go in with low expectations, because then you won’t be let down!

Kokuritsu Yoyogi Kyogijo Daiichi Taiikukan
Getting to the venue
The venue is relatively close to JR Harajuku station (ironically not to Yoyogi Station), which is extremely easy to access. However, it's a bit of a trek from the station and involves going over a walkway over a highway, which is on the narrow side and causes quite a bit of congestion. Plan to give yourself at least 20 minutes to walk to the venue depending on crowding! Additionally, Harajuku in general just gets stupidly crowded during school breaks and holidays due to the fact that it is really a fairly small area and only became popular in the past 20 years or so, so you really want to be prepared for crowds.

Nearby food options
Harajuku is a shopping area filled with restaurants and cafes, as well as fast food options like McDonald's and occasionally food trucks or street stands selling things like sweet potatoes and kebab. However, like I mentioned above, Harajuku has the tendancy to get extremely crowded, and the shops are all in the opposite direction from the station as the venue, so if you're planning to get food, you want to make sure to plan in a lot of spare time in advance. There aren't really food options very close to the venue.

Nearby places to wait
The venue is in a walled-in area that's generally a giant concrete slab, so there's plenty of places to stand, but no particular place to sit or get out of the elements. If weather and temperature isn't a problem, then you can bring a picnic blanket or vinyl sheet and sit on the ground, but unfortunately, there's really no place to take shelter from the rain or heat near the venue. As I mentioned above, the shopping area is full of stores and food options, but it's about a half hour walk from the venue if the area is crowded, so you want to plan your timing accordingly.

Goods line situation
I actually haven't gotten goods here, either; I've only ever come for shows that were not a group I particularly followed. However, since the venue is in Tokyo, I would count on the lines being longer due to people coming to buy goods even without tickets to the show. If someone has more data about the goods line, let me know!

Bathrooms
I actually haven't used the bathroom here, either, I'm sorry! Please let me know if you have any bathroom information.

Things to bring besides concert goods
If you're planning to wait at the venue before the doors open, I would bring whatever you need to protect against the elements (warm clothes/a sun umbrella/rain gear) and if you're looking to sit down near the venue, a mat or blanket to sit on. If you arrive at Harajuku and suddenly realize you need these, however, it's easy to pick them up at a nearby 100 yen shop or convenience store before heading to the venue.

View / Obstructions
The venue is quite small, so my experience is that you generally have a good view no matter where your seats are.

Restrictions on things you can bring in
None that I know of.

Existence and placement of carts
In my experience, the carts go around the main aisle between the lower stands and the upper stands. If you're in the first row of the upper stands, you're in luck, because the guys will come by at eye level. The gap is large enough that if you're in the last row of the lower stands, you probably won't get much personal attention, but you will be able to see them up close, which is nice.

Gintape distribution
Gintape distribution is fairly good for the arena and lower half of the lower stands in my recollection. Don't count on getting gintape in the back half of the lower stands or the upper stands, though.

Tachimi
I honestly don't remember, but my inclination is to say that there's not? Can anyone back me up on this, or let me know if there is tachimi and where they stand?

Other
The venue is visible from the park where you line up for the Johnny's Shop, so if you know how to get there, you can probably find your way to the venue easily. XD;

Saitama Super Arena
Getting to the venue
I have to admit that it’s been about 3 years since I’ve been to Saitama Super Arena; Johnny’s groups don’t play there very often, but I recall it being fairly easy to reach from Saitama Shintoshin station. The station basically exists to service Saitama Super Arena, so it’s really obvious how to get there.

Nearby food options
Saitama Super Arena is surrounded be small shops, but I honestly can’t recall just how prevalent food options were. There were certainly some; it isn’t in the middle of nowhere or totally isolated, but the one time I went, I brought my own food.

Nearby places to wait
There are not a lot of seating options right in the close vicinity of the arena; there are shops around, but I wouldn’t count on any cafes of restaurants having seating due to the crowds at a concert. There’s certainly less shops and restaurants available than in Tokyo Dome. There’s a fairly wide concrete area surrounding the arena to stand around in, but there aren’t benches. In the summer, there is some shade depending on the angle of the sun, but in cases of extreme weather, I wouldn’t count on being able to find easy shelter.

Goods line situation
There’s a small goods area down a set of stairs off to the side of the arena. There was relatively good signage towards the goods area, so it wasn’t hard to find, but my impression is that, if there’s a long line, it would be exposed to the sun. I lined up while a show was happening, which is a typically good time to get goods due to shorter lines, and I was able to get in and out relatively quickly, so I suggest this method.

Bathrooms
I don’t think I went to the bathroom the whole time I was there! I honestly don’t remember, I’m sorry.

Things to bring besides concert goods
If you’re planning to wait outside for long periods of time, I would reccomend bringing a vinyl picnic blanket or other such item to set on the ground if you want to sit. During summer, I’d also suggest bringing a sun umbrella, and in winter, I’d suggest dressing warmly. There aren’t a whole lot of options to sit down or go inside around the venue in my experience.

View / Obstructions
Saitama Super Arena is sort of like a tall cyllinder with a relatively small stage area, so though it seats a lot of people, the view is different than in, say, Yokohama Arena, which is long and flat. Rather than Yokohama Arena, where you won’t be that high up but you may be far away from certain parts of the stage, you may end up very high up in Saitama Super Arena, looking down. If you have an arena or lower stands seat, however, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have an amazing view!

Restrictions on things you can bring in
None.

Existence and placement of carts
There weren’t carts in the one show that I saw there; I can’t say for sure that there would never be carts in a different setup. Some of the performers went into various areas of the stands during that concert, however, including walking up and down the aisles of the lower stands.

Gintape distribution
Because the venue has so many floors and is generally high, gintape almost certainly doesn’t reach up to the higher levels. However, since it’s narrow, I recall there being a relatively good gintape distribution in the arena and first level stands.

Tachimi
Not in my recollection.

Other
Please tell me if you have other Saitama Super Arena data! I feel bad that this section is so bereft of information.

Yokohama Arena
Getting to the venue
The closest station to YokoAri is Shin Yokohama Station, which is reachable by JR, Shinkansen, and Yokohama Subway. From the JR, there’s basically only one exit which is easy to find; from there, you can simply follow the elevated walkway to the venue. It’s about a 15 minute walk with several stairscases, so plan shoes accordingly. From the subway, you can do a large chunk of the walk underground if you prefer, which means fewer staircases. Either way, YokoAri is almost deceptively far from the station, so make sure your feet are prepared for a bit of a walk.

Nearby food options
There are an uncountable number of food options in Shin Yokohama Station; there’s a large mall attached to the station and a food area just outside with a wide variety of chain options. There’s also another mall between the station and the venue with a popular Italian restaurant chain and a Family Mart. There are a few bars and restaurants even closer to the venue, as well, if you approach the venue from subway exit rather than the JR.

Nearby places to wait
The above-listed restaurants and malls are probably the best place to wait near the venue. Since YokoAri is in the middle of the city, trains come relatively frequently, and I usually aim to arrive fairly close to the time the doors will open so that I don’t need to wait outside. Being in the middle of the city, there isn’t a wide empty space around YokoAri, which makes it very crowded.

Goods line situation
Because YokoAri has very little space around it, the goods situation is always really impactical. Sometimes, there will be an outside goods setup, where girls line up in a long line that wraps around the building. In recent years, they’ve moved to an inside goods setup where the line is still outside. There’s some shade from trees and the building, but the line tends to wrap around the edge of the building and sometimes go up and down stairs. There’s also poor visibility of the rest of the line, so it’s hard to know how much longer there is to wait.

Bathrooms
I have no experience with outdoor bathrooms at YokoAri; there are some near the side of the venue where the tachimi lines enter, but I've never used them. Inside, the bathrooms have been recently rennovated and they’re quite nice! There are many Western toilets, and they’re very clean. They tend to change most of the men's rooms to women's rooms during concerts, as well. The line is usually fairly quickly moving, if long.

Things to bring besides concert goods
Nothing in particular. There are a lot of shops on the way to the venue, so anything you might need, you can pick up there.

View / Obstructions
Nothing in particular; the back of the lower stands have kind of an unfortunately shallow slope, so if you're short, you might have some trouble seeing over the head of the person in front of you, but there's not many large speakers or anything to block the view in my experience.

Restrictions on things you can bring in
None.

Existence and placement of carts
Carts will come around the middle aisle of the upper stands, so even people in the back row have a chance of being seen or catching a ball or signboard, depending on the group.

Gintape distribution
Gintape generally reaches up to about row 12 of the stands and all of the arena. If you’re lucky or agile, you might be able to get gintape in slightly further back rows as well.

Tachimi
Yes, about three rows' worth depending on the placement.

Other
Beware the slats in the floor beneath the stands! The stands are hollow and if you drop something through the slats, it will be gone forever. I have heard and seen many horror stories regarding things being eaten by the YokoAri stands (including but not limited to tickets, glasses, and concert goods), so please watch your personal belongings!


Chubu

Nagano-shi Tamokuteki Sports Arena Big Hat
Getting to the venue
Big Hat is accessable by a shuttle bus run by the venue from Nagano station. Assuming you arrive at a reasonable time, you should be able to follow the other fans out of the station to the place where the shuttle busses are about a half a block away. Venue staff will sell you a ticket, you can either buy one way (“katamichi”) or round trip (“ofuku”). You’ll have to wait in line to board the bus, which is actually more like a very large van, but then you’ll be taken straight to the venue. There’s almost no walking involved.

Nearby food options
The venue is right next to a small mall that contains a Dotour and a variety of vending machines. I believe there are also other dining options, though I don’t honestly remember as the last time I was there was in 2013, but the mall will be packed if you’re there for a concert. It’s easy to get takeout from the Dotour and eat it sitting on any open bench space you can find, or even sitting on the floor.

Nearby places to wait
The mall is the most popular place to wait out of the sun and in the air conditioning in the summer / out of the wind and in the heat in the winter. As such, it gets hugely crowded, so be prepared to not be able to find someplace to sit besides on the floor.

Goods line situation
The goods are sold right outside the front of the venue, and the line is totally unprotected from the elements. Particularly in summer, be prepared to be in the heat and the glaring sun. However, due to the small capacity of the venue and its relatively isolated location, in my experience, the goods line has been less than 2 hours long.

Bathrooms
The bathrooms outside the venue are old and dirty (in terms of Japanese bathrooms); last time I was there in 2013, of the four stalls, two were Western toilets and two were Japanese-style. The bathrooms inside the venue are also somewhat old and the ratio leans more towards Japanese-style toilets. Especially in the arena, the only accessible bathrooms in 2013 had only two stalls, one of which was Japanese-style. The mall staff will not allow concert-goers to use the bathroom in the mall, so don’t plan on being able to use the mall bathrooms.

Things to bring besides concert goods
In the summer, if you’re planning on lining up for goods, you may want to bring a parasol and/or bottled drinks so as not to get dehydrated or get heat stroke.

View / Obstructions
The venue is extremely small and, in my experience, there’s a good view from all seats.

Restrictions on things you can bring in
None.

Existence and placement of carts
In my memory, the venue was too small for carts. There are standing tickets (“tachimi”) in the only aisle that there might have been carts in.

Gintape distribution
In my memory, gintape reaches the lower stands but not the upper stands. Most of the arena should get heavy gintape coverage.

Tachimi
Yes, about two rows worth.

Other
Nothing in particular.

Ecopa Arena
Getting to the venue
This is the worst venue to get to that I've ever visited in my life. After arriving at Aino station, which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, you have to walk for a half hour uphill to get to the venue. This sucks pretty much no matter what the weather is like. I've done it both in the pouring rain and in the summer heat, and it's totally awful. There are cabs that you can take from the station, but the line tends to be really long, so if you want to take a cab, plan in another half hour to wait in line. Seriously, I can't stress enough how unpleasant it is to get to this place.

Also, just as an aside, there are actually two venues at the location, a larger one and a smaller one. The concert venue is the smaller one.

Nearby food options
There's one convenience store and one grocery store between the station and the venue, and both of them are much closer to the station than the venue. There may also be a small coffee shop along the way? But basically, get anything you want to get before you trek up the hill, because once you're up there, it's a huge pain to go down to get something and come back up.

Nearby places to wait
There's a small cafe attached to the venue, and apparently before concerts, they let people sit on the floor inside, as well as at tables. There are also a variety of benches around the large, partly-paved, partly-grassy area. However, very few of the benches and places to sit are under any sort of shade or cover, so in instances of extreme weather like rain or sun, there are few places to take shelter. In terms of sun block, there are small trees planted in some places around the grassy area, so if you want to sit beneath them, make sure to bring a blanket or sheet to sit on. The area surrounding the venue is generally pleasant in good weather, but really not pleasant in bad weather.

Goods line situation
The goods are set up right outside the venue, with the line wrapping around the larger of the two buildings. There isn't really a good place to stand, and you end up standing on grass part of the time. In extreme weather, you're totally exposed to the elements, as well, so bring a sun or rain umbrella if you think you might need one.

Bathrooms
The bathrooms are generally quite nice, and the line moves relatively fast. There are a variety of bathrooms with 5-10 stalls around the arena, so if one has a long line, try finding another one. At least half of the stalls are Western toilets in my experience.

Things to bring besides concert goods
In summer, you definitely want to bring a sun umbrella and plenty of fluids; I've never been in winter, but I imagine you want to bring a coat and gloves and probably hand lotion or something to combat dryness. If you need to sit on the grass, you probably also want to bring a picnic blanket or tarp of some sort, and if it's raining, you want thorough rain gear. Once you're at the venue, you don't really have options to get anything you might need or go inside until the doors open, so you want to be prepared.

View / Obstructions
The venue is quite small, and the view is good even from the last row! It makes the hike worth it.

Restrictions on things you can bring in
None that I know of!

Existence and placement of carts
Carts go around the middle aisle. The place is small enough that it should be pretty obvious which aisle it is, because there's really only one. It's not super close to the back, but it's still closer than nothing.

Gintape distribution
Like other smaller venues, the gintape coverage is good in the arena and lower stands, but won't reach to the upper stands.

Tachimi
None.

Other
In case it wasn't obvious, I find going to this venue extremely troublesome, but if you're mentally prepared and bring all the things you need, you should be safe!

Nagoya Dome
Getting to the venue
Like Saitama Super Arena, I've only been here once, and it was in 2014, but I recall getting to the venue being very simple from the subway. It wasn't a long walk and it wasn't difficult to find the venue.

Nearby food options
Nagoya Dome is near a major mall with a variety of restaurants and food options. Also, because Nagoya is a major city and the venue was close to the subway station, it was easy to get food a couple stops away before coming to the venue. There's definitely no concern about not being able to find food near the venue.

Nearby places to wait
The major mall nearby has coffee shops and benches as well as a few waiting areas with chairs, etc., for waiting. However, when there's a concert, it's obviously very busy, so you may have some difficulty finding a chair. But if you're willing to sit on the ground or spend some time looking, it's easy to kill time in the climate-controlled mall until the show.

Goods line situation
I actually haven't waited for goods at Nagoya Dome! If you have, please let me know so I can add data to this report.

Bathrooms
I don't have any recollection of using the bathrooms at Nagoya Dome either, so again, please let me know any data that you have!

Things to bring besides concert goods
You don't need to worry about bringing a lot of extra things to Nagoya Dome; because it's in the heart of the city and has a mall right next door, you can buy basically anything that you might need.

View / Obstructions
I've only ever been to Nagoya Dome once, but the feel is similar to Tokyo Dome. It's huge, so no matter where you are, you're not going to have the best view of everything, but you'll be able to see most things to some extent.

Restrictions on things you can bring in
None to my knowledge.

Existence and placement of carts
Being a dome, Nagoya Dome's setup is similar to Tokyo Dome. There are no upper carts or anything of that sort, but there are large car-type carts that go around the outside of the catwalk so that the guys come closer to the stands

Gintape distribution
Like Tokyo Dome, the distribution is patchy and uneven; I would say probably less than half the people in the dome get gintape. Generally speaking, some parts of the lower stands and the arena will have a good distribution, but the upper stands likely will get nothing, and the extremities of the lower areas also probably won't get any. The one time I saw a show in Nagoya Dome, I was in one of the first few rows of the lower stands and still got no gintape.

Tachimi
Nope.

Other
Sorry my knowledge here is limited! Let me know if you have any data for me to add to this!

Nippon Gaishi Hall
Getting to the venue
Like Nagoya Dome, Nippon Gaishi Hall is in Nagoya, but it's sort of out of the way. The little station that services the venue, Kasadera, is quite small, and the venue itself is removed from the more populated parts of the city. That said, as long as you plan for crowding, it's very simple to get from Kasadera Station to the venue; the station basically only services Gaishi, so there's no confusion, and even if it's a bit of a walk, it's all on a walkway that leads directly between the station and the venue.

Nearby food options
There's a convenience store in Kasadera Station, but not many other options for getting food or water near the venue. That said, because Gaishi is within a half hour from Nagoya Station (the hub for Shinkansen and most major railways in Nagoya), it's quite easy to eat at a restaurant or get food from a convenience store before going to the venue, since the trip is quite short.

Nearby places to wait
The area around Gaishi is paved and quite wide, with a variety of railings and planters with edges to sit on. I've never really had any problem with having nowhere to wait. However, there's not really anywhere to wait inside, so in instances of extreme weather, be aware that there's no shelter from the elements.

Goods line situation
The goods are on a lower level outside the arena. The line can get long since it's in a major city and even people who aren't going to the show come to get goods, so be aware. The line is sometimes in the shade, but sometimes not, so if you're going to be waiting for a long time you might want to bring a sun umbrella in summer.

Bathrooms
The bathrooms in Gaishi are not good. They haven't been renovated in a long time, and the line tends to get quite long. They do change some men's rooms to women's rooms, so that helps, but the lines are generally slow-moving. I don't remember offhand the ratio of Japanese style toilets to western toilets, but there are probably at least a few Japanese style that cause the line to move even slower.

Things to bring besides concert goods
If you need, you can get things like water bottles and snacks from the convenience store in the station, but if you're planing on waiting in line for a long time in summer, I would suggest a sun umbrella.

View / Obstructions
The venue is relatively small, and it's difficult to have a bad view. There's also a generally steep slope, which means that for people who are shorter, the person in front of you doesn't really block your view. All in all, there's really not many problems in terms of being able to see.

Restrictions on things you can bring in
None that I know of.

Existence and placement of carts
The carts come around the middle aisle of the stands at a lower point than is really ideal. If you have a relatively far-back seat, the guys won't be that close to you, but it's still a better view than when they're on the catwalk. The aisle is the one that is behind the last row at the rear of the venue, in front of the doors that you can leave out of, so if you can see where that aisle is, it gives you a good idea of where the carts are going to come.

Gintape distribution
Gintape comes over the arena and the lower half of the stands; I recall the distribution there being fairly good, but it's likely it won't reach the back half of the stands.

Tachimi
The tachimi are behind the last row of the "lower" section of the stands on the right and left sides of the venue. The rows of seats ends at the middle aisle in the back, but go higher on the right and left sides, and there's another aisle up there, followed by another row of seats. The tachimi are back there, and while I've never had tachimi tickets for Gaishi, I wouldn't count on it being a great view.

Other
Nothing in particular.


Kansai

Kyocera Dome
Getting to the venue
It's easy to get to Kyocera Dome by subway, and there are stations on both the Osaka city subway and the Hanshin subway that are made specifically for the venue. There's also a JR station a little bit farther away. As with other city venues, it's in a highly populated area, so trains run frequently and going there is quite simple.

Nearby food options
Like both of the other big domes on this list, Kyocera Dome is right next door to a large AEON mall. That means that there are a variety of food options available before and after the show.

Nearby places to wait
The aforentioned mall is also a good place to wait before the show. Like with Tokyo Dome and Nagoya Dome, the benches and seating areas fill up quickly, but if you don't mind poking around for a while or sitting on the floor, then you're in good stead. And obviously, in summer and winter, it's climate controlled, so you don't have to worry about heat stroke or freezing.

Goods line situation
The two time I've been to Kyocera Dome were for Hey! Say! JUMP's JUMPing CARnival Countdown concert in 2015, which was a rare event, so the goods line was crazy, and this year's I/0th Anniversary Dome Tour. I was fortunate enough to have a friend wait in line for me in 2015, so I didn't actually experience it myself, but considering that I waited a similar amount of time the next year at Tokyo Dome for the combined goods for Hey! Say! JUMP's DEAR New Year's con / Johnny's Countdown, I think it's safe to say that normally, the line isn't a five-hour mess that wraps around the building. My experience this year reflects that; I went to get goods a couple hours before the show started on the second day of the tour, and waited less then ten minutes total in the line and was able to get my goods with no issues. That being said, since the venue is in a major metropolitan area, people who don't have tickets will assuredly still be coming for goods, which will make the line longer depending on the time of day and situation.

Bathrooms
I don't think I've ever been to the bathroom in Kyocera Dome; I'm sorry! Please let me know if you have data! That said, many, many people choose to use the bathrooms in the AEON mall before the show starts, as I have both in 2015 and this year. The lines can get close to an hour long, so plan ahead, but if you're okay with just going to the bathroom before getting into the dome, the AEON is a good option!

Things to bring besides concert goods
Since the mall is there, you really don't need to worry about bringing anything for while you wait or to eat. However, please be aware that if you have seats in the "Vista" area, it is highly likely that you will need to have your ID! There is often ID checks to enter the Vista seats, so be sure that you have both your fanclub membership and some form of ID such as your driver's license, passport, or residence card!

View / Obstructions
My experience with Kyocera Dome was slightly better than with Tokyo Dome; I've never been in the 4th floor stands, but I had a good view from both the arena and the second floor stands. My sense was that it's slightly smaller than Tokyo Dome, so while I don't have data to back this up, the feeling was that I could see better. That being said, it's still a huge Dome, so you're never going to have a good view of everywhere, but you should at least have a good view of somewhere on the lower levels. I'm sorry I can't speak to the upper levels, but let me know if you have experience with this!

Restrictions on things you can bring in
None.

Existence and placement of carts
Again, as a dome, Kyocera's setup doesn't really allow for upper carts, but there are the large car-type carts that go around the outer perimeter of the catwalk.

Gintape distribution
Like Tokyo Dome and Nagoya Dome, there's not a great chance of getting gintape in Kyocera Dome. Your best bet is in the arena, but even then, distribution is patchy.

Tachimi
None.

Other
My thought about Kyocera is that is feels a little smaller than Tokyo Dome, though I have no idea if it actually is or not. I've had better experiences in Kyocera than in Tokyo Dome, but I've been to Tokyo Dome an order of magnitude more times than I've been to Kyocera, so it might just be that I've been lucky in Kyocera. If you're not going to the first show at the venue during the tour, do pay attention to reports regarding the Vista area, as I mentioned above, since getting into it can be quite tricky. Additionally, getting out of the Vista seats, you'll have to wait in line for the elevator, so plan time in for that.


If you have anything to add to this, please let me know and I'll do my best to include it! I hope this is useful, and that everyone has a great concert-going year!
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Current Music: Hey! Say! JUMP//White Love
 
 
 
Karen Pang: BRZ | X postcardminlilin on January 15th, 2018 08:32 am (UTC)
I enjoy watching concert DVD footages that were recorded in big venues like Arena & Dome cos it's an all rounder experience visual wise and then some but end of the day I like it when the artiste mainly focus on their craft

That's why I like Live House because the emphasis is on the music and other things like fancy props and all that , there's little if not none cos at times it can be a distraction . The bad thing is that I have to prevent myself from getting crushed by other fans as at times it can become a mosh pit of sorts which can get scary

I know lockers are available for rent at Live House venues . I remembered Tokyo's SHIBUYA-AX (which has since closed) and Osaka's Zepp Namba had them placed outside . I don't know for Arena and Dome venues , I don' think so ? I don't know for that cos I haven't been to these venues yet



Edited at 2018-01-15 11:33 am (UTC)
ミランダ (大丈夫): Shige: grinfaded_lace on January 15th, 2018 08:57 am (UTC)
I imagine mosh pits must be scary! Since I'm really only into pop music and prefer artists where dancing and showmanship are a part of the craft, I've never experienced it for myself, but I've heard from friends that it can be really fun, but also really overwhelming.

I know that most arena and dome venues do have lockers; I've seen them being used before. But unfortunately, since I haven't used them, I can't say exactly how many or where they're located. However, just quickly glancing on the websites for Tokyo Dome and Kyocera Dome, it was easy to find information about the coin lockers they have available. So hopefully with the help of Google translate (if necessary), you can find the information that you need if the time comes!
Karen Pang: BRZ l X 2 CDs + 2 CDs Bminlilin on January 15th, 2018 09:16 am (UTC)
Yeah the 1st time I experienced it I was shocked and not prepared cos I can't see it in the concert DVD

Johnnys don't have the whole mosh pit going on unlike JRock artistes . The 3 times I went Japan , all 3 times the concerts I attended were more than 3 hours each and the 3rd time I went , it lasted more than 3 1/2 hours as 2 bands performed on the same day which was awesome

And thanks for the tip off regarding the lockers issues in both Tokyo & Kyocera Dome Osaka :)
ミランダ (大丈夫): NEWS: colors ♥faded_lace on January 16th, 2018 06:57 am (UTC)
No problem! Good luck with all your future concert ventures!