Meeting fans from all over the world

If you love Japanese Music one of your dreams is surely to visit the Land of the Rising Sun, the country we see in our minds as a Wonderland on earth, and if you’re really determined the day you’ll finally decide to buy a plane ticket to attend your favorite artist’s tour and visit Japan will come for sure. For this, you’ll have to be ready and know everything necessary to have the best possible vacation and experience, and here’s where my blog comes in help, with a series of guides that will analyze all the most important aspects of attending any kind of concert in Japan.

The third and last part of this series of guides is focused on a very important matter, that sometimes it’s unfairly ignored despite being of fundamental importance: The fans. Or better, the friends that will join you in your adventure in Japan to attend your dream concert and have the time of your life in the Land of the Rising Sun. Because while traveling and living things alone is fascinating and a very particular experience, nothing is like living such a precious experience with people having the same passion as yours and sharing the same emotions.

This guide is for everyone who frequently asks me “how to know people” to travel to Japan: step by step, I will guide on all the very simple things to do to enjoy your stay in Japan with great people and have a wonderful time. With little effort, everything will come just naturally.

Let’s begin!

Friends and Fans

Me and (part of) my friends outside Tokyo Dome for Perfume's Dome Tour. Photo by Evans Huang

Me and my friends outside Tokyo Dome for Perfume’s Dome Tour. Photo by Evans Huang

1. Search for new friends

One of the best things of this generation is definitely Internet and the possibility it gives to be in touch with people from any part of the world, breaking the boundaries of nations, continents, and different cultures. With social networks, the whole meaning of internet went on a new level thanks to the possibility of these websites to connect people with the same interests and passions, which is the key and your best way to know new people that love Japan and Japanese music.

There are many Social Networks out there at the moment, but staying on the most famous ones such as Twitter and Facebook is the best way because, well, they’re the most populated in the world. You can get to know people from any country in the world, and you’ll be surprised of how many people share the same passion for Japanese music like you. So in case you haven’t yet, the first step is to create an account in one (or both) of these social networks.

On twitter (and pretty much in all socials today) be sure to use the right hashtag to reach all the people interested in particular Japanese groups/genres: see your messages and thoughts reaching more fans as possible, reply to tweets and discussions, and you’ll get followers as well as people to follow and potential new friends in no time. On Facebook, be sure to join groups and fan pages dedicated to your favorite groups, leave comments, share your thoughts and participate to discussions with all the other fans: It’s great to share your opinions with people who can understand your passion, and in no time you’ll get to know lots of fans online that will become your friends, opening the possibility to meet them in a concert in Japan or wherever your favorite group is performing. And believe me, it’s not a remote possibility at all, so try to be more active as possible and have fun.

As pretty much everyone in the world uses Social Networks, they’re the best way to get to know nice people with the same passion as yours to have good times with it in real life. There are many interesting things in the world that can unite people, and music is probably the most powerful one, as everyone in life listens to music, and social networks can enhance this strong bond between people. Follow these very simple and basic tips, and you’ll get to know new fans and friends in no time.

2. Meet your friends

The first step was the most important one, as it’s the starting point for the best and funniest part of all this: meeting all the fans and friends you’ve been talking to for a long time in the flesh!

After getting in touch with so many people, your will to attend a concert in Japan (or in any other country your favorite group is performing in) will become greater than ever. In order to make this happen, of course, you need to organize yourself with your friends: If your favorite act is touring Japan, most of the overseas fans as you will probably try to get to the Tokyo/Osaka dates, usually the biggest and most requested ones other than the most comfortable to reach for a tourist, but it could be anywhere, really. In the case of overseas concerts, simply choose the city that’s more comfortable for you to reach.

Organizing is really simple: Just plan everything with your friends online for the concert day, and not only: Flying to a foreign country, especially in a far place like Japan, means there will be obviously more time where your friends will be ready to tag along your adventure, and that’s where the best part comes.

3. After the concert / Visiting Japan together

So you’ve finally met all the friends you’ve known online in real life, had a great time queueing for the concert even if there wasn’t no need for it (queues are always a great moment to know people and enjoy the atmosphere), attended a great show, and now you’re outside the venue still completely excited for everything that happened during the day, together with your friends. Especially in Japan, some fans will always organize the so called off-kai, which are post-concert meetings where everyone who wants can join and spend the night together with all the fans who attended the show, having dinner together, drinking, chanting and just having fun together in an izakaya or in any of the million restaurants in Tokyo, or maybe just going to the Karaoke singing and laughing at your skills that seem not so bad after three beers. It’s an amazing experience that everyone should do at least once in their lives, and an even better chance to get closer to people and build a great friendship tied by the same passion and now ready to go beyond it. Or, more simply, just to live an unforgettable night. In case you can’t find an off-kai to join while talking to people or looking at events on social networks (it’s really hard: people just love to party and know new people after concerts, and fans are always happy to welcome new people) you can simply do the same thing with your friends and decide where to go at the moment, and have the time of your life. Because attending the concert is amazing, but reminiscing what you’ve just lived with your friends is just priceless.

Plus, that doesn’t mean everything is over after that: Who loves Japanese music is most of the times very passionated about anything related to Japan, which means you can meet whenever you want to stroll around Tokyo or simply visit any place you want together: The more you are, the merrier it is. Especially in a country like Japan that can always offer new experiences.

Also, one last suggestion: Be open and sociable. Even if you’re shy (and I can say I am) an experience like this will open your mind and it’ll be much easier than it would be normally. Everything will come just naturally.

4. It’s been a great journey

The sad time to say goodbye to your friends has come, but that doesn’t mean it’s over: Keeping in contact with them is as important as spending time with them in the flesh, so while it’ll be a sad trip back home, you’ll feel happy and proud for everything you’ve done and experienced together with your friends when you’ll reach home. Everything you need to do now is to do what you’ve always done before the trip of your life… and wait for the next one!

Music, groups, friends and traveling to new places are all experiences that everyone needs to do in life: It opens your mind, makes you feel free like never before, and projects beautiful memories in your mind every time you’ll think about everything you’ve achieved and lived. Loving music can teach you how to love life, as well as the endless possibilities you have in your hands, that sometimes slip away from our minds in certain moments. Prepare your luggage.

– Alex