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CGE Storyteller: Taylor Moore | Concerts in Japan

Taylor Moore | Academic Year 2023-2024

        If you’re studying abroad in Japan for a while, it could be a fun idea to try going to a concert! Especially if you are into any Japanese or Korean artists. Because South Korea and Japan are so close, there are often Korean artists touring the big cities in japan. It is a lot cheaper, earlier in the day, and easier to get to. 

The trains in Japan all stop running right around midnight. As most people use public transport as a means of getting around, concerts are never held late at night so that everyone can get back home with plenty of time. You’ll get out, be able to eat dinner, then ride the train home. Not having to drive to and from campus and somewhere like Atlanta for over three hours is a huge plus. In my case at Kansai Gaidai, Osaka is the second biggest city in Japan so there are lots of big concerts held there. It takes just under an hour of train rides to get there. Of course after the concert you will still run into the problem of traffic, in my case it’s a lot of foot traffic to get to the station. However, because the public transportation system is so good here, I am usually able to still get back to campus within an hour. In short, transportation to and from concerts is a much easier thing to navigate in Japan in my experience.

Some other good things to know about concerts in Japan include rules and etiquette. At most concerts in Japan, photography and videography of the inside of the venue and the artists are strictly prohibited, even before the show starts. Signs – mostly in Japanese, so be careful – are posted throughout venues and everyone has to go through a bag check before entering to make sure large cameras are not being brought in. If you are caught taking a picture or recording, you WILL be escorted out. I have seen people be asked to delete the photos and others who were immediately asked to leave without any warnings. I absolutely recommend abiding by this rule!

One more aspect of Japanese concerts is to note the difference in how to cheer on the artists. I can really only speak on Kpop concerts in Japan, but from what I have seen, most people learn fanchants and do not scream or cheer loudly outside of that. ‘Fanchant’ is the word I see used to describe the type of cheering created by artists’ companies that goes along with the songs. I typically hear it in the context of Kpop, but there are types of cheering that are similar in the concerts of Japanese artists or even sports. It is not required to know these chants, but it does create a way for you to also cheer on your favorite artists while in Japan!

 Lastly, knowing how to get tickets is very important! It is a lot different from in the U.S.! It is first important to note that this process becomes a million times easier if you have a Japanese phone number. 

 If you do not have a Japanese phone number, you will need to find a friend who does and have them help you, or buy resale. If you find someone who will let you borrow their number, skip to the next paragraph! If not, buying resale tickets might be your only option. It can get considerably more expensive, but still worth it. In general, once the concert gets close enough and after the normal tickets have already gone on sale, you can simply search in your browser the band name, date, and location of the concert. Then, you should be able to find numerous resale sites. Here’s a few to try:,, or * It is also important to note that once you buy a ticket from one of these sites, the ticket will typically be mailed to you and will not arrive until a day or two before the concert. No need to panic, but be aware!

If you do have a Japanese phone number, first figure out what website the tickets are being sold on and when they go on sale. Some common ones are the artists own website,, or * Unless you are a part of the fanclub of the band you are trying to see, you will likely have to enter a lottery system. This does mean you are NOT guaranteed a ticket. You also cannot really choose where you want to sit. This process can be incredibly frustrating, and if you don’t end up winning the lottery, you may have to buy resale anyways. Don’t let this deter you from trying though! It is still worth the shot for a much cheaper price than just defaulting to the expensive resale tickets.

Definitely be on the lookout way ahead of concert time for when tickets go on sale. This whole process can take place over a month or two before the actual event. I recommend keeping up with the band’s social media so you know when they announce any tours, as there is really no other way to hear about concerts you might be interested in. 

Also, Japanese people don’t dress up like we do for concerts in the US, from what I’ve seen. Feel free to still dress up and try to stand out, but know most everyone else will be wearing fairly conservative and dark clothing.

Finally, don’t worry about not having any merch as you can probably buy some outside the venue before the concert. Try going a little early to get some before it sells out!

*Please note: The University of Tennessee and Center for Global Engagement does not endorse organizations or websites mentioned or used by students. Suggested external resources are meant to assist students but are not monitored or maintained for accuracy or quality control.

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