Day -1 – I left Toronto at 13:00 EST September 8th.
Day 0 – I left Calgary at 12:45 MST September 9th.
Day 1 – I arrived in Tokyo at around 14:00 JST September 10th.
The line to get through customs said it would take at least 30 mins. It didn’t really feel that way but I never really checked the time. All I was thinking of was if I was going to get to the venue I needed to on time to catch the first live I’d get to see in Japan. Customs was painless as usual. My bag was waiting for me in a pile of all the other Calgary bags because the customs line was so long that the workers manually removed them from the carousel to make room for the next batch of luggage.
The first thing I decided to look for was the JR Pass exchange office. I got lost in a section I thought was B1F where the exchange office was but found the actual B1F within a few minutes. Ticket exchange was painless and the attendant even scheduled a ticket for me for the next available Narita Express which was in about half an hour. I was dumb with doing things in this order because I didn’t realize that the SIM cards offered at the station weren’t the ones I wanted. I went to maybe 5 or 6 SIM card booths with no luck. With time running out, I kinda just grabbed the closest one the the N’EX and jogged for my train @ 15:44 Car 10, Row 3, Seat D.
I made it to Okachimachi station which is the closest to my airbnb and found it without a problem thanks to my host giving me really good instructions (and me Google street viewing the walk beforehand). I dropped off all my stuff and changed my clothes and went back to Okachimachi and headed for Ikebukuro.
The venue was easy enough to find using Google Maps walking directions. Ayame was performing at Nippon Budokan Ikebukuro Shop (Ruido K3) and I managed to make it there around 18:40. The time I last saw was a 18:00 doors and 18:30 first performance. It was delayed a half hour so I didn’t miss anything. Gonna be honest and say I knew no one other than Ayame going into this live but there were a few girls that were super interesting to watch. I’m horrible with Kanji but was able to decipher the following artists: @ajimanana1230,@Aya_HiguChi7,@hoshinaharu, and @takaoka_miku
If you can convert to romaji. Please do in the comments. Some of them have posted their song lists on their respective twitters. I won’t really bother going into detail with any of them unless someone in the comments or twitter wants to hear about it. Digest version: they were all super cute.
2. 黒毛和牛上塩タン焼680円 (Cover)
3. HEART GATE
Ayame’s live started just as all of her other ones – with the Don Quixote Theme which she tells them to shut off before the chorus. She talked for a bit asking who’s here for the first time. I sheepishly raised my hand but so did 3 or so other guys. She picked on them, not exactly sure what was said – went too fast for me to understand completely. She forced one of the guys to the front and did her usual “thing” in the middle of Pandora (spit water on them). However, with the guys at the front, she shook all of their hands because… why not. Before the 2nd song, I couldn’t really understand much of the exchange she had with the stage / audio people in the back – maybe asking for what she wanted to do for the next song. She was also asking for a yell of some sort, maybe some confirmation, or just asking them to get hype in the back too. He didn’t say anything. She eventually said “おはよう~” and he said “おはよう~” back. Songs continued. At the start of “黒毛和牛…” some pink lights came on and she point at them to turn it off. Then, it was only the spotlights on. After the opening line and during the intro, she asked them to turn those off too. The only thing illuminating the crowd at this point was the exit sign for the place. The bar and audio booth area were still lit up, but the entire stage and crowd was practically pitch black – nothing could be seen on the in-house TVs. The song continued and was really well done too. Lights came back on for HEART GATE. Partially though the song, I think she recognized me since she waved right at me with a seemingly knowing face. I pointed at me and she nodded and smiled. Throughout the whole song, she stuck her hand out to handshake like she did during Pandora but ended up pulling her hand away last second and walking away from people. During the middle, she had some water again and the first guy instinctively ducked to avoid but she ended up just pouring her whole bottle of water on him instead, as in lift up the back of his shirt (he was leaning forward ducking) and poured. Set ended, that’s pretty much everything I expected from it. Got a Rum & Coke with my drink ticket after her set, watched the girl performing after her, then left Ruido.
There was no Goods Sales at this event for some reason *frown emoji*
So this is what she said beforehand:
There was probably good sales but don’t know where it was if there was. There were no obvious signs but oh well, I’ll see her again. I was getting really tired anyway…
I probably only slept an hour or so on the plane and went straight from Narita to Okachimachi to Ikebukuro… zZzZzzzz
Ayame’s post-live comment:
日本武道館池袋店ありがとう♪ 主催のかまかみぼろくそいじったのに笑ってくれた✨ 久々に静かーな曲を歌ったけど、歌詞に大好きとか入ってると恥ずかしくなっちゃうから照明真っ暗にしてもらったから熱唱できました♡笑 今日も楽しかった☺️ pic.twitter.com/fb06nTmnfa
— 小熊あやめ-GAYDOL CEO- (@oguma48) September 10, 2015
I walked back to Ikebukuro Station and hopped on a train heading in the wrong direction, got off, went the other way, and got home fine. I noticed when I dropped off my stuff that I walk past a Gyu Kaku… Anyway, I stopped by the Lawson closest to me on the way for a take home dinner. Now I’m writing this post with the food beside me… except that my internet died sometime in the evening and I just went to sleep. I woke up at about 6:30AM on Day 2 to get this post done.
I just noticed I didn’t talk about my airbnb at all. I’m staying here: https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/7352708
I’m sitting in the chair you see in the picture with my laptop on that desk. Random stuff on the bed. It’s tiny but it’s all I need for a really good price. I don’t intend on staying in here for very long and when I do, it’s just for sleep. I don’t need a pool or other amenities so why pay for them, right? My host was super helpful throughout the entire time leading up to the vacation. I’d definitely recommend this for anyone who can handle staying in something like this.
Anyway, Day 2 includes LinQuest goods buying at Shibuya Tower Records and their live at 18:30ish. I’ll probably be eating at the Taco Bell for lunch and just walking around to wherever.
Feel free to ask questions on anything in the comments!