Secret Confessions: How I Spent $1000 To See Arashi

By

January 25, 2015

For this series, I want to talk to people about their experiences in Japan and get them to share their secret confessions. Be it something crazy they’ve done, a secret or a personal opinion, anything goes. Hear from real people about real stories and the circumstances behind it.

In this post we talk to Sheryl, an office worker from Singapore, about her decision to spend over $1000 to attend the concert of the popular idol group Arashi. Sheryl is not alone, with fans yearly spending large, almost unbelievable amounts of money just to watch their favourite band or group perform. Arashi concerts are infamous for being notoriously difficult to get tickets for, but is it really justified to spend so much just for a 3 hour concert?

B: How much did you spend on the concert ticket?

S: 90,000 yen (this was in July 2011 so ~USD$1135 then). I bought the ticket from an online agent. When I bought the ticket, I did not know where my seat was as Johnny’s (the company that manages Arashi) had not sent out the tickets. But I was very lucky to get an arena seat*.



*A/N: Tickets bought through fan club balloting originally cost 8000 yen. Arena seats are the closest to the stage, thus making them the most lucrative.

B: Why did you decide to spend so much on the ticket? Were there any other additional costs (eg. airfare, accommodation etc.)?


S: I was in Japan for an exchange program at the time their 2011 tour started so I thought since I’m already here and they’re going to start their tour in July, which is very rare, I have to go see them even if it means spending a crazy amount for the concert ticket.

Yes, there were additional costs. I travelled from Fukuoka (where I was having my exchange program) to Osaka via Shinkansen and I stayed at a business hotel in Osaka for 2 nights. The Shinkansen tickets costs about 13,000 yen two-way. As for the hotel, I think it was around 4000 yen in total for 2 nights.


B: Was it worth it?

S: YES DEFINITELY. It was worth it because one, I was really very lucky to get an arena seat so I got to see them up close. Also, I didn’t get to travel out of Fukuoka at that time so their concert in Osaka pushed me to travel. I got to see more of Japan and gained more travelling experiences which have become very helpful for me.



B: Could you briefly tell us about the group, and why you like them?


S: (Arashi) is made up of 5 members and coming from Johnny’s, they sing, they dance and they act. They have two of their own variety shows. I’ve been a fan since end of 2008. I like them because of the chemistry they have with one another, their ability of being unidol-like (for example, putting stockings over their heads and cosplaying Sailormoon), their ability of being not afraid to fail and to be very human-like as they do not put on airs.

B: Would you do it again?


S: Yes I would do it again, without a doubt. Going to Japan for their concert every year has become my yearly goal. One of the members, Jun Matsumoto, once said that he hoped that the group would be able to hold more concerts (perhaps outside of Japan) because they have been making the fans go to them. So he hopes that they will be able to go to the fans instead in the future. I think having this yearly goal of going to Japan has become a motivation for me, especially at work, because I know that I have something to work hard for.

It is also a motivation for me to have the courage again to travel in Japan alone. I find that courage diminishes as one grows older or perhaps is it just me but if they have a tour in Japan, my desire to go Japan alone becomes much stronger. If they do not have concerts in Japan, I doubt (my present self) would travel to and in Japan alone.

B: Is there anything else you’d like to say?


S: I’m not saying that Arashi is the best group out there because I understand that everyone has their own preferences but I hope through this, people (especially those who are not very crazy over idols) will understand why fans can be so “crazy” as to spending lots of money for concerts which they wouldn’t.

Perhaps music truly does have the ability to overcome the language barrier and touch the hearts and minds of people all over the world. There are often stories of bands and music that have saved or changed lives and with such an enormous impact, how can we put a price tag on the concert experience?

Topics:  

Selfies, J-rock and bento-making in Kansai.
  • I have no qualms about buying Arashi tickets. I do hate giving all that money to scalpers but hell, so many people have no issue with spending upwards of $100 a few nights a week going out drinking and don’t remember it the next day. People spend small fortunes on iphones and other electronics. Most people have some indulgence in their life, Arashi is mine.

  • lisa says:

    hi can you tell me how to get tickets to their concerts? i live in NZ

    • aleaguirre says:

      Hi !!
      I have a friend that helped me suscribe to the Arashi Fan Club, and then I applied for the tickets… I’ve applied 3 times and only once I have won the tickets.. but that’s the cheapest option!!
      These days apparently is becoming even more difficult =S

  • Lisa says:

    So How can I buy tickets to Arashi? and when can I find their schedule and when they will have their concerts next? tbh I would do the same and spend just as much money to go see them in real person!

  • Scarlet says:

    Where and how can I get a ticket for SMAP and Kanjani8?What’s the best site to check about their tours?

    • Starla says:

      The best site to check for when they are touring is Johnny’s Net (www.johnnys-net.jp) and as for tickets, they are generally balloted through the fan club which you can only really join living in Japan (you need to send money to join the fan club and this can only be done through depositting money at Japan Post, plus you need a certified Japanese address and cellphone number), however, you can buy tickets off other fans through sites such as ticket.co.jp and ticketcamp.net (although they have recently made it so you can’t use an overseas credit card), so your best option might be to buy from other fans either living in Japan, or assisted help (you can Google it and you’ll find fans offering their services to help buy you a ticket). Good luck 🙂

  • shida says:

    I spent RM3000 = 1000USD too in 2011 to see Arashi in Tokyo Dome. I was unlucky the seating was far end on top. The best thing about sitting on top, U get to see the whole stage and we celebrated Riida 30th birthday!

  • Arashian Angelofwind says:

    she done really same as me 😀
    I’m a Arashi fan from Thai
    but so lucky ! My friends who lives in Japan had register a FC Member for me
    and I got a Ticket!!
    When I read a email that I got it , I screammmmmmm like crazy and cry alot .

    I booking a plane ticket right after I know that I got a concert Ticket
    I had my own promise to myself that I will not fly to Japan before I have a chance
    to go to see ARASHI Concert [at that time I thought that I need to Auction for Ticket ]
    so … It was my first time that go to Japan, I’m really glad 😀

    1 mounth later … after I know the seat I little sad …. I got at 3rd floor but little luck that
    that seat was at the middle of Tokyo Dome

    but you know
    It was a best trips in my life
    THAT SEAT WAS REALLY AMAZING!
    it made me able to see all FANLIGHT glow in many colors change every tempo of song
    [but I see ARASHI’s member very small size T_T]

    and I can tell that even I need to buy with regular price from Auction [60,000 yen]
    It still worth ! and I sure If I can get enough money I will back to Japan and see ARASHI Again for sure

  • Tanja Schwindsackl says:

    I’ve been visiting KinKi Kids’ concert several times by now. Luckily I have a fan friend in Tokyo who will always apply for tickets for me. That’s very lucky, of course, but I recommend to everybody who wants to visit a concert to try and find a “partner” who can at least try to apply for tickets. There are numberous online communities full of helpful people.

    I realize, of course, that for Arashi many things are different. There are also other shows that provide other difficulties. I’ve also been to the Endless SHOCK musical and here I can’t rely on my friend, because of the restrictions on the ticket application. Here I’ve spend a max of 250€ for 1 ticket. This is honestly the biggest amount I’m willing to pay for a one-time event. Maybe 300€ if I know that the seats are good, but that’s that.

    1: I refuse to support the frauds and people out there who want to make money with the second hand sales. They just apply for tickets to sell them for high prices.

    2: I have a rather ordinary job and I can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on concert tickets and seriously, it’s an about 3 hours show, one time, and I refuse to spend an unreasonable amount of money on that. I’m also not visiting the Acid Black Cherry tour while I’m in Japan this spring, because it’ll be way too expensive to visit that event and the Endless SHOCK musical, so I’m setting some priorities here.

    As for Arashi, I’d love to see them some time too, but the ticket prices are insane for second hand tickets and the ticket lottery gives you barely a chance of actually getting a ticket, so I will wait patiently for just a few years and once another young group of talents reaches the very top of the scale it’ll be reasonably affordable to see and enjoy Arashi without a voice in my mind that keeps screaming “you spent a month’s earnings for this”.

    • Bernie Low says:

      It’s all in the luck of ballot, isn’t it. I once travelled to Sapporo to see Arashi after hitting that in the ballot (supposedly Sapporo is the easiest to hit) but realised I can’t afford to do that so decided to go only if I hit for tickets where I stay. For now, I’m very satisfied pursuing my other favourite bands (who are luckily indie so tickets are so much cheaper)

      But it’s great that you have a set plan and stick to it! I’m prone to impulsive buying and then panicking later about finances xD

  • maulinator says:

    It’s your money. How you spend it is entirely up to you and you should do whatever you want as long as you aren’t hurting somebody else. Use your money however you see fit to make you happy: Whoever said money can’t buy happiness is not spending it right.
    While $1000 might seem like a lot of money in an absolute sense, think of it this way: Superbowl tickets ocst around $5000 in the secondary market, and that is for crappy seats. So it is alll relative.
    I spent $500 for a pair of front row middle Aerosmith tix at T-Dome, and the concert was awesome.
    So don’t feel bad about spending what other people might think is ridiculous amounts of money, so long as it is for something that you enjoy.

  • Janell Schweickhardt says:

    I spent about $2000 going to Arashi Blast. I went from the Midwest America and between the flight, tickets and goods it came out close to that amount…would i do it again…you bet i would!

  • Mieko says:

    When Arashi had their anniversary concert here in Hawaii…. All those Japanese nationals definitely spent thousands of dollars to travel here to see it. Not only their flight but the concert was near some of our most expensive resorts which I’m sure they stayed at (because Waikiki is really far from where the concert was) Tickets weren’t too badly priced though, to the actual concert.

    • Bernie Low says:

      Yes! And other artists have overseas “Fanclub Trips” which also costs thousands of dollars, and more expensive than a trip you’d plan yourself. But talking to friends who have gone on such trips, they find it worth the money because it’s usually a more intimate setting/chance to interact with the artist or band.

      • Mieko says:

        I will admit, while it isn’t the purpose of my trip… When I do go to Japan I do look up if any concerts I want to go to will be happening lol
        Thankfully most of the people I want to see in concert often have cheaper ticket prices.
        I couldn’t imagine spending huge amounts of money to see someone’s concert…. But then again, when I imagine what if it is my absolute favorite band? Then it becomes much more realistic that I, too could spend so much on a ticket.

  • Makoto says:

    I’m a Certified ARASHI addict ^_^ ! Daisuke Arashi <3 <3 <3 .. How I wish I could see their concert 🙁 !

  • Faith says:

    Arashi fan here. Im from the Philippines. This story. Her reasons. Exactly the same. Hahahaha. You go girl!

  • robert Downey says:

    Jeez,tv cost $150

  • Rawnie says:

    Definitely not Arashi, but this December I spent over five times the normal price for a ticket to go to the two-day Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival in Tokyo. It was an experience I don’t regret at all because I had a lot of fun, met some great people, can claim I bested Odin before he was released to the rest of the public, in one shot, with a group of strangers with whom I couldn’t communicate very well.

    I don’t regret it, I just wish it had come at a lower price. Coming home to Osaka from Tokyo I was entirely out of money and BARELY was able to refill my ICOCA with pocket change in order to cover the train fee to Narita. Came back with a whole 20 yen and a pre-purchased bus ticket in my pocket.

    Edit: I guess it’s worth mentioning the actual amount I spent. The ticket price came out to about 365,000 yen.

  • April Gutierrez says:

    Before moving to Japan, I used to fly here fairly regularly to see Granrodeo live … from Washington DC (up to 4 times a year). Worth every penny, too for the flights, tickets, hotels, trains, merch, fan club membership …. I certainly appreciate that they are much easier to see now that I’m in the country, that’s for sure. And I’m getting to see a lot of Japan by going to the different venues.

  • Natalia Granados says:

    I too spent a lot to go to their concert on 2014! I paid the regular price from the Agency, since I am a fanclub member, but I travelled from Mexico to Japan just to see them live.
    Because I know how hard it is to get a ticket, I made a promise to myself that if I ever won’t a ticket from the ballot, I would go no matter what. Thanks God the concert was pretty close to Christmas so I had vacations from work, but I also took the chance to go and meet some friends in Japan.

    So far this is the craziest thing I’ve ever done: flight ticket from MEX to Japan $1,800; flight ticket from Narita to Fukuoka $260 plus 6 hotel nights and travel expenses.

    Of course I took it as a vacation, but I wouldn’t have gone if it wasn’t dor the concert. This is what Arashi does to the hearts of people who follow them, and the way they give themselves during the concerts pays off for everything.

    • Dannilyn says:

      Hi Natalia 🙂
      I’m from New Zealand. Any tips for me where I can buy their concert ticket??
      I am not a member of their fanclub though but my sister and I badly wanna watch their concert this year. We’re fangirling over them like for ages. Any help will do. Thanks alots

      • Jarrod Nason says:

        Dannilyn,

        Unfortunately, the only legitimate way to get a ticket is to join the fanclub, enter the lottery, and pray to whatever Deity you can.

        You could also try scalpers, but they are a) terrible people, b) more than triple the price, and c) unlikely to be easily found.

  • Luz Flores says:

    My friends and I went to Arashi Blast , we spent around 3000$ in our Trip from Peru to Hawaii and that was a Dream come true, was an amazing experience, watch them in front of us… we cried like babies the first time because our hearts were overflowed with a lot of feelings.

  • Jarrod Nason says:

    Arashi separate themselves from other groups that do this (SMAP, Janis, Kat’tun) in that they don’t require you to pay the money up front on this lottery system. It’s also a requirement of the fan club that you cannot apply for more than one concert in the tour.

    A former student of mine said that she had missed out 3 years in a row in seeing them in concert, but was happy that she could be in the lottery.

  • Maii Valeroso says:

    I did too. I watched their concert last November but my ticket only costs $850. It was the happiest day of my life and I would watch again this year and this time, I plan to watch at least 3 times. It’s so addicting. The boys sure know how to entertain the audience. You’d go home smiling, some of the fangirls after the concert are even crying because of happiness. The effect of Arashi. Sasuga Arashi!!

  • Bernie Low says:

    Yeah I’ve heard of that system! I think that as long as they’re satisfied with what they’ve spent their $$ on it’s okay. (I’ve spent quite a bit on things I like too xD)

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