I'm not talking about plane tickets... at least not yet. I'm talking concert tickets here. I absolutely love attending concerts in Japan. Call it an acquired new hobby. When I lived in the states, I never bothered to attend concerts because I was never that into U.S. artists enough to want to see them live. Not so with Japanese artists, most of which I've gotten into while living in Japan. I have definitely attended way more than a hand full of concerts during my two+ years here, most being those of artists that I regularly support.
While attending these concerts, I always assume that I'll be the only noticeable foreigner there. It was only a year ago that I saw three Caucasian women (separately) at the same concert I attended; I haven't seen a foreigner since then.
The Japanese do end up staring at me as if I've wondered off a tourist trail or something. Some assume that I don't understand Japanese and start to talk about me saying things like, "I wonder where she's from? Is she really here to see this band?" That's when I butt in with my horrible Japanese accent. I love it when this happens because I've made many of my Japanese friends this way.
The girls above were talking about me as I was taking pictures of the band's tour truck. I just went up to them and said, "hello." We really hit it off! We spoke for about half an hour about the band and then we decided to check out the castle in city since the concert didn't start for another four hours. As of now, after a year since we've met, we are still really good friends.
The Japanese band that I love the most is GLAY. They have been in the music scene since 1988 and made their major debut in 1994 with their first single, "Rain." They are currently the seventh best selling artist in the country after releasing 43 singles and 10 studio albums. (The best selling artist goes to B'z; my second favorite Japanese band.) GLAY's music ranges from soft rock to rock, but they have experimented using other types of sounds in their music like gospel.
Besides their music, what draws me to this group is their efforts to humanity. The vocalist, Teru, is an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and they have donated money to poverty stricken countries in Africa just to list a couple deeds. Most recently, they have donated money and volunteered their time in the earthquake/tsunami-hit Tohoku region. It's difficult not to like a band with such care and devotion.
Back to concerts! My last one was back in July 31st 2011 and it just happened to be GLAY's concert celebrating their fan club's 15th yr anniversary. It was for fan club members only and I had a blast with 40,000 other die-hard GLAY fans!
It's now nearing the end of October and I am so looking forward to the concerts I have lined up for the rest of the year!
10/27 - THE BAWDIES in Kagoshima
10/29 - the GazettE in Fukuoka
11/12 - Amuro Namie in Fukuoka
11/13 - Amuro Namie in Fukuoka
11/27 - THE BAWDIES in Tokyo
12/4 - B'z in Fukuoka
12/25 - B'z in Tokyo (Christmas isn't a national holiday in Japan)
Yes!! I'll be on my concert hopping trail again sooooooooooon!!!