CK in Japan Fall 2011…Cross Another One Off the Bucket List

Okay, let’s see if I can do this writeup after a night of Suntory Hi-Balls and Yakitori (my favorite Japanese food)  It started as a boring Saturday…

I wasn’t sure what to do with my day.  The forecast was for pouring rain and wind, and I hadn’t won any AKB48 shows to keep me occupied.  However, I knew of one event taking place that would go a long way toward making this trip awesome.  I hadn’t needed an umbrella all trip because the weather has been wonderful..  Could this be my first trip ever that I wouldn’t need to splurge on one of Japan’s infamous plastic umbrellas?

I knew the event I wanted to go to was at Shosen Books,  However, Shosen is a chain.  So I wasn’t completely sure which store was hosting the event I wanted to attend.  I headed out of my hotel and down to the end of the block.  There was a huge line.  Wow, I didn’t realize she was this popular.  This line could take hours!  I rounded one block, then two.  Soon I was three blocks away.  I stopped at the local conbini to buy a cheap umbrella and queued up…

No sooner did I line up when a store associate approached me.  I think he felt I was lost.  He asked if I knew that this was an event lineup.  I asked which event it was for.  His reply???

Momoiro Clover Z

Huh???  Momoclo is at the end of my block?   I love Japan!  More idols than I know what to do with.  The store rep seemed to be convinced I didn’t belong there.  Which was fine for two reasons.  1) I didn’t feel like standing in the friggin’ rain for 3 hours.  2) This wasn’t the event I was looking for anyway.  Sure, I adore Momoclo, but I have been seeing their shows since they were practically a street idol group.  Plus, I had more important business to attend to.  I needed to see one of my favorite idols…one I had never met before.  This was important.  I had already missed out on the opportunity to see one favorite Idol I had never met before (Saito Yua)  I wasn’t going to miss out on two!  He directed me to a different shop a few train stops from Akiba…

Yazawa Erika (Idoling!!! #7) Trading Card Release Event @ Shosen Bookmart Jimbocho 11/19

I jumped on the Shinjuku Subway toward Jimbocho.  Would the line for Yazapai be as insane as the line for Momoclo?  As I journeyed the streets of Jimbocho, I eventually found the shop hosting the event.  I had heard Shosen Bookmart was awesome, and it is!  They have TONS of idol PBs and magazines.  They also have a bunch of Idol collector card sets for sale, some of them AV idols.  they looked hawt, but most of the prices were prohibitive.  I asked one of the employees about the Yazapai event, and they immediately directed me to the cash register…

I had no idea how this event would work.  Was it handshakes?  2-shots?  But when he rang up one box of trading cards I knew I was at my limit.  6300 yen!!!  That is a lot of money for some cards.  But I was going to meet Yazapai.  So I was happy.  One box it is, although I had a funny feeling multiple boxes would get me more perks.  But I am not a card collector, so there was no way I was spending hundreds of dollars on them…

I returned to the shop at 11:30 and queued up in a building next to the bookshop.  Once again, I had no idea what was in store.  I only knew I was getting some trading cards, and Yazapai was somehow involved.  I slowly made my way up a stairwell where eventually I would get to meet one of my favorite idols.

As I slowly made my way through the queue, I asked the guys in front of me how this event would work.  They were committed fans for sure.  They had Yazapai birthday shirts, birthday presents.  They were definitely guys “in the know”  So they explained to me that is was a photoshoot event, but you needed a proper camera (which I didn’t have with me)  It was also a 2-shot event if you bought enough boxes (one was obviously not enough)  Beyond that, it was a handshake and talk event.  That I could do!  I would love a 2-shot with Yazapai, but there is no way I was going to spend 300-400 dollars on trading cards for it.

When I finally got to the front of the queue (45 minutes after lining up) I informed her manager that I didn’t have a camera.  He said it was okay, and I could still do the handshake and talk.  Yazapai saw me and immediatley exclaimed “Whoah”  And made a reference to my “muscular physique”  Hahah, yeah, those are muscles Erika, just like yours are muscles!

Yazapai was absolutely adorable.  In fact, I will declare her beautiful.  She seemed so excited to talk to me.  She listened intently as I made my little speech (I had been rehearsing what to say to her for about an hour)  The look on her face was priceless.  She was focused on understanding me, it was so cute!  Then she wanted to ask me questions.  Luckily, one of her staff spoke decent English and translated.  She was asking me about California.  Does Yazapai have family in Orange County?  Based on her questions, I am guessing that she does.  She ended it by calling me her “homie”  (something I actually expected)  I responded with “Wazzzapp Homie???”, which got a laugh from her staff.  She ended it with asking me if I loved Akihabara.  When I responded “Mochiron” she gave me a high-five!

Anyway, Erika couldn’t have been any more gracious, or adorable.  It was an incredible event…a moment I will remember for years to come.  Yazapai is just an awesome idol.  She is the main reason I follow Idoling!!!

So for tomorrow I have to wake up super early to catch the Shinkansen.  The reason?  SKE48 handshake event at Intex Osaka!  This will be taxing on my energy, but for sure totally worth it!  I have tickets for 10 different members.  Wish me luck!

CK in Tokyo

5 thoughts on “CK in Japan Fall 2011…Cross Another One Off the Bucket List

  1. Hi. I get 3+ weeks of Vacation per year, plus extra days under certain circumstances. If I plan correctly, it gives me two 12 day vacations per year. And what do I like to do…

  2. Hi!

    I just read your report on Yazawa’s Trading Card release event! I actually bought the big box myself which includes 3 boxes+signed photo.
    But last year in January I went to Yazawa’s DVD release event and had a similar experience as you 😉
    You can read about it here: http://blog.jpopdb.org/index.p.....ease-event (the rest of the blog hasn’t been updated much lately)
    Yazawa is indeed such a lovely girl! Too bad she graduated from Idoling!!! last month 🙁
    One month I was in Japan again, and I went to Sakacchi’s DVD release event (my 2nd favorite Idoling!!! member), and also to the handshake events for Idoling!!!’s new single.

    I also like SDN48, but I’ll talk about that in comment on your previous post about SDN xD

    Greetz
    Peter
    from Belgium

  3. I would love to go to her DVD release event! I actually have autographed versions of about half of her DVDs. But it would be fun to get one in person

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