~Breakfast with Akiyoshi and Lunch with Wasamin~
Saturday was the start of a wild 3 days where I would be seeing Wasamin on three consecutive days in three different prefectures, with a quick hit and run in a 4th prefecture to see HKT. It’s a lot of running around for the girls I care about…
When HKT48 announced that they were adding a 2nd Kanto event on the 18th of February, my first though was that I couldn’t go because it conflicted with Wasamin’s event. But then I realized that Misaki-chan’s event didn’t begin until the afternoon, so if I wanted I could go to Makuhari for morning slots. I checked the schedule, and saw the Yuka-chan had early slots. Great! I would pop in early, say hello to Yuka-chan, and then go back to Tokyo. Easy, right?
BTW, I hate going to early slots, either at Makuhari or Pacifico. It requires you wake up at dawn, and catch a very early train. Of course, there is always the chance of oversleeping, which is EXACTLY what I did. Shit!!!
I woke up to the bright glare of the sun, and I knew it wasn’t dawn. Checked the time, I was supposed to leave five minutes ago!!! I jumped out of bed, took a 3-minute shower, threw on my clothes while I brushed my teeth (luckily I had packed my bag the night before) and made it out of the house in fifteen minutes. Checking the train schedule, I saw the fastest route was via a Limited Express, but that is a major pain in the ass, so I decided to go the 2nd fastest via the Sobu Line to Funabashi. My train would be arriving exactly 16 minutes before Slot 1 closed. It would be close…
Alternating between a brisk walk and a slow jog, I made it to the building with 7 minutes to go, now I would just have to make it through security. Oh, and there was no way I would have time to get my tickets stamped. I would just have to take my chances that my ID is good enough. But security had other ideas. the guy checking my bag starts pulling things out and asking about them. I let out a low growl. “Dude, now???” Then the guy with the metal detector found something I forgot to empty out of my pockets. Finally they let my through, three minutes to go. I bee lined it toward Lane #12. There were two minutes to spare. I made it…
Slot 1: Akiyoshi Yuka.
I handed ALL of my Slot 1 tickets to the guard. She looked at them, checked my ID, and gave me a little smile. I was good to go. I headed down the lane, where Akiyoshi was just finishing up with another fan. She saw me huffing and puffing as I came into the booth. “Kurisssuuuuuu!!!” she said with a big wave.
Me: I’m sorry, I am late. I didn’t wake up!
Yuka: You made it!
Yuka: Yes, I am genki. You live in Japan?
Me: Yes, I live in Itabashi!
Yuka: I didn’t know you lived here.
(Now this whole time I am waiting to get pushed out, forgetting that I was using all of my tickets at once. So the push wasn’t coming Also, Komada was in the next booth watching and laughing at us)
Yuka: That is a cute t-shirt
Me: My Wasamin T-shirt?
Me: It is from Wasamin’s solo concert.
Yuka-chan: Sugoi Kurisu! (Now the push came)
Me: See you in a few minutes…
I left with a big smile on my face as I heard Akiyoshi and Komada giggling behind me. Now I could breathe. I went back upstairs to grab a conbini breakfast, and to meet my friend whose tickets I had in my bag. Now that I had a chance to relax, I went back down to the handshake area. No problems with security.
Slot #2: Akiyoshi Yuka.
For slot #2 I decided to split my tickets into two trips. For my first visit I decided to go into more detail on how I moved to Japan, and what I am doing here. Then on my last visit I finally revealed to her that I have oshi’d Wasamin for 8 years, and that I am a member of her fan club. I said I was only there for the morning, and then I would be leaving for a Wasamin fan club event (technically a half-truth, but sometimes my Japanese limits what I can say) But I really wanted to see Yuka-chan, so I only bought tickets for her. She was really happy about that remark, and asked when she would see me again. At first I said the next HKT Kanto event, but then as I was being pushed out I remembered that the first AKB Shamekai was in a few weeks, so I blurted out “AKB no Shamekai!” As I left I heard her still saying goodbye to me, so I turned to see her smiling and waving.
I kinda wanted to say to her that she has become my 48-group oshi. But sometimes I have trouble using that term for anyone aside from Wasamin. So I neglected to say it…this time. But yeah, I think she would be happy to know that she has become my #1 girl of all of the 48-groups. (Kaotan being my #2) Anyway, I would say goodbye to a few friends at the event, and then head back to Tokyo to see my #1 girl of all…
I made it to Gotanda about an hour before the Wasamin cheki event started. Jeez, I could have gotten more Akiyoshi tickets! I camped out at a nearby Tully’s waiting for Slot #1 to begin. Wasamin’s cheki events are pretty much like AKB handshake events. There are slots with fixed times. Wasamin’s gimmick is that she changes costume for each slot, which of course encourages fans to get tickets for each slot as well. What we didn’t know was that she would essentially be wearing the same stuff as the first cheki event two weeks ago. But that’s okay, all Wasatime is quality time, no matter what she is wearing.
We all knew the drill, they are very restrictive about where we can or can’t go within the building, and they pretty much escort us the entire time. After checking in at the entrance, we are sent to the third floor and taken to a waiting room. Once there is enough room, we are taken to a second room to queue, we get our picture taken, a little chit-chat, and then we are sent back to the elevator. Oh, the hallway on the third floor is lined with promo posters for various Tokuma and Nippon Crown Artists. Also, near the elevator is this cool statue of famous Enka artist Kitajima Saburo. They were slightly more loose with security this time, so I was able to grab a picture of it…
And here are my three chekis. By the way, since I forgot all of my concert gear for the last cheki event, I decided to bring it this time (which is also what caused the slight issue with security at Makuhari) Of course this time all of the fans brought either her PB and/or souvenirs from her Bus Tour to pose with. So once again, I was a bit behind.
For the most part we just chit-chatted. I mentioned that I like when she wears chokers (she had one on in the first slot) I had told her that I used the experience of going to see the Battleship Mikasa with her as a class report, which actually drew a cool reaction from her manager, Ishikawa-san. Finally, on the third ticket, after Wasamin repeatedly tried to help me get that “Ninja hand pose” right, that we had a cute little exchange…
Me: At tomorrow’s dinner show, will Ebi be there? (I purposely said it like Ebi was a person)
Wasamin: (looks at her manager) Errrr….
Ishikawa-san: Errrrrr, Kurisu Gomennasai…
(Wasamin says something to her manager about Ebi)
Me: I love the photo of Wasamin with the bowl of Ebi (in the PB)
Wasamin: Ahh, you like the PB?
Me: Goodbye Ninja-chan!
And that was it for the day, and after three trips to drink coffee between photo-ops, I wasn’t hungry. So I went home. I would be having plenty more fun with Wasamin on Sunday at her first solo dinner show. I will do that writeup the next chance I get, perhaps tomorrow night if I can make the time.
And just for a little preview, Wasamin and I had a personal interaction in the middle of her show that had the entire audience laughing. In fact, not only did I had people coming up to me about it after the show, it was a topic of discussion today at her event in Saitama. Also, Wasamin has been reading my twitter again. I got another recitation of some of its contents…
CK in Tokyo