Basic Rules for Enjoying Tokyo Idol Festival Part 2: Prepare for “Battle”!
With only a few days to Tokyo Idol Festival 2015, most of you have probably already mapped out your “plan of attack” for seeing the groups/soloists you are interested in by now but, did you know that there were a few other things you should prepare before boarding the Yurikamome or Rinkai line to Odaiba? Here are a few things we advise you to bring, leave in your room, and keep in mind.
To Bring (Highly Recommended)
Comfortable shoes – Start walking around in them to prepare. This is not the place to show off your brand new limited-edition sneakers or platform heels! Most of the stages will be standing only and far away from each other so this is essential if you want to make it to the end of the second day.
Light clothing and/or a change of clothes if you sweat a lot – It’s going to be hot and humid and there will be a lot of people moving around. You could always buy shirts there but, you know that feeling when a new shirt doesn’t absorb sweat when you wear it for the first time? Imagine that multiplied several thousand times.
Muffler towel – This is necessary, not just to wipe the sweat that will be pouring down your face but, also to keep your neck from getting sunburned, and occasionally swing around during a song. It’s up to you whether you bring more than one but it seems kind of gross to swing a sweaty towel around in the middle of a crowd. There will be a goods area selling several different kinds in case you have already soaked through the one you brought.
Sunblock – There is limited shade in Odaiba, which will be in high demand. Don’t get sunburned!
Penlight/cyalume – This is the biggest idol event in the world after all so this should be obvious. If you bring cyalumes, please make sure that you take them with you and dispose of them properly.
Bag – If you plan to guy any goods, you will need someplace to put them right? Something large enough to carry however many goods you plan to buy as well as any fliers that you might pick up because you can’t stand the look of rejection on the idols’ faces.
Facial/body paper – These are good for wiping off the sweat and grease, which may build up on your body and/or face. If you get the cooling ones, they will also provide some temporary relief from the heat. You don’t want to look like you just finished running sprints when you go to shake hands or take a cheki with your oshi do you?
Cash – Japan is a cash-based society so, if you’re going to eat or buy any goods, you should go to the ATM before you arrive. To avoid long lines, plan to withdraw money before you depart for Odaiba. The JP Post and 7-Eleven ATMs accept cash cards from outside of Japan but, please check to make sure you can use it to take out money. Additional fees may be added in the evenings and weekends. If possible, try to avoid paying in large bills (10,000 yen) unless you plan to spend that much on one idol/group.
Fan – You might just end up moving hot air around but, anything will help if there is no wind and it’s so humid that your sweat is not evaporating to cool you down. You can get fancy with a folding one or just accept one of the many fans that people are giving out for free during the summer months. There will probably be fans sold at the event as well but seeing as most people leave the plastic on to keep them nice, it might not work as well?
Do Bring (Optional)
Clear plastic raincoat – There is the possibility of there being thunderstorms at this year’s event so unless you want to get soaked, you should bring one. They are sold at 100 yen stores. If it starts raining and you are at an outdoor stage, do not take out your umbrella because you will be blocking the view of people around you. In the case of heavy rain or the stage becoming slippery, scheduled performances may be cancelled for safety reasons.
Earplugs – If you’re going to be watching idols for about 8-12 hours for 2 days at near 100-decibels, you might want some hearing protection so you can continue to enjoy them for years to come. Avoid the ones that are just pieces of foam because those will just muffle everything. Look for high-fidelity ones which just turn down the loudness to bearable levels while maintaining clarity.
Leave at Home
Presents – While there are generally boxes where you can leave presents for your oshi at the venue when they do a live, do not expect there to be such a thing at Tokyo Idol Festival. Just imagine the logistics of trying to direct the packages to an idol when there are 152 performers! Information on how to send presents will usually be listed on a group or soloist’s official site. Coincidentally, it will be the birthday of Azumi Suzuki (DIANNA☆SWEET) on August 1st and Nana Yoshimura (Niji no Conquistador) on August 2nd.
Camera – Photography/filming is not allowed during the performances so there’s not much of a reason for you to bring it with you and risk damaging or losing it.
Knives/scissors – There will be security checks for when you enter the Greeting Area and it will likely be confiscated or you may not be allowed to enter.
Large bags/suitcases – Space at the indoor venues will be at a premium, especially when the more popular performers are on stage. Don’t expect there to be any place for you to check in your luggage or any available coin lockers.
Keep In Mind
Plan far in advance – With so many people gathered in Odaiba and so many stages spread out, it will take longer to move from stage to stage. It will also be hot and humid. Plan about 20-30 minutes in between groups you want to see in order to compensate for any delays. If you are attempting to go up to Sky Stage, it may be advisable to set aside at least an hour. The exception to this would be if you are moving between Enjoy Stadium and Doll Factory and leave before the performances end so you can skip waiting in line since they are next to each other.
Remain calm – In 2014 it was estimated that 41,000 fans attended Tokyo Idol Festival from all over the world. With that many idol otaku with different favorite groups gathered together in one area, the chances of conflict are high. Everyone believes their oshi is the best and when the temperatures soar, people can get cranky. Be respectful of each other. If something does happen, walk away. Don’t cause a scene.
Be aware of your surroundings – This goes beyond just looking where you are going when moving from stage to stage. A lot of performers have live videos online to view so you might want to be aware if fans are going to rush to the front to kecha them or something. If you’re standing near someone who is obviously a fan of the group on stage, why not let them get closer to the action? Also, if you recognize someone wearing a shirt of a group you like, why not acknowledge them? You might make a new friend.
Stay hydrated – August is one of the hottest and most humid months of summer in Japan, and Odaiba is mostly covered in concrete and asphalt. Make sure to keep yourself from becoming dehydrated. At the same time, be aware of any restrooms nearby in case you drink too much water or sports drinks. Don’t get drunk because you may be denied entry to a venue for safety reasons.
Be respectful of the idols – If you find yourself near the front of the stage before the group/soloist that you were wanting to see goes on, don’t cross your arms and sit silently while someone else is doing their set. They’re trying their best to entertain everyone. If you’re in the very front, the chances of wota-gei or furi-copy happening are pretty high, depending on the performer and their fans. Join in! That’s the price you must pay for being in the front. Show the other groups that fans of other idols are cool people!
Take a break – For all you DDs (someone who likes a lot of a different idols) out there, it is not physically possible to see everyone! Prioritize who you want to see and make sure to rest before you exhaust yourself.
Hopefully, these reminders were helpful in preparing you for one of the most exciting weekends of the summer. For you Tokyo Idol Festival veterans out there, was there anything essential that we might have missed? We apologize if there was something obvious that was left out as the excitement of how great Tokyo Idol Festival promises to be is mixed with the dread of how tired it will leave us by Sunday night.
TOKYO IDOL FESTIVAL 2015 Official Site : http://idolfes.com/2015/
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