Tokyo Idol Festival 2016 Must See: 7 Big Names

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Tokyo Idol Festival 2016 Must See: 7 Big Names

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With Tokyo Idol Festival being extended to 3 days in 2016 and the number of groups/soloists expanding to 275, planning who to see is a difficult proposition for many. Of course, these are not all of the groups/artists that we are looking forward to seeing over the weekend but, (in alphabetical order) here are some of our (fairly obvious) suggestions when it comes to some of the most famous groups/soloists who will be appearing on stage for a limited time only!

AKB48 Team 8


The “idols who go to meet you” are making their first appearance at Tokyo Idol Festival this year! While there may be some still unfamiliar with all of the members, be assured that they have been working hard since their formation to deliver the best performances possible from the 47 prefectures of Japan!

August 5, 2016 (Friday) – Smile Garden 10:00am – 10:30am
August 5, 2016 (Friday) – Hot Stage 4:05pm – 4:35pm



The second of the 46 groups burst upon the scene lead by young Yurina Hirate and supported by a “Silent Majority” as they topped the Oricon charts with their debut single. Perhaps one of the most exciting new groups of 2015, they’ll be at Tokyo Idol Festival 2016 for 2 days with 2 performances at Smile Garden! We won’t be surprised if some fans end up going to nearby Telecom Center and try to recreate the choreography from “Kataru nara Mirai wo…” at some point over the weekend.

August 6, 2016 (Saturday) – Smile Garden (11:25am – 11:50am)
August 6, 2016 (Saturday) – Hot Stage (7:25pm – 7:55pm)
August 7, 2016 (Sunday) – Ship Stage (10:00am – 10:30am)
August 7, 2016 (Sunday) – Smile Garden (5:35pm – 6:05pm)

Kobushi Factory


One of the breakthrough groups of Tokyo Idol Festival 2015, Kobushi Factory showed why they were fast tracked to a major debut right after they were formed with a string of triple A-side singles that only got stronger and stronger as time went by. Having missed out on them at TIF 2015 and having seen them recently as the opening act for ANGERME and Morning Musume 16.’s Nippon Budokan concerts, that mistake will not be made again! They’re definitely one of the brightest shining new stars of Hello! Project so be double sure to go see them!

August 5, 2016 (Friday) – Sky Stage (3:25pm – 3:40pm)
August 5, 2016 (Friday) – Hot Stage (6:35pm – 7:05pm)



The latest group in the 48 family makes their Tokyo Idol Festival debut and have exceeded expectations since they took the stage for the first time less than a year prior. If you’re already at the Hot Stage for SKE48, you might as well stay for NGT48 as well since leaving Zepp Diver City is no easy task, especially when it’s crowded. As they are just getting started, unless you live or regularly travel to Niigata, chances to see NGT48 perform in person are still quite rare.

August 7, 2016 (Sunday) – Hot Stage (11:05am – 11:35am)

Ayaka Sasaki (Momoiro Clover Z)


Catch a preview of A-rin’s solo concert at Yokohama Arena on September 19th in this rare appearance at Tokyo Idol Festival 2016! Make sure to arrive in Odaiba extra early and get your wristbands and reference number since she will be one of the first performers of the day!

August 5, 2016 (Friday) – Ship Stage (9:45am – 10:00am)



History repeats itself as SKE48 returns to Tokyo Idol Festival and faces the graduation of another popular member at the end of August. It may be the last chance for many to see Aya Shibata, the ace of the group’s 4th generation. Although Rena Matsui is no longer in the group, as a known idol fan, she might get noticed in the audience by someone like Jurina Matsui during the performance just like how she was spotted by Rino Sashihara during TIF 2014 when HKT48 was at the Hot Stage. Reference numbers will be required to enter the venue and capacity will be limited so make sure to get there as early as possible!

August 7, 2016 (Sunday) – Hot Stage (10:30am – 11:00am)

Team Syachihoko


After a 4 year absence from Tokyo Idol Festival, Team Syachihoko is back! Expect them to make a strong case as to why there should also be a Nagoya Idol Festival after (or even before) they move the capital of Japan there. As they are currently in the middle of their 5th anniversary tour Rojou Debut 5-Nen-me 5-Kouen 5-Man-nin Douin! O-baki Live Keikaku “VICTORY YEAR” Road to Kasadera which includes such massive venues like Makuhari Messe, Nippon Budokan, and Yokohama Arena, being able to see Team Syachihoko at Zepp Diver City, much less Smile Garden, is a rare opportunity. That is also why you better plan to get there early if you actually want to be able to see them on stage because it will be packed!

August 6, 2016 (Saturday) – Hot Stage (12:50pm – 13:20pm)
August 6, 2016 (Saturday) – Smile Garden (3:40pm = 3:55pm)

These are probably all names that idol fans know and love (or hate) but if you have never seen them live and in person before, they are worth making the effort to do so at least once. We will be following up with another list of groups that have some compelling stories as well as some up and coming performers which are worth checking out before the break through and get so popular that you might not be able to get tickets to see them anymore! Stay tuned!

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Related Artists : MAGNOLIA FACTORY SKE48 AKB48 Team Syachihoko Momoiro Clover Z
Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, photographer, foodie, KSDD

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