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A Pictorial Guide to
Postée à l'origine par shikashitsuji sur A Pictorial Guide to is one of the easiest ways for people outside of Japan to get hold of concert/butai/etc tickets. In the past, only Japanese credit cards were allowed, so many fans used deputies who charged a premium (the market rate was a 20% service charge), and paying the deputy also would incur an additional 5% Paypal charge. Thus, an already expensive black market ticket would become even more expensive!

Now that they accept international credit cards, things are a lot easier. Deputies are still a dime a dozen, but as long as you can navigate the website, you can use it easily all on your own and bypass any deputy/Paypal charges. After I tried it for myself, I realized how easy using was. Of course, it helped that I understand Japanese. So here's a little tutorial to help you do it yourself, too! All you need are:

1. Japanese address (hotel address works)
2. Japanese phone number (hotel's number works too)
3. Credit card that works overseas
4. ¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥

It's rather tl;dr since I have a tendency to be verbose, but I hope it helps.

DISCLAIMER: This guide is not meant to be official or exhaustive, and I am human and prone to errors. I am merely a fan trying to help other fans! Please don't blame me if anything goes wrong in your ticket purchase!

¥ Registering ¥

First of, get to the registration page. Click on the big blue button to agree to their terms and conditions. The registration form is split into 3 sections, and only the fields with the red words "[必須]" are required fields. Ignore everything else.

This is pretty straight forward. Most of you will have names that use the Latin alphabet rather than Japanese Kanji/Chinese Hanzi, but I've tried and Latin alphabet doesn't seem to work for the first field (お名前(漢字)). It kept giving me an error. If you managed to do it, let me know and I will update this post. Update: Apparently it works if you use "full-width" Latin alphabets instead of the usual "half-width" alphabets i.e. "abc" and not "abc" (: You can use ◯◯ instead of actual kanji, or use a simple English->Katakana convertor to get your name in Katakana (pronunciation may be incorrect, but who cares) and fill it in for both the Kanji and Katakana name sections. You can also use a fake Japanese name... Anyway, whatever name you put, do let whoever will be receiving your package (you friend/hotel staff) know who it will be addressed to.

If you're sending it to a residential address that is not your own, you should generally register your account under your friend's name and not your own. All tickets will be sent by registered mail, so it's easiest if your friend's name matches the name on the package. Alternatively you can add a "c/o *your friend's name*" (just add a 方 behind your friend's name) to their address, but this is technically not allowed, and the seller may choose to alert and cancel your order or whatsoever.

If you're sending it to a hotel, do let your hotel know in advance as not all hotels are willing to receive mail on your behalf. You should mention in your note to the seller (towards the end of the form) that you have permission from the hotel, and the reason why you're sending it to the hotel instead of your home is because you're reaching the concert city a few days before the concert and may miss the ticket if it's sent to your home. (ライブの数日前に[insert city where concert is being held]に行く予定です。自宅に送られたら出発日までに受け取りが間に合わないかもしれないので、お手数ですが、ホテルまで送ってください。ホテルの方にも許可を得ています。)

Don't forget to complete the address once you hit the button and it auto-generates most of it! It will auto-generate up to your town, so you'll need to add everything else. E.g. in the example that they gave, "六本木1-6-1泉ガーデンタワー15F," the auto-generator will populate up to "六本木" but the person registering will have to add the district, block, and building numbers (1-6-1 in this case), building name (泉ガーデンタワー), and any other details (15F).

They will not call or text the telephone numbers you give (as far as I know, anyway), so don't worry about them.

When you're done, click the red button to submit. If I remember correctly, there will be a chance for you to check all your details, then you have to click another red button to confirm your submission. You will then receive an email with a URL. The email will be titled "メールアドレスの確認〔チケット流通センター〕" and the URL will lead you to a page where you basically just confirm that your email address was correct and you got their mail. You will receive another email entitled "ご登録いただきありがとうございます〔チケット流通センター〕" confirming that you've completed your registration. And viola! You're registered!

¥ Looking for Tickets ¥

On the homepage, you will see this:

To search for the artiste you want tickets for, you can either:
1. Look for their name on the ticket popularity ranking
2. Look for them in the lists below the ranking. Johnny's are listed first.
3. Run a search by typing in their name (in Kanji or kana only i.e. 嵐 or あらし will work, but not "Arashi"; unless they have an "English" name e.g. V6, KAT-TUN) into the search box on the top left. You can also choose the prefecture where the concert will be held from the dropdown, otherwise just click "検索" to search.

Note that artistes will only be listed if tickets are available (i.e. if they aren't having a concert right now or any time soon, you won't find them). After locating the artiste, you can either scour through all available tickets, or narrow down your search by selecting the date you intend to go for.

There are many little icons and here is what they all mean:

The blue icon "チケエク" (Tick-Ex = Ticket Express) means that the seller has confirmed that they have the ticket. What does this mean for you?
1. These tickets can remain on sale up to 3 days before the concert (some sellers may choose to sell the tickets for a shorter time so look out for the "2 days left!" etc icons)
2. When you place your order for "Tick-Ex" tickets, you will have to pay within 30 minutes of making the order or it becomes forfeit.

Note also that the special チケエク icons which restrict where the ticket can be sent to will only appear 3-4 days before the concert, as this location restriction is to ensure that tickets will arrive on time. Otherwise, the general rule is that the seller will ship to anywhere in Japan.

If there is NO "チケエク" icon (white background listing), then:
1. These tickets will remain on sale until 8 days before the concert
2. When you place your order, you will be given a deadline to pay by. The seller will also be given a deadline to reply to say that he has the ticket. Once he replies to say he has the ticket, you will be prompted to pay (but your deadline remains whatever it was, no 30 minute rule here).

The green icon "あんしん配送OK" ("Peace of Mind Delivery OK") means that you can use a special optional service which offers, so you don't have to worry about the seller getting your personal details such as your name and address. Basically this service is a forwarding service of sorts. The seller will send the ticket to, then will send it on to you. In addition, will also take a picture of the ticket before they send it to you, to ensure that the sender didn't forget to put the ticket in the envelope, sent the right ticket, etc. This service costs an additional 810 yen. However, tickets must arrive at the office 1 week before the concert, so if you buy your tickets too close to the concert, this option will not be available. This service cannot be used for deliveries to hotel or office addresses etc.

The yellow "お得!" ("Bargain Ticket") is something sellers can choose to add to their ticket, so it may not really be all that much of a "bargain." It may not actually be the advertised "within [face value + 1000]yen." Just look at the price and decide for yourself if it really is a bargain or not.

Apart from the icons, there are certain words you should look out for in the ticket listings:
公演日の1週間前発送予定 = Ticket will be sent out 1 week before the concert (some sellers may put other times, such as 10 days)
公演中止の場合は、送料・手数料を差し引いた全額を返金させていただきます = if the concert is cancelled, the entire cost of the ticket will be refunded to you, excluding postage and handling fees (some sellers might have different offers, or none at all)
ファンクラブ or FC = Fanclub tickets
ローソンチケット = Lawson tickets (non-FC tickets bought at Lawson convenience store via Playguide)

Regarding seating...
座席未定 = unknown seat
アリーナ = arena (center area)
スタンド = stands
立見 = standing tickets
◯ブロック = block ◯
◯列 = row ◯
◯~△番 = seat number falls between ◯ and △ (note that if the exact seat number is listed, you should NOT buy the ticket as the ticket will be cancelled by the jimusho and sold to someone else i.e. you will be kicked out of the venue)
◯ゲート = gate ◯
= floor/level
北・南・東・西 = North, South, East, and West, respectively
B(Aと四連番) = if you see a pair (or more) of ticket listings that have funny symbols or letters and the words "連番", it usually means that if you buy both listed sets of tickets, you will have all those seats adjacent to each other (in this example, if you buy both A and B, you will have 4 seats in a row).

On the right side of the listing, you will also see:
一枚のみ = only 1 ticket
2枚連番 = 2 tickets next to each other (number variable)
バラ売り可 = more than 1 ticket available, and can be bought separately
バラ売り不可 = more than 1 ticket available, and all of them must be bought as a set
取引中 = transaction in progress... too late! (BUT there is a small possibility of cancellation later and the ticket may become available again!)

Note also that the concert time listed may be different form the official concert time as some sellers will list the time doors open instead, so their ticket will be listed first. Nothing to worry about, the ticket itself is usually fine.

¥ Placing Your Order ¥

Once you've decided on a ticket to buy, click on "注文へ" and you will be brought to the next page.

The last 2 boxes on this page are messages for the seller and to respectively, so you can leave them blank unless you have any special message or request to make in there. The message to the sender will not be sent to him/her until you've paid, so don't bother trying to negotiate for a lower price... After you submit the form, you need to confirm that everything you entered is correct once again on the next page.

Note that if you either cancel your order or fail to pay by the deadline (30 minutes later for "Tick-Ex" tickets and by the stipulated deadline for non-"Tick-Ex" tickets), you will forfeit that ticket and not be able to place an order for that same ticket again. If you repeatedly make and then cancel your orders, there will probably be some disciplinary action.

Look for the words 支払い to make your payment. There are three options for payment, but the only one relevant to you will probably be クレジットカード (credit card), which will be easily recognizable because of the Visa and Mastercard logos. All you have to do is key in your card number, expiry date, and security code just like any other online credit card transaction. You will also need to key in the OTP from your credit card company to verify your transaction. And that's it! You will receive an email titled "入金を確認致しました" that confirms that you have paid, and so now you just need to wait for the next email that tells you the ticket has been sent.

I'm sorry I don't have any screenshots for this part, as I only thought of making this tutorial after everything was done... I would "order" a ticket to get to the page to take screenshots but I've cancelled 2 of my orders in the past so I'm afraid my account might get suspended if I do it again XD (but if anyone wants to help me take a screenshot of getting to the payment page and the credit card payment screen that would be great!)

Also, just so you know, does charge a small commission/handling fee. If your ticket costs <10,000 yen, the fee is 432 yen. If the price is between 10,001-30,000 yen, the fee is 756 yen. Above that, the commission is 3.24% of the ticket price.

¥ Receiving Your Ticket ¥

Once you get the email from telling you that the seller has dispatched your ticket (the email will be titled "発送完了のお知らせ"), all you have to do is wait! The email will tell you what method of postage they used (発送方法) and the tracking number. If you're sending the ticket to a friend's house, you probably should forward them the email or something so they know.

Look for the tab "マイページ" (second last) at the top of the website. In the red section you will see a list of tickets that you have ordered. The first red tab shows tickets where transaction is incomplete (in mid-transaction). Click the ticket link (presumably there will only be one, unless you are buying multiple tickets at once) and you will be brought to a page like this (sorry for the clutter on the screenshot):

There are 4 important buttons on this page:
1. お問合せ (Enquiry Form) - When you receive the ticket, CHECK it first to make sure that it's the real deal and that it's what was advertised on the website (date, seat number etc). If you've got a Japanese friend to receive it on your behalf then get them to check it for you. If you want to check what a real ticket looks like, try googling (artiste + tour name + チケット). Note that Playguide tickets will look different from FC tickets (e.g. Lawson tickets). If it's incorrect, use this enquiry form to tell Use this also if you did not receive your ticket despite the concert nearing (do check if the seller said they would only send it out a week before the concert, because if so, you will probably only receive it around 5 days before the concert).

2. 受取り遅延連絡へ (Notice of Delay in Retrieving Ticket) - If you will be late in retrieving your package (e.g. because you don't actually live in Japan...), use this form to let both the seller and (first and second boxes respectively) know. You are required to mention the date you expect to retrieve the package. Overseas users aren't technically allowed to use according to their terms and conditions, so I imagine it would be good to refrain from using "I live overseas and will only be in Japan on xxx date" as a reason... I suppose you could pretend to be on an overseas business trip...? "今海外出張中なので受け取れません。◯月△日に帰ります。ご迷惑をおかけして申し訳ございません。" (I am overseas on a business trip and unable to receive the package. I will return on the △th of ◯ (month #). I apologize for the inconvenience.)

You should also use this form if your friend wasn't home to receive the delivery, and let them know when the delivery has been rescheduled to. Again, use this form also to let them know if the ticket has arrived at your hotel before you (mention your check-in date) and that you need to get there first to check the ticket before you can complete the transaction. Do understand that the sellers won't get any money until your do the next step of acknowledging receipt, so they may freak out if the package is delivered (according to the tracking) but you haven't said anything about receiving the ticket.

3. 受取完了連絡へ (Acknowledgement of Receipt of Ticket) - If you've received the ticket in good condition and everything is fine, use this form to tell You are given 48 hours to do this. Enter the date (year-month-day) you received the ticket, a message to the seller, and a message to, then click submit. Click confirm on the next page and you're done! After this, the money you paid earlier which was holding on to will be paid to the seller.

4. The last yellow box will tell you what type of mail was used to send your ticket. Registered mail is always used (in my case it is Japan Post's レターパックプラス [letter pack plus]), so you will see the tracking number there too. Click the button to track the package.

¥ Other Random Info ¥

For FC tickets, the seller does not know their seats till about 2 weeks prior to the concert. They just know they hit for that date and have a ticket(s), but nothing else. If you buy the ticket before the seat is known, you're taking a gamble as you could get anything from front row arena seats to standing tickets. In addition, many fans are friends with other fans, and they will all bid for the same date. If more than one person hits and they have excess tickets, they will sell those on It should be obvious which set of tickets they will choose to sell away... The lousier ones. But, you really never know!

If you wait till the seats are known, you get what you pay for - the best seats will go for a premium. stops selling tickets for any concert 3 days before the concert. Sometimes, this may be the best time to get tickets as sellers are frantically trying to get rid of tickets. Some profit is better than none, I suppose? This doesn't always hold true though, and the drop in price may not be all that significant. But keep your finger on the refresh button as you never know...

For non-FC/public tickets, in my opinion there are two major benefits. Firstly, you can usually get the ticket earlier. Secondly, and most importantly, in case there is an ID check, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. In the event of an ID check at the concert venue, concert goers must produce an ID card and/or their fanclub membership card, both of which should match the name on the ticket. If you can't prove you're the FC member whose name is on the ticket, you will get thrown out of the venue. Random ID checks have become increasingly frequent, because the concert jimusho knows that tickets are constantly being sold on the black market (often for an arm and a leg). Sadly, we pay so much for our tickets and most of that money doesn't even go to our favourite artistes... :(

Anyway, back to my point. I personally would prefer to go for an anonymous ticket if they are available. They are usually the lousier seats, though, as the "public tickets" are usually the "leftovers" as fanclub members get priority, but I'd just rather not get kicked out of the venue... However, some artistes do not sell any public tickets at all - Arashi, for one. I've also noticed that for the V6 con, some FC tickets were standing tickets, yet some Lawson tickets were for seats in the stands, not to mention that many FC members didn't even hit during the balloting (so technically there shouldn't be any tickets available for public sales?)... So yeah, I'm not really sure how it all works.

Some have advocated getting the seller to write a note to say that they could not make it for the concert and thus gave their ticket to a friend (i.e. you). However, I've scoured many Japanese forums and sites (because I was in a dilemma over this myself) and the conclusion appears to be that such notes mean absolutely squat. In the first place, concert tickets are non-transferable according to the clearly stated T&Cs... Apparently, one lady called up the concert jimusho to ask if she could give her tickets to her friends as she legitimately couldn't go for the concert anymore due to a sudden business trip, but the concert jimusho said no! There was however one case where the person really was given a ticket by a friend, so she called the friend, who spoke to the security guard and then the person was allowed to stay. So perhaps you can prepare a Japanese friend to pretend to be the original ticket owner and speak to the security guard in case that happens ^^;

As alluded to previously, one important thing to note is that you should never buy a ticket that has too many details available on the internet - such as the seller's name, fanclub number, exact seat number... These tickets will be cancelled and resold to other FC members/via Playguide, and you will be kicked out of the venue (and the original seller will be blacklisted, but they deserve it). The Johnny's website lists tickets that have been cancelled here (scroll to the bottom), but it seems they only do this for Arashi (but they didn't for BLAST in Miyagi...), Kanjani8, and Kisumai? Not really sure.

If you want to know where your seat will be, look for the seating plan. If you're seated in the arena though, the configuration may change from venue to venue within the same tour and you may not know where exactly your seat will be. You can easily find seating plans by googling the name of the venue and "座席表" (e.g. 東京ドーム座席表).

If the tour has been ongoing, you can also search for the stage set-up, so you'll know if there's a center stage or not, and things like that. You may find some diagrams by fans who have gone for the earlier dates, and it might also give you an idea of how the arena will be arranged. Google the title of the tour and "ステージ構成" and/or "アリーナ構成" (e.g. V6ラブセンステージ構成). In the same way you can also find the setlist (せトリ) so you know what songs they'll be singing, how many encores they will be doing... Some fans will even describe the positions of the members and their exact movements, so you can plan your seat according to where you predict your ichiban might pass by. Basically, the Japanese fans are just like us, and their concert reports aren't any different from any English concert report you've read in the past... Except they're in Japanese, of course. And again, everything differs from venue to venue, so take everything you read with a pinch of salt.

I have only used once (and at this point the transaction isn't even completed), so if anyone else has anything else to mention or add to this post, or if there are any errors, just let me know! Again, I apologize for the immense TL;DR-ness of this post. I can't believe it got this long D:

Thank you to tabidachinouta and motusama for their kind corrections and additions thus far! ^^


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