Where The Wind Takes Me – Day 12

Where The Wind Takes Me Series - Table of Contents

EntryNotable Places/EventsStart of DayEnd of Day
Day 0 - Apr 21-22 2024Plane (Edmonton > Tokyo)Edmonton, CanadaTokyo, Japan
Day 1 - Tue Apr 23 2024Akihabara, Sensoji, Tokyo Sky Arena, Taiwan Food FestivalTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 2 - Wed Apr 24 2024Nezu Shrine, Tokyo National MuseumTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 3 - Thu Apr 25 2024Akihabara, Ginza, Yurakucho, Bocchi the Rock! Exhibition (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 4 - Fri Apr 26 2024Craft Gyoza Fes, Niku Fes, Odaiba, Kameido Tenjin ShrineTokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 5 - Sat Apr 27 2024Niconico Chokaigi 2024Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 6 - Sun Apr 28 2024M3-53Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 7 - Mon Apr 29 2024Train (Tokyo > Osaka)Tokyo, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 8 - Tue Apr 30 2024Tsurumibashi, Expo Commemorative Park, Osaka Station (with Miyu)Osaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 9 - Wed May 01 2024Kyoto, Takenobu Inari Shrine, SaiinOsaka, JapanOsaka, Japan
Day 10 - Thu, May 02 2024Train (Osaka > Tokyo)Osaka, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 11 - Fri May 03 2024Reitaisai 21Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 12 - Sat May 04 2024Japan Jam 2024 (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 13 - Sun May 05 2024National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (with Quintopia)Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
Day 14 - Mon May 06 2024Haneda International Airport, Plane (Tokyo > Taipei), Liaoning Night MarketTokyo, JapanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 15 - Tue May 07 2024Taipei Main Station Underground Mall, Ximending Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 16 - Wed May 08 2024Shilin Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 17 - Thu May 09 2024Raohe Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 18 - Fri May 10 2024Songjiang Market, Guang Hua Digital Plaza, Shida Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 19 - Sat May 11 2024Dihua Street, Huaxi Street Night Market, Guangzhou Street Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 20 - Sun May 12 2024Gongguan Night MarketTaipei, TaiwanTaipei, Taiwan
Day 21 - Mon May 13 2024Plane (Taipei > HK), Train (HK > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelTaipei, TaiwanGuangzhou, China
Day 22 - Tue May 14 2024Zhongfu Square, Alpaca Sighting (with Kel), Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 23 - Wed May 15 2024Panyu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 24 - Thu May 16 2024Nancun Wanbo (with Kel), Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 25 - Fri May 17 2024Train (Guangzhou > Xiamen), Zhongshan RoadGuangzhou, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 26 - Sat May 18 2024Xiamen Railway StationXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 27 - Sun May 19 2024Mingfa Shopping MallXiamen, ChinaXiamen, China
Day 28 - Mon May 20 2024Train (Xiamen > Guangzhou), Stayed with KelXiamen, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 29 - Tue May 21 2024Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 30 - Wed May 22 2024Tianhe Computer Town, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 31 - Thu May 23 2024Comic City, Shangxiajiu Square, Dinner with Kel, Stayed with KelGuangzhou, ChinaGuangzhou, China
Day 32 - Fri May 24 2024Train (Guangzhou > Hong Kong)Guangzhou, ChinaHong Kong, China

Saturday, May 04 2024 (Day 12)

Today was Japan Jam 2024 day — the entire reason that I had booked this trip in the first place and that I built (or am building) a full-on world romp around. Japan Jam 2024, with its schedule from here (local) archived as the current timetable will probably be erased from the site eventually, is a 5-day event spread out over two weekends and consisting of a bunch of rock bands jamming out in and around a large stadium area called Soga Sports Park. I had told Quintopia that if he did the main application for the ticket lottery to get the chance to buy tickets for the event, I would do the secondary guest part of his lottery application and come to Japan if we won said lottery. And we did, back in March!

While the event is a 5-day event, we just booked tickets for one day, since they were incredibly pricey and both of us were there for one main band, Kessoku Band, a group spawned from the Bocchi the Rock! anime and fronted by one of the voice actresses. We didn’t win the second lottery that would have given us good seats to that show though, but we did win the lottery for said seats for a number of other singers on that day, so we ended up going to those as well. The grounds were very, very busy, though it didn’t quite feel as busy as my previous day in Tokyo Big Sight. It was close though, at times, especially during the larger/more popular concerts, and there were definitely more people here overall in terms of sheer volume, just spread out over a much larger area. There were pretty much no other overseas people or even Caucasians here (besides Quintopia) though, likely because of the difficulty in application — it seemed that the primary applicant needed to provide a Japanese phone number, though I, as the secondary applicant to Quintopia‘s primary application, did not require that.

Anyway, pictures were not allowed in parts of the event, though that did not stop me or others from taking some anyway, I think it was largely that we were not allowed to take pictures or videos of the singers while they were on stage and performing. That didn’t stop some people from sneaking a couple anyway, but by and large I took my pictures in between events. I’m going to also create a little set list of songs that we listened to at the end. (This part went very long and made the blog post late, but I needed ro find and write down all the songs and then link videos to them too before the mental window for doing this fades away.)

Soga Sports Park was located in Chiba, and was nearly an hour and a half away by train from where I was due to having to make a number of transfers and the last one running somewhat infrequently. Quintopia got there about ten minutes ahead of me and went into the venue first, and neither of us had any sort of trouble finding the stadium as there was a crowd surging toward it and a lot of Chiba police and event staff/volunteers guiding people toward the venue.

I arrived just in time for the first concert, one of those which we had won special “front area” tickets for. Our “seats” were just little squares on the ground that we could stand in and cheer from, whereas people who didn’t win these special seats could still watch the concert from further back, outside the reserved area. As we had applied together, our “seats” were next to each other.

Most of the concerts were about 30-45 minutes long each, with plenty of them overlapping each other at different stages, so we walked back and forth several times across the grounds to go catch the next artist that we wanted to see. Or to pick up event goods or food and drink. Everyone else was doing so too, so the walking areas were always packed.

We did each order a t-shirt before coming to the venue, but we ended up in the wrong line to pick them up because we were unaware that there was a separate, much shorter line for people who had preordered to pick them up from. We instead joined a really long line that was reminiscent of yesterday’s Reitaisai line that I was in, with a short primary line and a longer secondary line and some items being announced as out of stock by the staff before we had reached the front of the line. At least it didn’t take two hours to navigate that line this time. I did try to exchange my shirt for a larger size because I suddenly decided I wanted a baggier version, but they didn’t allow me to. I also had wanted a different shirt but had picked the number for the shirt design that I considered the second-best one instead of the best one somehow while placing the order. Oh well. The one I have was fine still, and it was fate that I ended up with this.

There was a rakugaki, or scribble, sheet wrapped around a pillar in the park, and we added our little “we were here” notes next to someone’s doodle of Bocchi.

We also took a picture beneath giant mushrooms:

And mused about this big… thing, which turned out to be a monument to Kawasaki Steel, which had a steel mill that used to be in the area. That specific thing is a blast furnace that was used to melt iron ore.

We also had slightly overpriced yakisoba for lunch and then very overpriced drinks to keep ourselves hydrated, as the event screens kept flashing reminders to drink water while simultaneously charging 300 yen for bottles of water, oi ocha tea that normally costs 80 yen at the grocery store, or some peachy drink that made one even more thirsty.

It was a very bright and sunny day and there were no clouds in the sky at all for virtually the entire day. I had to borrow some sunscreen from Quintopia eventually so as to not fry myself, but still managed to burn my neck a bit.  The temperature eventually rose as high as 27 degrees Celsius before falling back down, I believe. At least, that was the highest number I noticed. I did wish at multiple points during the day that I had brought a hat.

Though the concerts were taking place at stages around the venue, there was an actual stadium in the venue too, and parts of the concerts were also being broadcast up on the screen for people who just wanted to sit down in there and watch a broadcast of the event instead of actually being inside the stage areas. Although we did not end up using it, this was nice as a place to relax and casually enjoy the music without being in the thick of things, because there were a number of people who brought their kids and/or families along and treated this as a family event.

The map of the venue, located on their website here (local), looked like this:

And the three winning stage area tickets that we did win were all for the smallest venue, the Buzz Stage, which were for the smaller ticket bands. We still passed by all the stages and watched at least one concert in all of them except for Sky Stage though. Various pictures of the stage follow, from west to east.

Wing Stage:

Sky Stage:

Sunset Stage:

Sunset Stage looking back at Sky Stage:

Buzz Stage:

As we left the one concert that we attended at Wing Stage, Quintopia noticed that someone had dropped a merchandise item on the ground that had come loose from their bag, and he picked it up and attached it around a railing in the hopes that its owner would return to claim it. Hopefully it got back home safely that day.

Our final concerts were at Sunset Stage as the sun set, and it was a beautiful sight seeing the orange, yellow, and purples hues of the cloudless sky above the stage as Asian Kung-Fu Generation serenaded the crowd, and the planes flying overhead, with rock ballads. Not that we were allowed to take pictures of that. Apparently there will be videos released by the event at some point though.

After that, we were completely tuckered out, and although they were not the last act of the night, we followed a large throng of people out of the gates and back toward the train station.

We were both hungry but did not want to eat anywhere near that park due to inflated prices and number of people, so we took a train two stops over to Inagekaigan Station, where there was an Aeon Mall with a food court at the top of the builiding, and these weird, vaguely Christmassy ornaments out front:

That stegosaurus was actually moving back and forth, and another couple was taking pictures of it as well.

We found that the food court, when we finally made our way to it, closed at 9pm, but it was only 8pm for us at the time so we settled down for some good Nagasaki Champon that very much tasted like a champ.

And then we headed home from there, sharing the same route until about halfway before Quintopia got off to catch a separate transit train home!

He had given me a little trinket as an omiyage (gift) when we had first met up earlier in the day, and I had given him one of my many postcards in return as well. When I got home, I washed the shirt that I had acquired and then took a picture of both the shirt and the trinket:

And finally, I’ve left this part for the end as it’s somewhat haphazard, but I wanted to track which concerts and songs we went to and heard. As far as I could tell anyway (via Google Assistant song identification):

The artist list for the day is reproduced here:

The first band we watched was Atarayo (あたらよ) at 11:30 am on the Buzz Stage. Lead female vocalist, secondary male vocalist, and a couple of other band members. I liked them well enough, the vocalist was cute and friendly, and everyone was looking forward to their recent anime hit song, which they duly played at the end. They sang:

  1. Tada suki to ie tara
  2. Sad Love Song
  3. Juugatsu Mukuchi na Kimi wo Wasureru
  4. Summer Haze
  5. Hikare
  6. Boku wa.. (opening theme song of Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu S2)

The second artist we watched was Yamato Mori (森大翔), at 1:40 pm on the Buzz Stage, with a boyish-looking male vocalist that was very energetic and had a lot of great footwork and also sweated so much that he swapped out his guitar after each song for an identical guitar so that the last one could presumably be wiped down. I did not know any of his/their songs going in but came out of it a fan. They played:

  1. Ken to Palette
  2. Lalala Sayonara Eien ni
  3. Otetetsunaide
  4. Airai
  5. Taishitamondayo

After that, we went right over to the Sunset Stage where People 1 was finishing up their concert. We thought we would be there as early as possible to book some nice spots for Kessoku Band’s show there at 3:15 pm, but to no avail — a huge throng of fans were also already there waiting, and they had waited all through the LAST show as well. We were very far away from the stage and there was no way to get closer. Quintopia went off to watch the Cho Q May show at 2:45 pm on the Buzz Stage as that was the third seat lottery we had won, while I stayed to try to preserve the spots that we did have, but so many more people came in after he left and before he returned that he was unable to find me in the huge crowd, and I was unable to see much except the big screen from where I was anyway, so much so that after the Kessoku Band concert started, we decided it was better for the both of us to retreat to the back of the crowd instead.

From there, I could actually see the vocalist and band on stage, and they weren’t appreciably smaller than from our other vantage point, just without plenty of tall heads between me and them. There were also the big screens that could be seen from anywhere, anyway. And Quintopia brought a pair of binoculars as well!

Kessoku Band (結束バンド) was fronted by one of the anime voice actresses for the Bocchi the Rock! anime, Ikumi Hasegawa, doing vocals, with three guys playing the instruments behind her. She sang these songs:

  1. Seishun Complex
  2. Guitar to Kodoku to Aoihoshi
  3. Ano Band
  4. Seiza ni Naretara
  5. Flashbacker
  6. Chiisana Umi
  7. Wasurete Yaranai
  8. Hikari no Naka e

After that, we retreated from the crowd and walked around a bit. We partially listened to Chevon (シェボン) back at the Buzz Stage, who started there at 3:50 pm. I didn’t really like their music, but I liked watching the people, they were a very loud and screamy band but they had people jumping up and down in unison at certain points in their songs, and it was mesmerizing to see everyone bounce around. The one song that they sang that I liked was Dance Decadence.

We then went to watch Surii (すりぃ) at the Wing Stage at 4:50 pm. He had a nice bunch of catchy songs and sung:

  1. Junky Night Town Orchestra
  2. Telecaster B-Boy
  3. Baka ni Natte
  4. Chuudokusei no Chuu
  5. Guilty
  6. Lavie
  7. Ego Rock

Apparently he is a Vocaloid producer and does Hatsune Miku and Kagamine Len versions of his songs too, which seem even more popular than his actual songs, but I liked his songs. And videos.

Finally, after leaving to raid a supermarket for cheaper drinks and then returning, we went to see Asian Kung-Fu Generation at the Sunset Stage as the sun was indeed setting over the venue at (or a little after) 6:15 pm. Their set list went like this:

  1. Re:Re (from the anime Boku dake ga Inai Machi)
  2. Rewrite (from the anime Fullmetal Alchemist)
  3. Easter
  4. Solanin
  5. Blue Train
  6. Siren
  7. Demachiyanagi Parallel Universe (from the anime Yojouhan Time Machine Blues)
  8. Korogaru Iwa, Kimi ni Asa ga Furu (which Kessoku Band also covered in the Bocchi the Rock! anime)
  9. Haruka Kanata (from the anime Naruto)

I was surprised that they didn’t play the #8 song last instead of the #9 one, since Kessoku Band had just played on that stage three hours ago, but whatever. People seemed to like it, and some woman behind me exclaimed that it was nostalgic. I don’t care for Naruto myself, and am not familiar with their songs. Many of their songs had very long lead-ins and/or lead-outs, and they were much more subdued than most of the other bands, but they’re very famous and have long since become established and earned their dues, so it came across more as being cool than being bored. Well, with the context that I had, anyway.

On our way out, we passed by the Buzz Stage again, where 4s4ki was performing from 7:10 pm onwards. We caught one song as we slowly shuffled out the premises — LOG OUT.

And log out I will do. I definitely needed to re-hydrate hard after these last two days.

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 11

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Where The Wind Takes Me - Day 13

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