Ain't No Pain on the Blue Train

By popular demand, we have written up an all-new helpful guide for visiting Japan, to accompany our previous guides, the Japanese Concert Guide, and So You Want to Visit Japan to See Buck-Tick? Our new guide concerns that very hot and important topic, TRAIN TRAVEL. We can't cover everything, but we've covered the topics we get asked about most frequently by readers. If you're thinking of traveling to Japan this year to see Buck-Tick, or for any other reason, please read this guide before you email us for advice. We guarantee it contains the answers to most of your questions.

In particular, we'd like to call your attention to the sections on the Tokyo and Osaka metropolitan areas, since a lot of you seem to be confused about how far various concert venues are from various major cities. In brief: a lot of the Tokyo-area concert venues are not located in Tokyo proper, but in satellite cities such as Yokohama and Chiba. However, that doesn't mean it isn't very easy to get to those places while still staying at a hotel in Tokyo! Check out the guide for more info.

Edit: We added further info on JR Passes and savings, to clarify things for folks who are still confused. We also added a link to a site with lots of info on other train passes that exist in addition to the JR Pass.

And again, if you have any further suggestions for things you think we should add to any of our Japan travel guides, please leave your feedback in the comments. We're not a travel website, but we're aware that people who travel to Japan for concerts have specific needs and concerns, and we'd like to address those needs and concerns as best we can.

Once you've read the guide in full, please join us in singing along to this excellent song.


Travel, Tickets & Thank-Yous

Happy New Year, kiddos! Just because 2016 was the worst year on record and 2017 wasn't much better doesn't mean that 2018 can't be a year of fairy dust, unicorns, miracles, and Buck-Tick "grand masterpieces." Make it so! 

Anyhow, even as we continuously greet the arrival of The Future, we'd also like to thank y'all for your continued support of NGS/Blog-Tick. We'd like to extend a big thank-you to all the Blog-Tick readers from Indonesia, Russia, Romania, the UK, the USA, Chile, Mexico, the Netherlands, and France who sent us gifts - seriously, y'all are awesome and your gifts are very well received. The rest of the internet has trolls and men's rights activists, but here in Buck-Tickistan, we've got people who love dark red wines, chili powder, chocolate, punk comics and harmonicas as much as we do! We never expected that when we started out, so we're continuously pleasantly surprised, which is not a bad way to be, especially these days.

Also thanks to you, we received an unprecedented number of shopping service commissions and ticket requests last year, and an unprecedented number of emails from readers. If we don't respond to those emails right away, we're sorry - we're always happy to hear from each one of you, it's just that we really do get a lot of email! We will always prioritize time-sensitive shopping service requests, but we are not one of those phone-handed people who are online 24-7. When we're off the grid, we're off. Therefore, if it takes a little time for us to get back to you, please don't panic. We work online, so we can't afford to stay off the net for very long. We can't summon demons to ensure that you win ticket lotteries, but we will receive your request and respond to it in time for everything to go your way if the demons are favorably disposed.

However, since we're getting more email than ever before, our time has become more limited than ever before. If you'd like us to be able to help you as quickly as possible, we need you to help us, by reading our informational guides before you email us, and providing all the info we need up front in your initial email. In fact, with Buck-Tick's new tour coming up, we've already received a number of queries about tickets, so we'd like to take this opportunity to issue a few reminders and clarifications.

First, if you're interested in purchasing something through our shopping service, in addition to reading this post, please check the newly updated Shopping Service section of NGS carefully before placing your order. And remember, we're willing to hunt for stuff on your behalf! Always wanted a copy of Mr. Sakurai's Secrifice photobook, or the Climax Together Collector's Box, or that issue of Rockin' on Japan from November 1991? Just let us know. With only a very few exceptions, if you have the money, we can get you the item.

Second, if you're thinking of visiting Japan to see Buck-Tick or another band, before you email us about it, please read our Japanese Concert Guide and So You Want to Visit Japan to See Buck-Tick?, especially Section III, the Going to Japan FAQ. If you still have questions after you read these guides, please feel free to email and ask us. If there's anything you think we should add to the guides, please post a comment on this thread. We want the guides to be as useful as possible, so your input helps a lot.

If you'd like travel advice, start by checking out the very helpful website Japan Guide. It has all the basic info you'll need to get started planning a trip to Japan, and we've used it plenty of times ourselves, so we can vouch for its veracity.

If you're thinking you'd like to go to Japan but you don't know anything about Japanese geography, by all means, LOOK AT A MAP. Japan is way, way, WAY more than just Tokyo. Honestly, Tokyo isn't necessarily the best place to visit if you're a tourist, and it's also not necessarily the best place to see a live show. We cover Tokyo because we live in Tokyo, and we live in Tokyo because we're in the music industry, but the rest of the country is great and worth exploring. Check out different possibilities before you decide where to go.


And now for some brass tacks.


When you write to us to place an order for TICKETS, do us a favor and send us ALL the following information up front in your initial message!

1. What artist(s) do you want to see?

2. What are the dates of the concert(s) you wish to attend?

3. What is the name of the venue?

4. Link to the artist/ticket sales website (not required but very helpful!)

5. How many tickets do you want per show? Please, this is important! Most people who contact us want more than one ticket. If you only want one, you need to specify that.

6. What country are you located in? (USA kids, we're looking at you. Don't assume we know you're located in the States. Most of our customers are not.)

7. Would you like us to send you a PayPal invoice, and if so, to which email address should we send it?

8. How would you like to receive your tickets?

Oh yeah, about receiving tickets...

In most cases, we will hold the tickets for you until you arrive in Japan, then send the tickets through the Japanese domestic post to your hotel, hostel, dorm, AirBnB, etc. We do it this way because it's cheaper and safer. The Japanese postal service is extremely safe and reliable. Usually we send tickets via express post, because they are guaranteed to arrive the next day. Don't fret about this! We have lots of experience. Not once has a ticket ever failed to reach a customer on time. However, if you really want the ticket in your hand before you get on the plane to Japan, we can send the tickets to your country via EMS document mail (2000-2400 yen, depending on your location). For some tickets, this may not be possible due to time constraints, but if this is your preference, please let us know in your initial email, and send us the international address to which you'd like us to mail the tickets.

We understand that at the time you contact us about ticket purchases, many of you have not yet booked your accommodations in Japan. This is fine - just let us know once you've booked. However, make sure that you send us ALL of the following info regarding your booking:

- Complete address of accommodations in Japanese kanji

- The dates for which you will be staying at this address

- The FULL NAME under which you made your reservation - if you completed your ticket purchase with us under the pseudonym Darth Acchan, but the hotel is booked under your friend's legal passport name Robert Smith, addressing the tickets to Darth Acchan isn't going to do any good, because the hotel won't know who the hell Darth Acchan is supposed to be. For the tickets to reach you at your hotel, they need to be addressed to the name on the reservation, Robert Smith. We NEED the name on your reservation, or we cannot send you the tickets. End of story. We promise we won't share your real name with third parties. We are not in the business of doxxing. But if you don't send us the name on your reservation, there is nothing we can do to help you.



For orders not related to tickets, such as orders for items from web shops, please include the following info in your initial email:

1. What specific item do you want? (Including color, size, model, etc. - without this info we cannot place the order!)

2. How many items do you want?

3. What country are you located in, and what is your address? (USA kids, we're looking at you. Don't assume we know you're located in the States. Most of our customers are not. Without knowing which country you're in, we can't calculate shipping rates.)

4. Would you like us to send you a PayPal invoice, and if so, to which email address should we send it?


Finally, if you send a request to us, please please please CHECK YOUR EMAIL REGULARLY. If you never respond to us when we send you the details of costs, dates, etc., we cannot help you get the items you desire. If you decide at any point before money has changed hands/orders placed that you don't want the items after all, please do the favor of sending us an email and letting us know you want to cancel your order, so we can cross you off our list of pending transactions. We can't allow cancellations once money has changed hands or orders have been placed, so please don't confirm your order till you're absolutely sure about the purchase. If you'd like to ask us questions about prices, ask as many as you like. But keeping up with your email will make everything happen a lot faster.


Also, a lot of people have been asking about ticket lotteries, and how they work, so here's a brief explanation:


In Japan, the best way to get tickets to shows by popular artists is to enter one of the presale ticket lotteries which take place before the tickets go on general sale. These lotteries are conducted by ticket agencies like Ticket Pia, eplus, Lawson Ticket, and Yahoo! Tickets. The lotteries work as follows:

1. The lottery opens for applications.

2. Fans send in applications, specifying the number of tickets they wish to purchase for each date.

3. The lottery closes. No more applications may be submitted.

4. The ticket agent runs the numbers to decide who wins. Usually (but not always) the results are announced on Friday or Saturday night at 6PM about a week after the lottery closes.

5. If there are fewer applications than there are tickets, every fan who entered wins a ticket. If there are more applications than there are tickets, some people win, and others lose. The rate at which people win depends on the number of applications vs. the number of tickets available. For Buck-Tick and Japanese indie artists, most fans win most of the tickets they want, most of the time. For major-label j-pop acts who can fill stadiums, the ratio may be a bit lower. For idol groups such as Arashi, many more fans lose than win. 

There is no such thing as winning halfway. If you requested 3 tickets for the Moi Dix Mois show on the 18th of March, you'll either win all three, or lose all three. However, lotteries for each date are conducted separately. If you requested 4 tickets for the show on March 17th and 3 tickets for the show on March 18th, you might win the the four for the 17th but not the three for the 18th, or you might win both, or you might lose both. But there is no possibility that you would win two tickets when you requested four. It's all or nothing.

There is also no possibility that you will be able to choose your seat or line number. Japan is a democratic country, and seat numbers/line numbers are assigned randomly. The only way to ensure you get a good seat/line number is to spend extra money to buy a ticket from a resale site such as Ticket Camp after the fact, but this is far from a guarantee, so we don't recommend it.

6. Fans who win tickets must pay for the tickets before the payment period closes. Usually the cutoff for payment is three days after the announcement of the lottery results. If payment is not made before the deadline, the tickets are forfeit.

7. Fans who don't win tickets don't have to pay a single yen, but will have to try their luck again in the next round of lotteries, or in the general admission sales.


A number of you needed to cancel orders, or became unable to attend a concert to which you purchased tickets. To that end, here is a reminder of our cancellation policy.


We are happy to respond to inquiries free of charge, and there is no charge if you ask us to enter you in a ticket lottery, but you don't win the tickets. However, we do not accept cancellations once you confirm your order. Once we place an order with a web shop, or enter you in a ticket lottery, you are responsible for paying for the item you ordered, no exceptions.

If you purchased tickets through us and then become unable to attend the show, you may contact us to request that we re-home your tickets. We cannot promise anything, but we will try our best. In the event that we manage to find another buyer for the ticket, we can offer you a refund up to the cost of the ticket itself (though if we couldn't manage to re-home the ticket for full price, the refund may be less). However, please understand that we cannot refund any transaction fees.

We are not responsible for items lost in the international post. If you're concerned about the safety of your country's postal service, it is your responsibility to pay for a traceable shipping option such as EMS or Registered Air Mail. That said, we've only ever had one item get lost once in four years of operation.


Anyway, that's it for reminders for now... but if this applies to you, please read everything carefully. You'll save both of us plenty of time and headaches :)