Here is a general guide I made, which will have much more than here, but here are a few related to these shows.
Flights: Don’t necessarily book direct to the city you want to visit. I saw many people searching for flights directly to Nagoya (same with Hiroshima in 2017). Most often than not, the best places to travel to are either of Tokyo’s airport (Narita or Haneda) or Osaka’s KIX airport. Then you can travel by shinkansen (bullet train) or domestic flight.
Accommodations: Don’t necessarily stay where the venue is. It can often times be much more expensive, as well as being far away from other activities in the city.
Tickets: [UPDATE: Here is info on THE ONE lottery for LEGEND M/Yokohama, ends Friday 19th!!] Not much trick for the festival tickets, but as for the solo shows, I’d deeply recommend you become a The One 2019 member (here is a guide). If you don’t, basically the only way you will be able to get tickets is resale, which will be very very expensive, and generally lacks any floor tickets. Here is a full guide. Of course, we need to see how these shows will be, if they change anything.
Inter-city/Intra-city transportation: In 95% of cases, trains are going to be the best way to get anywhere. I recommend you get an IC card at any station you are at to make it easier to use (also useful for buying stuff from vending machines, convenience stores, etc.).
If you plan on travelling to more than 1 city, a Japan Rail Pass may suit you and be cheaper in the long run.
There are many many different “passes” for each city/region, with varying prices and restrictions, so be sure to check them out. Here is one for Nagoya, for example (¥600 for 1 day of unlimited subways/buses). Or the JR Kansai area pass, for example (¥2,200 for 1 day of unlimited JR line trains as well as buses, available for more days too).
Also check, as especially places that take long to reach by train (Izumo or Sapporo, for example) a flight is better. There are discount prices available for foreigners.
Weather: All shows are in the “Summer” months, so expect lots of humidity and heat. Of course, it depends where else you go in Japan, it’s a big country, so pack accordingly.
Shows: July, Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th
Venue: Port Messe Nagoya
Capacity: 10000 (likely all standing)
Best place to stay at: Here it would be quite easily near Nagoya station, as here you can connect in most cases with only 1 train to not just the venue, but most places to visit in the city, and also other cities.
Best pass to get: Since the shows are on the weekend, the Donichi Eco Kippu is the best, it’s ¥600 for 1 day of unlimited subways/buses and the sightseeing bus. The round trip for Nagoya station to the venue alreayd saves you ¥100.
BABYMETAL-related things to do:
- Moa sake shop. It’s not really Moa’s sake, but the sake kanji on it can be read as Moa, Moa has also visited this place, so that, among other things, is why it blew up among fans, and now it has a big Moa shrine. More info on Moa’s sake.
- Yabaton Lachic. Restaurant where Suzuka ate at. She posted about it on a Sakura Gakuin diary. This is a restaurant chain which specialises in pork, she at the one in the Lachic shopping mall in Sakae. I have eaten here, and it is my favorite dish in Japan (now even make it at home 🙂
- ell.SIZE. Where they had their first event in Nagoya in 2012 for the release of Head Banger.
- Zepp Nagoya. Where they have had every show in Nagoya (2 in 2015, 2 in 2016, 2 in 2017), as well as the Live Viewings.
- Tower Records Nagoya. CD’s/DVD’s.
Hey, it’s Moa’s hometown, of course the food is good!
- Miso Katsu. As I have already said, my favorite dish. Best enjoyed at any of the Yabaton’s.
- Hitsumabushi (rice, eel, sauce, and eaten in 4 different ways). The best place to eat would be Atsuta Horaiken. It’s near the Atsuta Shrine, and it’s been around since 1873. You should go early, as numbers for lunch start getting handed out at 11AM and it is very popular.
- Nagoya Castle. Very close to Nagoya station. The main keep cannot be entered anymore, and it will be torn down sometime in 2019 for reconstruction. But the palace was recently rebuilt and is open!
- Atsuta Shrine. It is one of Shinto’s most important shrines. It stores the sacred sword ‘Kusanagi’, which is one of the three imperial regalia (one of the others is in nearby Ise, and the other in Tokyo).
- Sakae. Downtown area in Nagoya. Lots of shopping. It has Nagoya TV Tower (that is closed to entry for renovations), as well as Oasis 21 (cool looking shopping mall). Here is also where to go to the restaurant Suzuka ate at.
- SCMAGLEV and Railway Park. Right on the island where the venue is. It has tons of trains on display, as well as a “simulator”/film about the in-construction maglev train between Tokyo and Nagoya.
- Nagashima Resort. One of the best amusement parks in the country. Also has a nice onsen.
- Kyoto (40 minutes away) Japan’s previous capital.
- Osaka (1 hour away) Japan’s 2nd largest city.
- Nara (1.5 hours away, via Kyoto) Japan’s first capital. Lots of deer and building’s more than 1000 years old.
- Ise (1.5 hours away). One of the most sacred shrine’s in Japan.
- Suzuka (1 hour away). Where they hold the anual Formula 1 Grand Prix. It’s in October, so you can’t see that now. But they do have other attractions to do, and they will hold one car racing event the weekend before the shows, and a motorcycle one the weekend of the shows.
- Nagano (3 hours away). Beautiful city in the mountains. Has many temples and shrines to visit. the city hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1998.
Shows: June, Friday 28th & Saturday 29th
Venue: Yokohama Arena
Location. How to get there from:
- Shin-Yokohama Station: 5~ minute walk
- Yokohama Station: 10 minute train ride (Blue line or JR Yokohama Line Rapid) + 5 minute walk/¥240 or ¥170
- Tokyo Station: 20 minute train ride (Shinkansen) + 5 minute walk/¥1,360 or 50+ minute train ride via Yokohama Station (JR Lines) + 5 minute walk/¥550
Best place to stay at: This one is hard. Shin-Yokohama is NOT inside Yokohama city. And it is much more expensive to stay at here. You can either pay the premium, or you can choose to stay in Yokohama, or even in Tokyo and take a train here. That will be much cheaper, and it doesn’t take more than 30 minutes.
BABYMETAL-related things to do:
- Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse. First ever BABYMETAL performance on November 28th 2010.
- Club Citta. Where they played at the Summer Camp 2013 festival.
- Tower Records Yokohama. CD’s/DVD’s. At time has made homages to Yui.
- Cup Noodles Museum. Tells you the history of instant noodles. But also, here you can create your own noodle cup, and even your own noodles (requires reservations). also a nice place to try many different kinds of noodles.
- Ramen Musuem. History of ramen, as well as a place to try lots of different ramen.
- Kirin Beer Factory. Feature brewery tours (you can find English guides).
- Minato Mirai 21. Modern area on the bay, that looks amazing at night. Quite a few things to do here (shopping, museums, amusement park, high views, etc.). In this place, you have:
- Red Brick Warehouses. Where BABYMETAL held their first live performance. All reconverted from the old port that used to be here.
- Cosmo World. An amusement park. The famous ferris wheel that lights up is here.
- Nippon Maru and Yokohama Port Museum. A retired sailing ship and a museum on the bay.
- Tokyo (30~ minutes away/15 min by shinkansen). Not much to add here…
- Kamakura (40 minutes away). Historical town with many temples, shrines, and monuments. Also has plenty of beaches, which should be nice in late June.
- Nikko (2.5 hours away). Great for nature lovers. Also home of Japan’s most lavishly decorated shrine and the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate.
- Mount Fuji (2.5 hours away). Right around the start of July is when people can start climbing Mount Fuji. Be sure to take a look, it is not as daunting as it sounds!
The 2 most popular destinations to view Mount Fuji from are:
- Lake Kawaguchiko (2 hours away). With amazing views, places to eat, and a great amusement park. Unlike the rest of the destinations, this route may be best taken by bus.
- Hakone (1.3 hours away/45 min by shinkansen). Onsen, beautiful nature, and views of Mount Fuji.
Show: August, Saturday 17th
Venue: Zozo Marine Stadium & Makuhari Messe for Summer Sonic festival
Location. How to get there from:
- Tokyo Station: 25~ minutes train ride (Limited Express Wakashio) + 8 minute walk/¥1,060 or 30+ minutes train ride (JR line) + 8 minute walk/¥550
Venue map (from 2017) BABYMETAL likely plays on the Marine Stage (Zozo Marine Stadium)
Best place to stay at: Since the festival is an all-day thing, you might want to stay here the night before and after Saturday. but if wanting to stay more time in Tokyo, definitely choose a hotel in Tokyo, as it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to well over an hour to get here.
BABYMETAL-related things to do: The holy mecca of the Fox God, Tokyo can keep you busy for days with all the BM stuff to visit. Here are the top ones:
- Asagaya Shinmeigu shrine. Where they filmed the Megitsune MV.
- Trio. Best place to find old BABYMETAL (as well as Sakura Gakuin) merch. The main one is in Akihabara, and the 2nd best one is in Nagano (on the way to the Megitsune MV shrine).
- Fox God bar. An amazing BABYMETAL-themed bar.
- Tower Records. Shinjuku and Shibuya. CD’s/DVD’s and posters. Also where they have playedmany times when they were starting out.
- Oya Museum. Where they filmed the IDZ MV. Note: far away from Tokyo.
- Budokan. 2 of BABYMETAL’s most important shows. Near the Imperial Palace, the grounds themselves are beautiful, but the outer architecture is also gorgeous.
- Tokyo Dome. Take a look at where the biggest BABYMETAL show ever took place.
- Zepp DiverCity Tokyo. They have played many many times here.
Food: Tokyo is such a huge city, that it’s hard to list specific things. I’ll list some I have been to that I liked:
- Tsukuji Market. Until last year, the busiest fish market in the world (it has now moved over to Toyosu), but many places to eat at are still here.
- Tokyo Skytree restaurant. Amazing views from the 2nd tallest building in the world.
Other stuff to do: Again, too many place to list, these are my top places to visit:
- Akihabara. Otaku and electronic district.
- Shibuya. Shopping district, and home of the famous crossing.
- Tokyo Skytree. 2nd tallest building in the world.
- Asakusa. Home of the Kaminari Gate, and Nakamise, the shop street leading up to it, as well as Sensoji Temple.
- Tokyo Imperial Palace and Imperial Palace Grounds. Must visits.
- Ginza. I call it the “Rodeo drive” of Japan. Basically, some of the most expensive shopping you will find (but there are affordable shops, like the 12-story Uniqlo).
- Ueno Park. Huge park, also home of Tokyo’s National Museum
- Harajuku. Shopping district, where the famous Takeshita Dori street is.
Nearby cities: same as Yokohama.
Show: August, Friday 16th for Summer Sonic festival
Venue: Maishima Sonic Park
Location. How to get there from:
- Osaka/Umeda Station: 25~ minute subway ride (Midosuji Line and Chuo Line) + bus ride + walk/¥280
- Namba Station: 25~ minute subway ride (Midosuji Line and Chuo Line) + bus ride + walk/¥280
Venue map (from 2017) BABYMETAL likely plays on the Ocean Stage
Best place to stay at: Namba or Osaka/Umeda. It would take around 45 minutes to an hour to get to the venue. Sadly, there are no trains that reach the venue… Summer Sonic recommends getting off at Cosmo Square Station and taking the Summer Sonic Special shuttle bus.
BABYMETAL-related things to do:
- Honana. Teppanyaki restaurant with signatures on wall. The wall was signed on September 16th, 2015. This was the day of their 1st of 2 shows in Zepp Namba (very close venue).
- Dotombori. Picture taken on July 6th, 2012, a day before their first event in Osaka (first outside the Tokyo area).
- Tower Records Osaka/Umeda. CD’s/DVD’s
- Tower Records Namba. CD’s/DVD’s
Too many venues to list, check the BM map, I’ll only name the 2 “big” ones:
- Club Rockets. First event in Osaka (and outside Tokyo area), the release event of Head banger on July 7th, 2012. Closed down in 2016.
- Osaka-jo Hall. Yui’s last show. Also the first arena solo show in Japan outside Tokyo.
Osaka is famous for Teppanyaki (grilling on a metal plate). Not just seeing the chef doing it, but also cooking for yourself.
- Takoyaki: grilled octopus. A flour and egg based batter is cooked with a filling of octopus slices, pickled ginger and green onion, into small balls.
- Okonomiyaki (Osaka style): a pancake-like dish. Osaka style has shredded cabbage and a whole range of other ingredients such as squid, prawn, octopus or meat are mixed into a flour based batter and cooked before eaten with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, green laver (aonori) and dried bonito (katsuobushi).
- Kushikatsu: battered and deep fried pieces of food on skewers. Shinsekai is the best place to enjoy kushikatsu in a nostalgic Osaka atmosphere.
- Kitsune Udon: a simple dish of udon (thick wheat noodles) served in a hot soup with a piece of deep fried tofu (aburaage). The dish is named this way because fried tofu is believed to be a fox’s favorite.
- Krab, est eaten at Kani Doraku Dotombori Honten in Dotombori. This is where the girls had that picture taken.
- Minami/Namba. The most famous district in the city, where you will find the famous Dotonboru street.
- Osaka Castle. Gorgeous castle with a huge moat around it. This is where you will also find Osaka-jo Hall.
- Shitennoji Temple. One of Japan’s oldest temples, founded in 593 (first one built by the state).
- Shinsekai. Old district that has remained similar to how it was in before WW2. Great place to eat kushikatsu.
- Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. One of the best aquariums in Japan. Is quite beautiful on the outside, as well.
Nearby cities: Similar to Nagoya, plus:
- Kobe (20 minutes away). Kobe beef! The bay is also gorgeous.
- Himeji (30 minutes away). One of the only remaining original Japanese castles. It is absolutely gorgeous, and definitely a must see. It can be a stop on your way to Hiroshima.
- Hiroshima (1.5 hours away). Suzuka’s hometown has tons of places to visit related to her. But of course, a famous city for the bombing that occurred there, you can visit the Peace Museum and Peace Memorial Park. Also Hiroshima Castle (right in front of the Green Arena, where LEGEND S happened). Also less than an hour away, in the bay is Miyajima Island, definitely a must visit with it’s floating tori gate.
- Of course these are my recommendations, other people can have others, and I encourage them to share 🙂
- The cities were listed in the order I believe most people would visit/go to.
- Most info/links are to Japan Guide (the best website in my opinion for Japan info).
- Times between cities are the fastest train routes.