Like I did for the Yokohama Arena and LEGEND M shows in June/July, and the upcoming Summer Sonic shows in August, this is a guide for the shows in November in Saitama (Tokyo area), and Osaka. I hope this helps fans thinking about going!
Here is a general guide I made, which will have much more than here, but here are a few related to these shows.
Flights: First, remember that Saitama is very near to Tokyo, they don’t have an airport. Tokyo has 2 airports; Narita, which is the main international airport and likely the cheapest/most available, and Haneda, the main domestic airport, but that does have international flights. Haneda is much closer, so if you can go with that one. For Osaka, KIX is the international airport, but as with Haneda, it has much less flights than Narita, so it may make more sense to fly there and then 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: Here is info on the first lottery running July 23rd – July 28th. Sadly if you are not a THE ONE member, you cannot order the required T-shirt from the store until it’s over. But there may be a 2nd THE ONE lottery for foreigners (note: there was none for Yokohama Arena/LEGEND M, but those shows had much less time from announcement to the shows). General info on BABYMETAL shows/tickets in Japan.
Inter-city/Intra-city transportation: In most 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.). Regarding travel between cities, unless it’s not long (or too long), the best option tends to be the shinkansen (bullet trains). But, they are expensive, so a highway bus may make more sense if you have a tighter budget.
There are many many different “passes” for each city/region, with varying prices and restrictions, so be sure to check them out. I will list a few below for each city. This is a list of regional passes.
Also check flights, 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: In November, Japan will be in late Fall. The weather in Tokyo and Osaka is relatively dry and mild during this time, and also the best month to catch the autumn colors (you can get more info here). Do note if you go far north of Japan (to Sapporo, for example), it can get very cold. Likewise if you go south to Okinawa, it will be much hotter, so pack accordingly.
Shows: November, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th
Venue: Saitama Super Arena
Capacity: 20000 (Arena configuration) – 37000 (Stadium configuration). BABYMETAL has always used the arena configuration at their shows.
Location. How to get there from:
- Tokyo Station: 30~ minute train ride (JR Takasaki or JR Utsunomiya line) + 5 minute walk/¥470
- Ueno Station: 23~ minute train ride (JR Takasaki or JR Utsunomiya line) + 5 minute walk/¥470 or 30+ minute train ride (JR line) + 8 minute walk/¥550
- Shinjuku Station: 40~ minute train ride (Saikyo line) + 5 minute walk/¥470 or 30~ minute train ride (Saikyo line and Utsunomiya line) + 5 minute walk/¥470
Best place to stay at: Saitama doesn’t have much to do, so I generally recommend staying in Tokyo. Ueno is the closest to Saitama while still being in Tokyo (and on the Yamanote line loop), and only requires 1 train ride there. It’s also a pretty big station/area with lots to do.
- Tokyo Subway Ticket (24 hours: ¥800, 48 hours: ¥1200, 72 hours: ¥1500): Unlimited use of all subway lines (Toei and Tokyo Metro). Not valid on JR trains. The pass is sold at Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, ticket offices at some major subway stations, and selected Bic Camera and Yamada Denki electronic stores in central Tokyo to foreign tourists only (passport required). Furthermore, it is sold to both foreign tourists and residents of Japan through selected travel agencies outside of the Kanto Region.
- JR Tokyo Wide Pass (3 days: ¥10000): unlimited travel on JR trains (including shinkansen and limited express trains) and selected non-JR trains in the Kanto Region, but not subways. Useful if planning to visit destinations near Tokyo, like Nikko, Mount Fuji, etc.
BABYMETAL-related things to do in and around Tokyo: 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 played many times when they were starting out.
- Oya Museum. Where they filmed the IDZ MV. Note: far away from Tokyo.
Top venues in 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 2018, 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.
- The Railway Museum: An amazing place if you like/are interested in trains. 20~ minutes away (2 train rides) from the venue.
- Hiwaka shrine: 30~ minute walk from the venue (similar time if taking train and bus)
- Omiya Bonsai Village: 20~ minutes by train and walking from the venue.
Other stuff to do in Tokyo: 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 Doristreet is.
- Yokohama (30~ minutes away/15 min by shinkansen). Known mostly for Minato Mirai 21, it’s modern area on the bay. Home of the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, where the first ever BABYMETAL performance took place on November 28th 2010. You’d be visiting close to the 9th anniversary!
- Nikko (2.5 hours away/1.5 by shinkansen). 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). It would be closed to climbing in November, but one of the best time for views. Definitely recommend visiting Lake Kawaguchi.
- Kamakura (1 hour away). Historical town with many temples, shrines, and monuments. Also has plenty of beaches, which should be nice in late June.
Shows: November, Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st
Venue: Osaka-Jo Hall
Location. How to get there from:
- Osaka/Umeda Station: 10~ minute train ride (Osaka Loop Line) + 5 minute walk/¥160
- Namba Station: 10~ minute walk to Nipponbashi station + 35~ minute subway ride (Sakaisuji Line and Nagahoritsurumiryokuchi Line) + 10 minute walk/¥230
- Kyoto Station: 30~ minute train ride (Tokaido-Sanyo Line Special Rapid) + 10 minute~ train ride (Osaka Loop Line) + 5 minute walk/¥800 or 13~ minute shinkansen ride + 13 minute~ train ride (Tokaido-Sanyo Line and Osaka Loop Line) + 5 minute walk/¥3460 (may be faster and make economic sense if you have a JR Pass)
Pictures from their 2017 show, BIG FOX FESTIVAL (last Yui show/public appearance):
Best place to stay at: Namba or Osaka/Umeda are the most common places to stay in Osaka. It would take around 15-30 minutes to get to the venue. Staying in Kyoto might not be a bad option either if you prefer to stay around there and not change hotels, just try to be close to Kyoto Station.
- Osaka Amazing Pass (1-day: ¥2700, 2-days: ¥3600): unlimited use of subways and city buses within Osaka City, plus free admission to many of Osaka’s popular tourist attractions. The one-day pass additionally covers non-JR trains in central Osaka. Sales locations include tourist information centers and travel agencies
- Osaka One-Day Enjoy Eco Card (¥800 on weekdays, ¥600 on weekends and public holidays): Unlimited use of subways, city buses and the New Tram (but excluding the OTS Line). The pass also provides discounts on admission to designated sightseeing spots. It can be purchased at subway stations and kiosks.
- The Kansai One Pass is a special version of ICOCA (local IC card) that additionally qualifies for discounts at various attractions in the Kansai Region. It is available for sale at Kansai Airport and major railway stations in the Kansai Region.
- JR Kansai Area Pass (1 day: ¥2200 – 4 days: ¥6300). Unlimited JR line trains as well as buses. Also available as 2 and 3 day passes. May make sense if travelling to nearby cities (Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, Himeji).
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:
- Osaka-jo Hall (the one you are going to!) Yui’s last show and public appearance on October 15th, 2017. Also the first arena solo show in Japan outside Tokyo.
- 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 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. Right next to the venue! Gorgeous castle with a huge moat around it.
- 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.
- Kyoto (15-30 minutes away). Japan’s previous capital. Too much stuff to list. A must visit.
- Kobe (20 minutes away). Kobe beef! The bay is also gorgeous.
- Nara (30-45 minutes away) Japan’s first capital. Lots of deer and building’s more than 1000 years old.
- Himeji (30 minutes/1 hour 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.
- Ise (2-2.5 hours away). One of the most sacred shrine’s in Japan.
- Of course these are my recommendations, other people can have others, and I encourage them to share 🙂
- Most info/links are to Japan Guide (the best website in my opinion for Japan info).