After months of no shows due to obvious circumstances, we have finally got news of the next BABYMETAL shows to be held with fans!
We don’t know yet many of the specifics, but we do know a few key things: There will be 10 shows, they will be in 2021, and most importantly, they will be at Budokan in Tokyo, Japan.
I have already received many messages with questions from people wanting to go to the shows, so I will make this show-specific guide, as I have done for other large shows in the past. I will update this guide later with more specific info regarding tickets and seasonal information once they announce them. They said this will be right after the December 12th livestream show.
At the moment it’s impossible for foreigners to enter Japan due to local regulations forbidding entry to non-residents, but this will likely change in the near future, especially with the impending Olympics for late July, which were delayed from this year.
Update: adding more recent news regarding the topic, thanks to gorthaur:
Japanese news is indicating that anyone seeking to enter on a tourism visa once that type of travel is allowed to resume will require two things:
1. You will be required to provide proof of covid19 vaccination and/or you will be required to undergo a PCR test 72 hours before your departure and also upon your arrive in Japan at your expense.
2. Also, anyone entering Japan on a tourism visa will be required to purchase medical insurance from an authorized agency in Japan.
Discussions are still ongoing and the precise requirements may change but it will most certainly not be the same entry procedures for tourists as in the past.
Please note that these are my recommendations from my past experiences and from others. I encourage everyone to do their own research.
Link to a full Japan travel guide I made
In this guide I will offer a more condensed version with key info for this show, so I will not cover Sim Cards, or specific information to cities outside Tokyo.
How Long to Travel
Japan has no shortage of things to offer travelers. One could really stay a year and still find new things. But most of us of course can’t stay that long, so here is a general recommendation based on how long you can stay:
- 1 Week or less: I’d recommend staying in Tokyo and venturing out on a day trip, but not much more (especially for first visitor).
- 2 Weeks: I’d recommend one week or so in Tokyo, and another in the Kansai region (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, etc.).
- 3 Weeks or more: you can add more areas, such as Hiroshima, the Kyushu island, or Hokkaido.
You can do more or less cities, it really depends on what your preferences are. I myself have travelled for 2 weeks before in which I did Hiroshima, Himeji, Kansai Region, and Tokyo, meanwhile I have friends that have stayed 3 weeks in Tokyo.
I believe 2 weeks to be the sweet spot, especially if you are travelling from far away.
Tokyo has 2 main airports:
- Narita: the main international airport. About 1 hour away from Tokyo
- Haneda: the main domestic airport, but it does have international flights. About 30~40 minutes away from Tokyo.
Both airports offer ample public transportation options. Haneda is the preferred option for most, but it has less availability and is sometimes more expensive.
Where to book? I personally search on Google Flights, local travel company websites, and directly on the airline websites. I tend to end up booking on the airline websites directly, as that has almost always been the best price for me, and allowed me to manage the flight as I want.
Many disagree with me, but my main rule is to not necessarily stay where the venue is. This is because it is often more expensive due to higher demand around the show dates, and because they tend to be in bad areas (mostly lacking things to do). This venue is one of the exceptions.
The venue is centrally located inside Tokyo, surrounded by a beautiful park. A short walking distance is the Tokyo Imperial Palace, and Imperial Palace Garden, as well as Chidorigafuchi, which looks amazing with the cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Sadly, it may not be easy to find accommodations near as there aren’t a ton of options nearby.
If not where the venue is, then where? All of the stations on or within the Yamanote line are a short train ride/walk away. If you want to be 1 train hop away, then the Tokyo, Shinjuku, and Shibuya station areas are good areas to stay at with ample accommodation options (and stuff to do!). Likewise, the Tokyo Dome City area is only a 15-20 minute walk away.
Where to book? Most international hotel websites are fine (Booking, Hotels, etc.). In Japan you should also check Agoda. Airbnb is more restrictive now because of a law implemented in 2018, but it’s still a good option sometimes.
We still have no precise information regarding tickets. What we do know is that there will be THE ONE lotteries, and that current (2020) members will be able to enter at least one.
I would recommend any fan wanting to go to these shows to become a THE ONE member. Not necessarily now as the membership ends March 31st, and if these shows are spread out and some are later in the year, then it’s possible the current membership might not include lotteries to those shows.
I’ll leave you my general guides regarding this topic.
Transportation Inside Tokyo
Subways, trains, and walking will be your main transportation method in and around Tokyo. There are buses and taxis, but there are so many trains that it’s unlikely these will be faster (in the case of taxi’s, they also cost a ton).
- Get an IC card. This is a must. This rechargeable card is pay-as-you-go. It is used for public transportation, as well as vending machines and even some shops (definitely recommend using it unless you like carrying tons of coins). You can get them at any station at the automatic machines (they offer English language).
- Tokyo Subway Ticket (24 hours: ¥800, 48 hours: ¥1200, 72 hours: ¥1500): This would be in addition to the IC card. It’s not necessary, but might be useful if you are going to use subways a lot. It offers unlimited use of all subway lines (Toei and Tokyo Metro), but not 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).
- 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. Though if you plan no visiting other areas as well (Kyoto, Hiroshima, etc.), then I’d recommend getting the full Japan Rail Pass.
We don’t know the precise dates yet, but this is what each season is like in Tokyo:
- Winters are cold with little rain (it may snow)
- Springs are mild. In late March/early April is cherry blossom season!)
- Summers are hot and humid.
- Fall it still rains a lot. In late October/November Fall colors appear.
Summer, specific times in Spring (Cherry Blossom, golden Week) and Winter (holidays) are the most expensive. Likewise, mid-Summer and Winter are not very pleasant for walking around too much, but there are events exclusive to these times.
Venue: Nippon Budokan
Budokan is very important for BABYMETAL, not just because the importance of the venue itself in Japanese history, but also because they played 2 shows here (Red Night and Black Night) in early 2014 which were the shows to launch their first album, as well as to “depart” for their first World Tour.
Location: As I said before, it is located very centrally in Tokyo, so it is close to most places. The nearest station, just a 3 or so minute walk away, is Kudanshita Station. There are 3 subway lines passing through it: the Tozai, Hanzomon, and Shinjuku Lines.
How to get there from some of the large stations:
- Tokyo Station: 4~ minute train ride (Tozai Line) + 5 minute walk/¥170
- Shinjuku Station: 9~ minute train ride (Shinjuku Line) + 3 minute walk/¥220
- Shibuya Station: 12~ minute train ride (Hanzomon Line) + 3 minute walk/¥200
- Ueno Station: Several ways to go. On average a 15~ minute train ride with 1 transfer for ¥170
- Akihabara Station: Several ways, this is possibly the simplest: 5~ minute train ride (Shinjuku Line) + 10~15 minute walk/¥180
BABYMETAL Related Locations In Tokyo
The holy mecca of the FOX GOD, Tokyo can keep you busy for days with all the BM stuff to visit.
Close to Budokan:
Top locations in Tokyo:
- 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.
- Rock-May-Kan: the venue where BABYMETAL played their first solo show, and where they will play a livestream show this December.
BABYMETAL Map with all these locations, and more!
Other Things To Do In Tokyo
- Tokyo Imperial Palace and Imperial Palace Grounds: Very close to Budokan and certain must visits.
- Akihabara: Otaku and electronic district.
- Meiji Shrine: dedicated to Emperor Meiji.
- 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.
- Ginza: I call it the “Rodeo drive” of Japan. Basically, some of the most expensive shopping you will find. Buy there are affordable shops, like the 12-story Uniqlo, which I never fail to visit. I also recommend Itoya, a large stationary store (never seen as much variety of pens, paper, and more as I have there).
- Ueno Park: Huge park, also home of Tokyo’s National Museum
- Harajuku: Shopping district, where the famous Takeshita Dori street is.
- Tsukiji Market: the actual market closed in 2018 and moved to Toyosu, but many of the great places to eat are still here.
- Tokyo DisneySea: One of 2 Disney parks here. Rated by many as the best Disney park in the world.
- Food: Tokyo is the place if you want to eat. If you think of a type of food, they surely have a restaurant offering it here.
Please note these are just some of the things to do in Tokyo. There is much more stuff to do!
Nearby Cities (Day Trips)
- 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.
- Mount Fuji (2.5 hours away): Definitely recommend visiting Lake Kawaguchi for gorgeous views (like this one I took).
- 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.
- Kamakura (1 hour away): Historical town with many temples, shrines, and monuments. Also has plenty of beaches, which should be nice in late June.
Rest of Japan
For me, a trip to Japan is not complete unless I visit Kyoto and Hiroshima. Other cities I really recommend are Nara, Nagoya, Himeji, and Osaka. These are all easily accessible from the main Tokaido Shinkansen line. I have yet to visit other cities such as Fukuoka, Matsue/Izumo, Sapporo, or Naha in Okinawa, but plan to do so when possible.
If you are a Suzuka fan, then Hiroshima is a great city to visit. She is proud that people are getting to know more about the city because of her. For Moa fans, then Nagoya is the city to visit, though she doesn’t talk about the city as much, there is one thing that makes complete sense here: it has some of the best food in the country.
Regarding travel between cities, unless it’s too long, the best option tends to be the shinkansen (bullet trains). For those longer distances a flight is the best option. Do check as there are discount prices available for foreigners. If you are on a budget, a highway bus may make more sense, though they are the slowest option.
There are many different “passes” for each city/region, with varying prices and restrictions, so be sure to check them out. This is a list of regional passes.
I hope you got most of your questions answered. If you have any questions or comments regarding this feel free to message me (either on this website or any of my social media).