Wednesdays, at Nanzan University, are days where everyone gets out of class early. I don't know why, but I'm not going to question it because I love it! On these days I usually try to find new places to go, new places to eat, and make it back home somewhat early so I can finish all my homework for the next day.
Last Wednesday I got to come back earlier than usual, got sucked into the neverending YouTube vortex, and ended up watching music videos. Somehow, in one of the comments, someone mentioned that the recording artist, 水曜日のカンパネラ, was going to be in Nagoya that night. It was already 10 PM by that time so the concert was well over, but I looked up her tour schedule, and it turned out that she would be in Osaka the next Wednesday! I'd never been to Osaka before, and I didn't even know how far away it was, but I immediately bought a ticket anyways since I love 水曜日 so much.
Ticket buying is actually frustratingly difficult here - I couldn't read the website since it was so complicated, so I had to ask my Japanese friend Yukimi (thank you again, Yukimi!!!) to help me with it. She recommended that I take a bus there and the shinkansen to maximize the speed to cost ratio, so she helped me do that online too. I didn't know what time the concert would end, so I decided to just buy a 10:30 PM shinkansen ticket so I could stay as long as possible.
Actually getting there wasn't so bad. The bus was really comfortable, even though it took three hours to get there. I was stressing out the whole time because I was going alone (no one else likes the same music as I do, unfortunately), I was going to a new place, I didn't know anything about what Japanese concerts are like. I ended up walking through some pretty scary and unlit areas since I trust Google Maps wholeheartedly, and overall was just ready to die by the end of the night.
It all turned out okay though! I'm obviously still alive, since I'm writing this. The concert was in this big concert hall called Namba Hatch, which I only recognized because I saw it once on a list called "Buildings That Look Like Villain Headquarters." It was super embarrassing trying to get there because I couldn't find the door for it. If any readers try to go there in the future, you have to climb UP the big flight of stairs first before you see the door! I walked into an entrance for truck drivers only, so... Don't do that. Concertgoers are allowed into the hall by the number you're assigned on your ticket by order of purchase; I was 1427 out of around 1500, so I had to stand outside in the cold for almost an hour. Immediately after you go in there is a huge table where they sell band goods, which would have been dangerous if they hadn't already sold out most things before I got there.
Some of the only things they had left for me to buy :-(
The concert itself was amazing. The singer of 水曜日のカンパネラ made her entrance through the very door I was standing by, so she actually gave me a side hug before continuing to the stage! She played every single song I'd wanted to hear, she told us a bunch of her life stories, she let all the short girls (AKA me! I'm 5'0" exactly) come to the front of the crowd. The best part is when she played her song "Momotaro", which is based on the Japanese folktale of Momotaro. Momotaro was born from a peach floating on the water, so she also "floated" through the crowd in a giant plastic hamster ball. What an absolutely transcendent experience to have been so closely connected like that!!
The most surprising thing to me was how soon it ended. Usually when I go to shows in America I can usually count on hanging around for 3 hours at the very least, but the show actually only lasted around 1.5 hours. After it ended, everyone immediately exited the hall (really orderly, too!) and headed towards the station in a huge wave. I actually had run out of battery on my phone and had no way of finding the station again by myself, so this was an absolute Godsend. Because it ended so much earlier than I expected, I was left with 3 hours in Osaka, during which I just walked along Dotonbori (one of the main areas in Osaka, also conveniently right next to Namba Hatch) and ate something from nearly every other food stall until I reached the station. Osaka food is actually incredible!!!!! I'm actually quite sad that I was only able to enjoy it for a few hours before I had to go home, but at least you guys will never have to read another blog post about how I feel "settled in a routine," because I am definitely coming back if I can make the time.
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<p>Hi, I'm Millie! I'm a Southern California native currently studying Critical Social Thought and Asian Pacific American Studies at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. I love film, art history, and the Food Network - join me as I eat my way across Japan (and hopefully learn some things along the way).</p>