Buying Tickets in Japan

Monday, 6 October 2008

***UPDATED***
Just before you read on, the easiest and ONLY place I know to buy tickets over the counter in Japan is in Korakuen Hall. It is on the 5th floor and they have people speaking English too!

***My Original post***

Had a bit of time today, it is really quiet so I thought I would take some time to do something I have been wanting to do for a while.

The most common question I get is how to buy tickets. I REALLY wish I was able to help with this, but previous attempts in doing so have left me out of pocket...

I really want to help with this, and have come to the conclusion that the best way is to let you arrange it yourself. Therefore, I have written this guide and hope it will be useful from some of you at least.

First off, buying a ticket in Japan without having any knowledge of the language can be a bit tricky. But with determination you will get there.

The easy way, if you are visiting for a short time:
If you're visiting here, you might have to rely on buying a ticket at the door. If you are here a week in advance you should be able to get the ticket in advance though. The shows are rarely sold out, especially if you want the more expensive tickets, but it does happen. Normally they start selling tickets at the door about 2 hours before the doors open (Some times 1 hour). For DREAM and Sengoku you might want to line up a bit before that, better safe than sorry.

That's the easy way…

What if you want to make sure you have the tickets before going to the arena? Here are a couple of ways to get tickets for the other organizations.

This is the way most tickets are sold:

-Go to the organization web-site and find the event you would like to watch. Like this link:
Shooto Tradition 4: http://www.x-shooto.jp/schedule/detail/2008/081129/index.html
Pancrase Oct. 26: http://www.pancrase.co.jp/tour/2008/1026/index.html

At the bottom of the page there are a list of phone numbers. These are ticket vendors.

-Call them up. You would be lucky to get a person that speaks English and this will most likely have to be done in Japanese. I would suggest asking the front desk at your hotel or a friend if they can be help. You will get a reference number, make sure you also know where you can pick up the tickets (most likely FamilyMart, AMPM or Lawson).

-Bring this reference number to the convenience store.

-Some shops require you to call again from a dedicated phone in the store. You will be able to do this with simple Japanese. If you don’t know any Japanese, ask for help. Hopefully there will be a nice store clerk that will help you out. It is helpful to bring a printout of the page in point 1.

-FamilyMart has a machine you enter the reference number in. It requires that you read Japanese, but a store clerk is much more likely to help you with this. The phone number for this is Ticket Pia (チケットぴあ) (get the hotel lobby to call for you). You can use Ticket Pia for most of the organizations.

-Pay and receive your tickets at the counter, notice that you don’t pay until here. If you are unsuccessful in the process before this, you lose nothing.

Another option:
-This might be easier depending on where you are. I have only used once myself, but it worked. If you go to Korakuen hall (I am planning to get directions posted later, might take me a while though). You can go to the 4th floor, there is a small ticket office there. They have tickets to some events, at least the Korakuen ones. It gives you the option to buy over the counter and you would also be able to look at a seating chart. I am not sure of the opening hours and I might have been lucky the one time I did it, but it might be worth a try.

Hopefully that answers some questions

4 comments:

Anonymous,  19 October 2008 at 10:27  

I always buy my tickets from Korakuen Hall ticket office the day I arrive in Tokyo. It's quite easy (I don't speak Japanese) too, just ask for the event (or have a flyer/poster to point to), then they will show you a map and you pick your seat of choice. I bought a ticket from a LAWSONS machine once for PRIDE and got a dud seat up the back.

Great site!! - Juggs

JapanMMA 19 October 2008 at 13:16  

Thanks for that!

Good advise, I have only done it once, but it would be the easiest for tourists.

Leuber 22 May 2009 at 15:50  

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

I'll be going for Japan in two days and I'm trying to get a ticket for DREAM9. This was just the information I needed. Thanks!

Borre 22 May 2009 at 17:50  

Be aware that they stop selling a few days before. In that case you can get them by the door, they start selling a few hours before the event.

Let me know how it goes! I dont expect DREAM 9 to sell out, but it should be a very entertaining event.

Wish I was going...

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