If there is one artist in this world that I would like to see live in concert – it is definitely Utada Hikaru from Japan. I have been dreaming of this since I saw her concerts and TV performances online.
Cebu Pacific Air held a Pisofare Seat Sale back in December 2017 and I booked for a November 2018 flight to Tokyo hoping the concert would fall on the dates I selected. Unfortunately, it was 2 weeks far from my chosen dates. She’ll be in Osaka and I’ll be in Tokyo. I tried re-booking and the airfare almost tripled. Taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka and going back would be expensive as well so I had no choice but just to book a new flight to Tokyo.
All that sorted out and paid too BUT I still don’t have a ticket to her concert. I thought obtaining a ticket was only a few clicks away. Little did I know that it would be lottery style. The Hatsukoi album pre-order contained codes for the lottery so those who purchased gets to be drawn first. Thanks to my friend Nini for giving me a code.
The process was very thorough – it feels like applying for a professional job or a government ID lol. A decent picture needs to be submitted that follows their standard as well as some personal information. You can then choose 3 dates/venues and one of those will be the one you can attend to – if you win. Below is my application details/history:
I chose Makuhari Messe as primary mainly because it will be the final stop which will be filmed for TV/DVD release. Saitama Super Arena was the secondary because it is the Utada United 2006 venue. Both of which are in Tokyo.
Once application has been submitted – the waiting game begins. I’ve been checking the website as well as chatting with friends who applied for tickets for updates and plans. One day, I got a text message that my card was charged and it was the price of a ticket for two! I was selected at the first draw and for the final show at Makuhari Messe! Sadly though, I was the only one among my UH circle to win. Fast forward, my friends all won and obtained tickets from the general lottery draws. Kami-sama arigato! ❤
What a ticket! Too bad it’s only digital and there’s no official printed copy.
We were back in Tokyo as early as December 5 and originally planned to go to Saitama Super Arena hoping we could score some tickets. The plan never came to fruition though since we have different itineraries and the rest of the team were flying on different dates. We spent the days touring Tokyo. Good times!
Fast forward to the date – December 9, 2018 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan – Utada Hikaru will be performing the finale of Laughter in the Dark Tour 2018.
We woke up a bit late that morning since the tour is at 7PM. We thought of heading early to Chiba and explore the area but they said that we might be too tired for the concert. Point taken. Nini gave us some sticky notes and each of us wrote our messages for Hikaru. Below is my simple message which I hoped reached her. 🙂
We left Asakusabashi at 2PM and then headed to MakuhariHongo Station in Chiba which was an hour of train ride. Grabbed a few snacks from Lawson and then boarded the bus to Makuhari Messe. I was enthralled with the city – it gave me the feeling of being in the future or a different world.
We went straight ahead to the venue and saw the early birds taking picture of the signage. Of course we’ll never miss the opportunity too.
We then stepped inside and Hatsukoi album was playing – I felt goosebumps run through me and almost brought me to tears. I even thought she was rehearsing lol. The fans have brought flowers and one was Kuma-shaped too! So much love for Hikaru! ❤ Everyone here was busy picture taking.
We arrived early giving Lara and Nini more time to shop for some tour merchandise. Lara gave me a Laughter in the Dark Tour scarf, thank you Lara! ❤ We then met with Renj and had group pictures. After their shopping, we then finalized – had our meds taken for stomachache, for headache, for colds, for whatsoever because we should be on top condition and on DO NOT DISTURB mode.
At around 5:30PM we were all instructed to go the entrance where we will be presenting the ticket as well as undergoing the facial recognition. It was so fast and convenient. I really can’t believe I’ll be seeing Hikaru in the next few minutes. Around 6:45 PM, my urinary bladder was acting up – not really bad but better let it go so I don’t have anything to worry about. Still 15 minutes before the show, I ran to the comfort room and was surprised with the queue. Like every male concert-goer is there and there’s only 1 comfort room to accommodate everyone. This was the only rant I have about the venue/management. I fought for a few minutes but at 6:55 PM, I gave up and went back to my seat. Luckily it never bothered me again lol.
Few minutes past 7PM, they turned off the lights and an announcement was made. The lights resumed and everyone applauded then finally, Hikaru surfaced and graced the stage.
ANATA was the first song and from there I was already crying with goosebumps all over. DREAMS DO COME TRUE! I still can’t believe Hikaru is performing and I’m so lucky to be a part of this concert.
TRAVELING has been performed since Hikaru’s 2004 Budokan Concert and truth be told this song is not a favorite of mine. The song grew so much in me during this performance specially when she inserted “Makuhari Messe” in the lyrics and the crowd went crazy. I was captivated. I have been craving for Traveling since then because I felt that I am “Makuhari Messe” – at least part of it you know. PS: the namesake of this blog was from the this song 😉
COLORS was overlapping Traveling and the crowd was raving. The song was beautifully arranged specially when Hikaru soloed the
Prisoner of Love
Kiss and Cry
Manatsu no Tooriame
Hanataba wo Kimi ni
Play A Love Song
Ore no Kanojo