I got to Taisho station a around 9:20 due to taking the train in the wrong direction at first. It’s a short walk to Kyocera Dome from there.
There were a lot of people in line already. I joined when it was around gate 6.
Although I knew there were children attending these events, actually seeing how many there were was still surprising. Two girls in front of me were with their mom and had a cute little handmade gift bag for Mariko.
The line started to move at a decent pace at around 9:45. I probably got into the actual venue at 10:15. I met up with another S48 poster. My mini live seat was in the 19th row. I couldn’t see the members clearly on stage at all, but there was a big screen above it.
The set list was Managuu followed by Ebikachu. Then, there was a break for muchaburi. It was some onigiri making contest. Miorin’s split into three before she could wrap it. Mayuyu’s had some sort of bug on it. Ricchan tried to fit a takoyaki in, but one side wouldn’t close. The last two songs were Sayokuro and Tenohira ga Aru Koto.
Surprise announcement from Togasaki for the next janken tournament.
The attending KKS made an appearance, which included Miichan and Kaotan. OJS48 also went on and sang a song.
There was a lot of down time between the start of handshakes and my ticket number, so I looked at the official goods store. It was a climb up vertically through nine floors before walking along a very long section of the dome to get to the stands. Many things were already sold out so I just got a Sayokuro Jurina towel. There were also many people selling their own AKB stuff, where I bought an older Acchan uchiwa.
2:37 First ticket was around 16000. Takamina’s lane.
“Hello from Chicago!”
She made a surprised face and said “Oooh!” Only after I walked out did I realize I was looking down at Takamna when I spoke to her.
I was not at all prepared for Annin before her though. I felt bad for not saying anything.
The break happened at around 3:30, which is also when I got lunch. The KKS there had an appeal section where each member was allowed 30 seconds. Kaotan did the splits and mentioned something about Akarin. Another girl, Ayaka, I think, played the trumpet to the chorus of Sayokuro, which was impressive. Miichan sang an excerpt from a song whose name I cannot remember right now.
4:29 Very late since I only exchanged my other tickets after the mini live. Five consecutive numbers around 42000. Nattsun.
“Hello from America!” No reaction. Ganbatte to Kojiharu before I was pushed out.
4:42 Pretty much shoved through Minarun, Ricchan, and Miorin.
“Hello from Chicago!” again. I really could not think of anything else to say to Minarun. “Washington DC concert ha mimashita.” Ricchan looked really freaked out when I spoke English to Minarun. Miorin I barely got to glance at before being pushed out again.
4:53 Mayuyu and Miyupon’s lane. “Hello from Chicago!” to Mayuyu. “Oh! Thank you!” and a wide eye reaction. Good job for actually being able to react, Mayuyu!To Miyupon, “Ganbatte!” Got shoved out.
4:59 Takamina again.
“Ganbatte!” Annin is really dead tired by now.
“Washington DC mimashita!” Another “Oh!” reaction again, but less surprised. By now, everybody is very tired. They’ve been handshaking for the past four hours with one short break.
5:06 Last ticket, for Takamina the third time around.
“Mou ikkai, ganbatte,” to Annin.
“Last time, thank you from Chicago!” Takamina kept eye contact with me as I was shoved out.
For my first handshake experience, it went well. I don’t look Caucasian, so I am assumed to be Japanese, which caused more than one delayed reaction. I also met Mayuyu, which I wasn’t originally planning on. If I can wn a theater show, I think my trip will be complete.
A big thank you to justanotherwota and arupakas for sending tickets my way. This would not have been possible without you. Thank you so much.