Photo: Jane Pipkin

How to be a K-pop fan in Tokyo


In the last few years, Korean-pop (often shortened to K-pop), has really become a global phenomenon. Unsurprisingly, this music genre has always been popular in Japan given that it feels familiar and shares similarities to its own idol culture. For the most part, after a group has found success in Korea, their next goal is to find success in Japan. That’s why Japan is seen as one of the best places to be a committed K-pop fan as idols often promote themselves here.

If you live in Tokyo or have just moved, you are in luck! It is arguably the best place in Japan to be a committed K-pop fan as most of the concerts and events happen here. In this guide, we will be giving a rundown of the best ways you can be a part of the fandom here.

Join a fan club

K-pop groups and idols often come to Japan for fan signs and tours, especially because many groups have Japanese members. However, getting to go to even just one of these events is not as easy as you may think. Given that Japan has one of the biggest K-pop fanbases in the world, there is stiff competition to try and see your favorite idol or group in person.

If there is a group that you want to see live in Japan, your best bet is to join their official fan club. To join, you will have to pay a membership fee but by doing so, you get several fan benefits such as exclusive merchandise in addition to the chance to get your hands on concert tickets. However, it should be noted that you are not instantly guaranteed tickets by joining the fan club. You are just automatically put into a lottery to win some alongside other hopeful superfans.

Here are some of the biggest K-pop fan clubs in Japan:

Click here to read more.

© Savvy Tokyo

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No, thanks...

6 ( +12 / -6 )

I am sure the best way to be a fan of something is to listen to it, watch it or just enjoy it anyway you can.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

K pop is great. I love Twice.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I just don't get the appeal of K-pop. Japan has a surfeit of commercialized pop already: why import even more?

Commercialized pop is soul-less, made for the express purpose of making money, and encourages the exploitation of young people. By that I don't just mean sexual exploitation, as per the Johnny's (and many other companies) scandal, but the general practice of working kids to exhaustion, paying them a pittance compared to what the company receives, and controling every aspect of their lives. It's akin to indentured labor, and there's no way I'd let any child of mine do it.

The industry is thoroughly awful, and anyone who feeds it with their money/support should be ashamed of themselves.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

J-pop is crap whereas K-Pop isn’t.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

J-pop is crap whereas K-Pop isn’t.

To some of us, they are both crap.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

To some of us, they are both crap

I concur.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

J-pop is crap whereas K-Pop isn’t

I heard some J-pop fans say that the charm of J-pop is that it’s more amateurish than K-Pop. It has a boy/girl next door appeal. They know they aren’t following generational pop talents like Michael Jackson.

Maybe it’s a bit like watching high school or college sports rather than the pros for some.

I wouldn’t listen to or follow either but I do follow a crap pro football team.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

JimizoToday 11:47 am JST

I heard some J-pop fans say that the charm of J-pop is that it’s more amateurish than K-Pop. It has a boy/girl next door appeal.

Interesting insight, thanks.

In any case, the entire industry (all countries) is abominable. People should think long and hard before giving their money/support to something so toxic.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I heard some J-pop fans say that the charm of J-pop is that it’s more amateurish than K-Pop.

There does appear to be a fetishisation of the amateur in Japanese culture. Since a consolidation of power to a handful of entertainment companies in the early eighties, combined with the health of the domestic market, the creative industry has narrowed output to depressingly formulaic product.

K-pop is, of course, just as formulaic but the product is, by every measure, better. Choreography, fashion, music production, concert and video production and marketing are all light years ahead of J-pop.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

One man's trash is another man's treasure.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I used to listen to K-pop. It is samey and mass-produced, and the industry is rife with sexual favors and gapjil. I don't listen to it anymore.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

NO THANKS, I'll stick with the Blues, Country, some jazz, and G O Rock. Arigato.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Just visit Shin Okubo and you're pretty much a Kpop fan. Went this time last year and was shocked by the ghastly crowds of young ones o. Their idol garb.

My missuss said "ain't they got no 'ohms to go to , eh?" And I says "why eye pet, ought to K-pop than ponse on stage, man"

We finished the evening with some yakiniku and a walk by the railway lines.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No thank you. They work more on selling their bodies, clothes and make-ups rather than their voice and talent. Plastic surgery clinics are their biggest sponsors probably. All of them look the same.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I some times watch the female groups like Blackpink...etc....and even watched a long video of them from when they started up. All girl group members are truly dedicated because they live under a very strict regime, every thing they do is monitored. However after watching a few of them it can become very boring, because they essentially all do exactly the same thing. I think the main reason they are a world wide success is because of their beauty, I mean, just look at them. Most of the girls/ladies are around my age (23) but sooooooooo much prettier, and no, I am not envious. I never watch the boy bands though, because I do not like men...end of. My two most favourite bands are female Japanese hard rock bands, Lovebites and Bandmaid, both are truly phenominal, not with just their virtuosity with their instruments but their stage performances. In my mind they are the best in the world right now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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