Peter's Japan blog


Ayumi Hamasaki

Suzumiya Haruhi


My personal blog and about everything related to Japan, Ayumi Hamasaki, anime and my travels
GMT Time: Sunday September 23rd, 2018 10:32 Central US Time: Sunday September 23rd, 2018 07:32 Tokyo Time: Sunday September 23rd, 2018 19:32

New Album:
Artist discographies: Ayumi Hamasaki | the GazettE | Hirano Aya | Perfume
YesAsia's Japanese Music Top 100


  01:28:00 am, Categories: Japan, Traveling

Just the other day I read about an "awesome travel tip" about flying to Japan cheaper. It states that prices can be several hundreds of dollars/euros cheaper if you flying to Japan and land in Nagoya instead of Tokyo or Osaka. But is it really?

Let's say you find a flight to Nagoya that is around 500 euro, that's very nice compared to the usual 700-900 euros you'd pay if you were flying to Tokyo. That's an advantage of at least 200 euro. Sounds great, right? But the big catch is, you are arriving in Nagoya. There isn't that much to see in Nagoya, so you're likely going to Tokyo or Osaka after that anyway. Getting to Tokyo will cost you 10360 yen with the Shinkansen at at least 98 minutes (or 6000 if you're willing to travel for at least 5 hours by regular train). Osaka is a little closer at 5800 yen with the Shinkansen at around 50 minutes. Remember though that you need to get back to Nagoya at the end of your trip so you need to double that amount and spend time to actually get back to Nagoya Airport. So in the most likely event that you're going to Tokyo, that's another 200 euro (and more time) you're spending traveling from Nagoya to Tokyo, that practically cancels out the profit of arriving at Nagoya. Then you might think, oh well, I'll get a Japan Rail Pass then! A Japan Rail Pass is only a viable option if you're going to travel long distances using the Shinkansen. One 7-day pass costs 29000 yen (or about 225 euro) which is about the same as a return trip from Tokyo to Osaka, and Nagoya is in the middle of them. Not to mention that your arrival and departure day have to be within that 7-day period, and the 14-day pass is even more expensive. If you're only going to use the pass to travel between Nagoya and Tokyo, you're losing money and you'd be better off just paying to the regular Shinkansen ticket. And with the Japan Raill Pass you can't use the faster Nozomi services.
Also, depending on your arrival or departure time, you may even need to spend the night in Nagoya just to be able to get to the airport on time. That means taking time to get to Nagoya, get to the hotel, finding/booking that hotel, and don't forget you're hauling your luggage with you. All this time could be spent doing better things.

So, is landing at Nagoya cheaper than at Tokyo or Osaka? Only if you're planning on traveling a lot of long distances with a rail pass and the time limit of the rail pass fits your schedule it might be worth it unless you only need to be in Nagoya for some reason. All other options will not make it cheaper or convenient than just flying into Tokyo or Osaka. Do the research before you attempt this and do the math if it really saves on cost and time.

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  09:33:00 am, Categories: Idols

The top had a few surprises like every year, and so many more votes than last year!
I'm happy that Sasshi became no. 1 again, and Sakura entered the Kami 7 at no. 7!!

Takahashi Minami made a huge jump up to no. 4, the highest she's ever been. Her call to be no. 1 one more time before she graduates had certainly helped, but it was not enough. Because she jumped to no. 4 a few other members had to drop down like Matsui Jurine to no. 5 and Yamamoto Sayaka to no. 6. Seem like my prediction was quite correct except for that unexpected no. 4 from Takamina.
I hoped for it but I wasn't expecting it that Sakura actually jumped over Paruru who actually dropped 2 places. Also Watanabe Miyuki re-entering the senbatsu was very nice. Kitahara Rie back in senbatsu too.
Some good stuff for HKT48 as well, Haruppi coming at no. 17, while just out of senbatsu, she did become center for the Under Girls. Anai Chihiro at no. 33, another center for the Next Girls. Sakaguchi Rikopi made a huge leap from no. 60 to no. 37! Also some new members ranking like Kojina Yui (with a hilarious speech), Okada Kanna, Ueki Nao and Fuchigami Mai. Moriyasu Madoka dropped several places, and Murashige and Komada dropped out of top 80 though, but all other members did better: Meru, Mio, Rabu-tan.

Full results here:

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After the announcement that Idoling!!! will all be graduating in October this year, I just had to make the most of it. So I'm planning to go to both TOKYO IDOL FESTIVAL 2015 in August and to Idoling!!!'s 15th & final Live at the Nippon Budokan in October.
Handshake events will become very difficult though, since Idoling!!!'s last single "Cheering You!!" will be released in July with events in July, and NEO from Idoling!!!'s last single will be released in June. So likely no handshake events to go to :( but I will try at TIF.

Also likely no more studio recordings or Nicohachi Lives or Shibuhachi Lives as well, since they don't do them so close to big lives and I'm only going for 1.5 weeks each time. :( Although I've done so many lives and events over the past years it's still difficult when you don't live in Japan... it's all about timing your trips.

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  10:46:00 am, Categories: Idols , Tags: akb48, general election, senbatsu sousenkyo

Some of my thoughts and predictions for this year's Senbatsu Sousenkyo for the 41th single.
Only 2 days to go now and everything is starting to heat up. 4 of last year's top 16 will not be participating so that's 4 new spots to fill (Matsui Rena, Kojima Haruna, Ikoma Rina & Kawaei Rina).

I'm pretty sure that last year's top 4 members will also be this year's top 4 members, but not necessarily in the same order. A lot of campaigning has been going on to get Kashiwagi Yuki to the top. I think either Kashiwagi Yuki or Sashihara Rino will be number one this year. Watanabe Mayu at 3rd place and Matsui Jurina at 4th.
Due to Matsui Rena not participating this year, Yamamoto Sayaka will become 5th, I'm not seeing her reach the 4th spot because the gap is still too large.
Then comes places 6 through 9, which I think will consist of Takahashi Minami, Shimazaki Haruka, Shibata Aya and Miyawaki Sakura, likely in that order. Although I would personally love Sakura to overtake Paruru, it will be a tough fight. She might be able to overtake Shibata Aya. Suda Akari will be close as well.
Next on the list will probably be Miyazawa Sae, Suda Akari, Matsumura Kaori, Kitahara Rie and Watanabe Miyuki. The rest may contain some surprises though :)

The preliminary results this year also got some of the same things that happened at the preliminary results the year before. Kodama Haruka ranking above Sakura, but eventually dropping out of top 16. I do see Haruppi reaching place 15 or 16 though. Minegishi Minami ranking very low, but eventually reaching top 20's.
Some of the surprise top 16's that will very likely drop out of top 16 will be Tani Marika and Fuchigami Mai (all her fans probably voted as quick as they could, she does however have enough votes to rank in the top 60).

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  10:58:00 am, Categories: Traveling

Some nice videos I took around FujiTV during FuyuFes 2013 during my Tokyo 2013-2014 trip, enjoy :)

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  10:18:35 am, Categories: Ayumi Hamasaki , Tags: mini album

For her 15th anniversary as a singer, Ayumi Hamasaki will release a single/album every month from November until April, starting with a mini album called "LOVE" on November 8th 2012. The song "Song 4 u" is the theme song for the game "Tales Of Xillia2".

Love [CD+DVD] (Type A)
Catalog: AVCD-48590
Price: 2300yen
01. Song 4 u (Original mix)
02. Meloy (Original mix)
03. Missing (Original mix)
04. You & Me (Remo-con rmx ?? Extended)
05. You & Me (SHINICHI OSAWA remix)
06. Song 4 u (Orchestra version)
07. Melody (remix)
08. Missing (remix)
09. Song 4 u (Instrumental)
10. Melody (Instrumental)
11. Missing (Instrumental)
12. You & Me (Instrumental)

01.Song 4 u (video clip)
02.Melody (video clip)
03.Song 4 u (making clip)

Love [CD] (Type B)
Catalog: AVCD-48591
Price: 1500yen
CD: same as Type A

Love [CD] (Tales edition)
Catalog: AVCD-48592
Price: 1500yen
CD: same as Type A

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