Guide part 1: Concerts & Musicals
Guide part 2: Fan Club Events
Guide part 3: Single Box Events aka “Moridakusankai”
Guide part 4: All The Other Little Events

By this point, I’ve covered all the major Hello! Project events that you can attend. Those are the ones that you should be planning your trips to Japan around. The remaining events that I’ll cover in this post are nice to go to if you happen to be there at the time and can make it, but I’d definitely have them lower on the priority list when you’re doing the trip planning.


ZDA (Zenkoku Douji Akushukai) (National Simultaneous Handshake Event)

These are Morning Musume exclusive events where the members will split up and do solo handshakes in several different prefectures in one day to commemorate their CD release.

Plan ahead:

ZDAs are usually announced about 1 to 1.5 weeks before the single release, usually in the form of a Youtube video where the staff prank the members into the selection of where they’ll be going for their handshakes.

When to apply/buy:

They usually take place on the first weekend after a new single release, traditionally taking place in one day. However, the planning staff have been making things crazier with each single so it’s not surprising for them to have 2 day ZDAs now.

Cost:

~1000yen CD x however many times you want to loop
+ a whole lot of travel costs if you want to follow your oshi around Japan for one day.

Here’s a very very rough estimate:

Your oshimen goes to 3 prefectures in one day. If they’re spaced reasonably apart (the staff usually plan it so), it’d be about 15000yen each leg of shinkansen.
15,000yen x 3 = 45000yen.

Then say you do about 10 loops per prefecture. Just for a nice round number.
That’s 1000yen x 10 x 3 = 30000yen.

So in total it’d cost you about 75000yen for a full day of ZDA. Of course, you can always pick ONE place to go to, especially since the very last handshake place tends to be either Tokyo or Osaka. And you can always not loop the handshakes as much either.

Language barrier:

Mid-range. The same as any handshake, really.

How to attend:

Go to the venue, buy a CD, get a handshake ticket, make your rounds. It’s pretty simple once you’re actually there. The adventure is in the travel!

Extra notes:

It can cost you a pretty penny, but it’s always fun to watch the hustle bustle of both idols and otakus reporting their crazy trips.

Average difficulty to attend: ★☆☆☆☆ to★★★★☆

This can either be a very easy to go to event if you just aim for Tokyo/Osaka, or a pretty crazy event if you decide to make the entire trip. But the more wota points to you if you do!

 


Single Release Events

Plan ahead:

Announcements come about 1-3 weeks ahead of the event.

When to apply/buy:

These usually happen the day of the single release, hence the name. But sometimes they can be the day before or after as well.

Cost:

These events are free to attend if you just want to watch the performances of the new songs. But if you want to go through the handshakes at the end of the event, you’ll have to get there early to buy a CD to get a handshake ticket.

Language barrier:

Mid-range.

How to attend:

These almost always take place at Ikebukuro Sunshine City, and you’ll want to get there early in the morning to buy CD(s) if you want handshake(s). Though if you just want to watch, then you can plan to get there in the afternoon. But the later you go, the less spots there’ll be by the balcony for you to watch from.

Extra notes:

If you’re gonna watch, I’d suggest anywhere but the ground floor since it’s much easier to see from higher ground.

Average difficulty to attend: ★☆☆☆☆


Serial Events

Plan ahead:

Announcements come 1-3 weeks before the single release. The lottery application cards are in the regular editions of the CDs so make sure you have the CDs and the time to put in all the applications before the deadline is up.

When to apply/buy/how to attend:

The deadline for the lottery applications is usually about 2 weeks after the single is released, so it’s not much time if you plan to get it shipped from Japan. If it’s too close, I’d recommend asking your proxy to open the CDs and do the applications for you. You’ll have to borrow their cellphone if you win an event though, since the application is tied to a phone.

Cost:

Depends on the number of CDs you buy. As the applications are lottery, you never know if you’ll be able to get in, even if you bought a lot.

Language barrier:

Mid-high range. These are usually half talk events, and half mini-live. Then there’s a short handshake with all the members at the end.

Average difficulty to attend: ★★★★☆

This depends on your luck, the size of the venue, and the popularity of the group. I’ve heard that it’s pretty difficult to get into the Morning Musume ones recently, and the rates of winning the application is rather low.

 

Satoyama/Satoumi Events

Plan ahead:

These happen yearly, once in the Spring, once in the Fall. The exact dates are announced about 2 months ahead of the event.

When to apply/buy:

N/A

Cost:

They’re free!

How to attend:

Just go!

Language barrier:

Low. It’s pretty much no one on one communications.

Extra notes:

Free range idols!!! They’re free to move around from booth to booth, and will also sometimes become the salespeople, so you could possibly buy random stuff directly from your oshimen!
Oh yeah, pictures are also okay so you can take pics of the members from your own phone!

Average difficulty to attend: ★☆☆☆☆

This is pretty much the easiest idol event to ever attend.

 

Hello! Shop Event

Plan ahead:

These are announced about 3 weeks before the event.

When to apply/buy:

Event tickets go on sale 1 to 1.5 weeks beforehand.

Cost:

Depends on the event. Sometimes it’s the cost of a photo book, sometimes it’s the cost of a musical ticket, etc. It depends on what the event is trying to promote.

How to attend:

  1. You’ll need to buy the “entrance ticket” at Hello! Shop when it goes on sale. That ticket will also have your legal name written on it when it’s bought, so make sure you have your passport on you when you show up at the event itself.
  2. On the day of the event, you’ll need both your passport and your event ticket to get inside and pick a raffle number out of a box.
  3. You congregate in Hello!Shop with 100+ people and wait for your number to be called. The lower the number, the sooner you get called in, and the better of a seat you have.

If you’re not going to be in Japan yet when it goes on sale, you can have a friend buy it for you and then write your name in. Just make sure it’s the legal version that you have on your passport.

Language barrier:

Decently high. These are talk shows so you’ll need to at least understand idol-talk level Japanese if you want to know what’s going on.

Extra notes:

It can get really really hot in the stairwell next to Hello!Shop when you’re lining up for the raffle box.

Average difficulty to attend: ☆☆

It’s easy to attend as long as you or someone you know can line up for the event ticket sales early enough.


And that’s all the event guides I have!! If there’s anything that I haven’t covered, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll consult with my resources for answers and tips!

Any other H!P trip guides will be on more broad topics, like venue tips, or about how to get along with other wotas, etc.