You might have heard of discount ticket shops (aka Kinken shops), the little resale shops that buy and sell cheap train tickets, shopping vouchers, concert tickets and more. Most of them can be found around railway stations and in shopping streets. In Tokyo, there is several dozens of Kinken shops (金券ショップ).
However, the number of shops that usually have event tickets on display is much smaller. In this article I’m introducing the best shops, where you can find event tickets for sure. Each of them is better for certain tickets and worse for others. So I’ll explain about the differences, and also how you can research the available tickets before actually hopping on a subway to the other side of town.
Before the first recommendations, let me write about a legendary shop that is not recommended anymore: the infamous ticket resale shop in Harajuku called Gorakudoh (娯楽道).
Unfortunately, Gorakudoh is not selling tickets anymore
This shop located in Takeshita-dori is an old fan favorite. For years it was the number one address for resale tickets, especially for Johnny’s (Arashi, KAT-TUN, Hey! Say! JUMP) and Hello! Project (Morning Musume, CUTE, Juice=Juice). They used to be where you had the best chance of find last-minute tickets for sold-out shows.
However, Gorakudoh closed down their ticket business in September 2017 the Harajuku shop. Nowadays, they are specialized in goods and merchandise only.
There still quite a few good alternatives, though.
The five stores of “Yokohama Ticket Service” (ヨコハマチケットサービス) aka Yokochike (ヨコチケ) are currently the most useful Kinken shops for event-goers in Tokyo.
At their five branches – which are all located in the capital (none in Yokohama, despite the name!) – you can find tickets for sold-out concerts, musicals, Takarazuka performances, idol group hand-shake events (Akushu-kai), the next Giants baseball match…you name it!
Prices can be high, especially if you’re looking at arena seats or similar. But in many cases it might be the only chance to get your hands on such tickets (for example if you can’t purchase them online anymore).
Yokohama Ticket Service Store in Shinjuku
There are stores in Shinjuku (East Exit Store, South Exit Store), as well as in Shibuya, Ueno and Ikebukuro. You will not find many event tickets at their branch in Ikebukuro and even less at their small Shinjuku East Exit store, but the other three all have a fairly broad selection of tickets at all times. If I had to recommend only one I’d check out their branch Ueno if you are on the east side of Tokyo, and the one in Shibuya if you are on the west side of the city.
If you are looking for a specific artist, I strongly recommend using the search feature on the Yokohama Ticket Service website. It will show you what tickets are available at which store, including prices. You can then go to that shop to purchase in person.
If you want to be 100% sure the tickets are still available when you get there, you can give them a call and reserve the tix for a few hours.
Although the site is all in Japanese it’s simple enough to be useful to basic Japanese speakers, or if you know how to use the Google Translate for entire pages.
In the picture below, you can see the five steps for finding specific tickets at any Yokohama Ticket Service branch:
Search mask on YokoChike website
The next best address for event resale tickets is a shop called Ticket Ranger. But beware, they have several branches in Tokyo but only one can be recommended for event tickets: the Ginza 3-chome branch (near Yurakucho and Ginza station).
Ticket Ranger Ginza Branch
The strength of this shop are “higher-end” events. If you like Enka singers or evergreen J-Pop artists like Matsuda Seiko or Kome Kome Club, then this shop might hold the treasure you are looking for.
This shop also have an impressive selection of tickets for classical music concerts, musicals, Takarazuka and traditional theater performances and plays such as Kabuki or Noh.
Last time we checked, their baseball ticket display was empty so if you are looking for sporting events, it’s probably better to check at the other recommended shops, first.
If you can read Japanese, you can find a list of available tickets here on their website. However, it’s not certain how frequently they update the information there.
Window display of event ticket offers at Ticket Ranger
When you visit this shop, you will notice that the actual tickets are not on display as in other Kinken shops in Tokyo. Instead, what they do is hang little pieces of paper in their main window, with event date, seat location as well as the original and asking price on them.
If you cannot read Japanese, you will need to ask the staff in the shop for help. Even the names of foreign artists tend to be written in Japanese Characters here, so don’t despair if you can’t find what you are searching, on first sight.
Ticket ranger also places a box filled with seating maps of most Tokyo venues below their window display. So you can check where the seats offered would be.
Seating maps of most venues in Tokyo at Ticket Ranger
Rotary Gifts (ロータリーギフト) comes in third simply because the number of tickets offered is much lower. However, they could be worth checking out if you are in Shinjuku.
Talking about these two Rotary Gift Shops (ロータリーギフト)
There are two shops which are actually almost next to each other, only separated by…another (less interesting) Kinken shop.
They are located very close to the well-known Omoide Yokocho food stall street, on the west side of Shinjuku Station. The street is full of discount ticket shops, but these two branches of Rotary Gifts seem to be the only ones that handle a notable number of event tickets.
You might find some event tickets at other Kinken shops in Tokyo. Almost all have movie theater vouchers or tickets for art exhibitions. However, if you are looking for live music or sports, chances to find them at other Kinken shops are fairly slim.
Searching for resale tickets online might be the better way to go if you still have time until the show. Websites selling Japanese resale tickets, such as Yahoo Auctions, TicketStreet or Ticket.co.jp are usually all in Japanese (except Stubhub). Thus, you might need to ask a proxy shopping service such as our JCT Service for help.