Event Cancellations in Japan: How to Get Refunds

Last updated: 2023-01-17 | Published: 2020-02-25

With a number of Asia tours being canceled and the Ghibli Museum closing temporarily due to Covid-19, you might be wondering if and how event tickets are refundable.

If you are planning to visit Japan in the next few months, we highly recommend to check travel advisories and official information about travel restrictions of your country, any transfer countries, and Japan, to make sure you stay safe and are able to fly to Japan and back to your country (without quarantine-requirements on either side). Since there is still a lot of uncertainty at the moment, we also suggest you to make refundable travel arrangements. You never know!

If you are unlucky and the event you were planning to attend is canceled or postponed, you usually have the possibility of a refund. In most cases, refunds are not completed automatically, so your action within a given time frame might be necessary.

Note that you can only receive a refund if the event is canceled, but not if your flight is canceled or any other personal reason. 

How exactly you can receive a refund depends on where you bought your tickets. Here are some of the most common cases:

Japan Concert Tickets Shop (Zaiko)

If you bought the tickets through our Ticket Shop and you paid by credit card, PayPal, WeChat or Alipay, they will be refunded totally automatically!

However, if you chose Convenience Store Payments, you will need to follow the instructions here (before the refund deadline). 

Ticket Proxy Services/Shopping Services (e.g. Tickets Galore Japan)

You will need to contact the shopping service to ask about the correct procedure. If the ticket was already sent to you, you might have to send it back. If you printed it yourself, you might be able to receive a refund at the exact same convenience store you collected them, within a given refund period (not just the same chain, but the same store).

Playguides Such as Ticket Pia, eplus and Lawson Tickets

If you bought event tickets from the Japanese or an English site of the above playguides, you will receive instructions by email. Make sure to check the inbox of the email address registered with your ticket account. The process usually depends on whether you have already printed the tickets or not, and can also be found here (though in Japanese):
Ticket Pia
eplus (e+) if canceled / if postponed
Lawson Tickets

Other playguides: check their email notification about the cancellation or their website for instructions.

Resellers on Yahoo Auction, Viagogo, Stubhub, etc.

If you bought your ticket from another person, there are various possibilities of getting back all, or part of your money.

If you are looking to recover the face value of the ticket, and you already have in hand, you might be able to get your refund by following the instructions for the specific ticket company which issued it (e.g. Ticket Pia, eplus or Lawson).

However, this might not be viable for most people. If bought through Yahoo Auctions or another private seller, you will have to ask the seller directly for assistance.

In case you purchased your tickets on Viagogo you should receive an email with instructions, but you can also contact their customer support directly.

For Stubhub, you should be receiving an automatic email and refund when an event is cancelled. In case of any issues, you can contact them here.

If the Event Is Postponed

Tickets for a postponed event are usually automatically valid for the new date. However, they can also be refunded in most cases. Resale platforms such as Viagogo might offer you to resell it on their site, instead of granting a refund, though.

Refunds for Other Expenses

Related travel expenses, such as hotel, transportation, might be more difficult to obtain if only the event was canceled. Check if your provider whether your expense is refundable and under which circumstances. It is also always a good idea to get a travel insurance before taking off, just in case of unforeseen personal emergencies. Good luck and safe travels!

Image credit: eFile989, used under CC license