Event Cancellations in Japan: How to Get Refunds

Getting Refund for Japan Event Tickets

Picture by eFile989, under CC.

With a number of Asia tours being canceled (e.g. Mac DeMarco, Temples) and the Ghibli Museum closing temporarily due to the Coronavirus Covid-19, you might be wondering if and how event tickets are refundable.

Currently, we are seeing some international artists cancel their Japan appearances because of the travel restrictions in the region. Chances that this might happen are higher if the tour includes shows in mainland China or South Korea, since those are currently hit hardest by the virus outbreak.

Update on February 27th: after the Japanese government has asked the entertainment world not to hold large events in the coming weeks, a larger number of shows in February and (mostly) the first half of March have been canceled/postponed.
You can find a list below.

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 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 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 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 Stubhub 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!

List of Cancelled Events (Non-exhaustive)

※Note that some of the announcements in this list might not be related to the corona virus in Japan.

※This list was last updated on Feb 26th. Since then, a lot more shows have been canceled. Please refer to the official artist pages and/or point of purchase for up-to-date information.

CONCERTS & MUSIC FESTIVALS
Hyomin Live & Talk 2020, 2/23
Pixies, 2/24-2/26 (postponed)
J.I.D, 2/25 (postponed, 6/3)
The Prince of Tennis Special Live 2020, 2/29
Uchujin (Cosmos People), 2/29-3/1
Ari Lennox, 3/3
New Order, 3/4-3/6

NELL, 3/4
Raveena, 3/5
Brooke Candy, 3/6
Red Bull Presents “TOP GATHER in TYO”, 3/7
2020 Zushirock, 3/11
Fat White Family, 3/12
Ruel, 3/16-3/17 (postponed, 9/29-9-30)
Stormzy, 3/24 (postponed, 11/5)
Tom Walker, 4/2
Khalid, 4/7
Temples, 4/8
Sound Camp 2020, 4/11-4/12
Mac DeMarco, 4/15-4/24

SPORTS & PRO-WRESTLING
Stardom, 2/29 & 3/14
All J-League (J1 and J2) matches between 2/25-3/17
YBC Levin Cup games, 2/26

OTHER
Tohoku Motor Show in Sendai 2020, 2/22-2/24
Studio Ghibli Museum closure, 2/25-3/17
The Food Film Festival Tokyo 2020, 4/17-4/19

Sources:
https://www.creativeman.co.jp/
https://smash-jpn.com/
https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/2020022501001845.html
http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/notice/013228/
https://ticket.rakuten.co.jp/
https://l-tike.com/
https://t.pia.jp/