Top 5 Ways to Find Concerts in Japan
You are planning your Japan trip and want to know if there are any interesting concerts during your stay?
Your dream is to see your favorite artist live in Japan but you don’t know when their next tour is?
There are literally dozens of concerts every day in Japan but to non-Japanese speakers it can be a daunting task to find out about them.
Therefore, we have collected various websites and methods of finding out about events in Japan. Depending on your taste in music or the specifics of your trip to Japan, one way might be better than others.
Here are our top 5 ways to find concerts in Japan.
1. Ticket retailer websites
If you have basic Japanese skills, one of the best ways to find shows and events is by searching on the websites of eplus.jp or Ticket Pia. Most events (apart from some very small shows) are listed on both or at least either on these sites.
For any single day you can literally find dozens of concert listings but there are many optional search criteria with which you can narrow down your search.
The long search forms can be a little intimidating at first but if your Japanese skills are limited, you can use a browser extension such as Rikaichan or Yomichan to read unknown Kanji.
We weren’t able to get the search forms to work properly when using automatic translation of the whole website such as Google Translate, though.
2. Artist’s official websites
If you have a specific artist you would really love to see in Japan, it can be a good idea to check their official website for upcoming concerts.
This can increase chances of getting tickets because concert and ticketing information is usually released on the official websites much earlier than on the ticket retailer sites such as eplus, Ticket Pia or L-Tike (Lawson).
Of course it can be a little troublesome to check the homepage of every single artist you are interested in. If your travel plans are already fixed, chances that they are performing exactly on these dates/cities can be small.
The easiest to find the official website is usually to google the artist name together with the term オフィシャル (“official”).
Warning: English versions of official websites are frequently outdated or don’t list concerts in Japan.
3. Bandsintown and Songkick
Our first two recommendations can be difficult to use for non-Japanese speakers/readers. But don’t give up! There are two pretty good options that don’t require any Japanese skills: Bandsintown.com and Songkick.com.
These sites allow you to search for concerts in a specific city and date range.
The Bandcamp app is even better: if you link it to your favorite music apps and social profiles (e.g. last.fm, Spotify, Twitter), it will show you concerts of the artists you listen to, or others which you are likely to enjoy based on your preferences.
It also lets you search in a whole region (radius of up to 150 miles) which is useful when searching for shows in Tokyo but at the same time also the adjecent cities of Kawasaki, Yokohama, Chiba and Saitama.
The only drawback of those sites is that their listings are not as complete as on Japanese sites, especially when it comes to Japanese artists.
By the way, if you need help purchasing tickets for concerts in Japan, check out TicketsGalore.
4. Genre/scene-specific event calendars
If you are keen to explore certain music styles or scenes rather than seeing the biggest international or local stars, you can find a large number of sites which list concerts which have “curated” concert calendars.
Tokyo Gig Guide – mostly local and international independent music
Tokyo Dross – mostly local and international Indie and Parties
GekiRock Portal – mostly Japanese Rock/Visual-Kei
Japan Times Classical – Classical music, selected shows
Ongaku no Tomo – Classical music, search engine in Japanese
Japan Times Blues & Jazz – Jazz/Blues, selected shows
Ro69 Festival Calendar – Music Festivals throughout Japan, in Japanese
By the way, in our JCT Ticket Shop, you can purchase e-tickets for indie pop/rock, EDM, metal, hip-hop, techno, and events of many other genres.
5. Venue websites
This is a good way to find interesting concerts if you are looking for non-mainstream music such as Jazz, Blues or Classical music, but also Visual Kei or Punk. Such concerts tend to be at specific venues so you can find them in the calendars of the respective websites.
Takada no Baba AREA – Visual Kei venue
Tokyo Jazz Directory – Extensive list of Jazz venues in Tokyo
Blue Note Tokyo – Blue Note Tokyo, high-end Jazz venue
Cotton Club Tokyo – Cotton Club Tokyo, high-end Jazz venue
Izumi Hall Osaka – Classical music venue
Kawasaki Symphony Hall – Classical music venue
Tokyo Opera City – Classical music & opera
Suntory Hall Tokyo – Classical music venue
There are plenty of other sites that have concerts calendar with selected shows, including our Event Calendar.
Our Ticket Shop is also a calendar with many listings which might be missing from other calendars.
Another good example with a lot of Japanese artists (in Japanese but self-explanatory):