Are you going to be visiting Tokyo but love Kpop? Need somewhere to tell you where all the best kpop locations are in Tokyo? I got you! From Shin-Okubo (Tokyo’s Koreatown), to how to get k-pop concerts tickets, to fan meetings, to the line store. This guide will help you with all your kpop needs in Tokyo! Just don’t spend too much in one location! To see a list of Kpop Concerts in Japan this fall click here.
Did you know that you can buy official kpop lightsticks on Amazon?! They have almost all the lightsticks from NCT, Loona, Stray Kids, TXT, and Enhypen. Asian people are very serious about their lightstick game, so be sure to represent your favorite groups!
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If you want a more general kpop guide for Tokyo, and not How to buy Kpop tickets in Japan, Check out: KPOP GUIDE IN TOKYO
Shin-Okubo is Tokyo’s Korea town located in Shinjuku, with the closest access being Yamanote line’s Shin-Okubo station. Shin-Okubo is a big area with endless Korean shops and restaurants. If your reading any Kpop guide in Tokyo, Shin-Okubo will always pop up. Here, you can find anything and everything Korean from kpop keychains, Korean makeup, notebooks, stickers, water bottles, candles, banners, light sticks, concert DVDs and albums. The prices aren’t usually not too bad and its super fun just to window shop. If you are planning to get something specifically, be sure to go in and out of different stores when buying because all the stores often sell the same things at slightly different prices.
While you are shopping, when you get hungry, be sure to try the various Korean food that they offer! I made a blog post on the best Shin-Okubo eats.
Sometimes, when walking through the alleyways of Shin-Okubo, new and smaller kpop groups may be walking around giving out a piece of paper promoting their event coming up soon. Nearby, there is a small concert venue called SHOWBOX, it is usually there. Pass by and see their schedule to see if anyone you like may be performing.
Be sure not to come here during the weekend or a holiday, the streets are not made for a lot of people and can barely fit 3 people in a row. With the amount of popularity of Korean things in Japan, it can get so crowded that it sometimes can get hard to move around to enjoy the area and shops.
Kpop guide in Tokyo: SHIBUYA
Shibuya 109 often has many kpop pop-up stores on the top floor when a certain group is having promotions in Japan. I’ve been to red velvet, izone, nct 127, and seventeen’s pop-up store. The merch can get quite expensive but they always sell such cute goods! Sometimes when the group is popular, you have to get a card that tells you what time to come back for entry.
To check events at Shibuya 109: Official Website (there is English option)
Magnet by Shibuya 109 is a building closer to the Shibuya crossing, and has kpop cafe events while at the same time Shibuya 109 is doing the pop up store because they are sister buildings. Even though its nothing too special with the food, and the freebie is usually a coaster, they decorate the whole food floor with the group’s posters, and pillows, and posters. Its a good way to have a meal there anyways whether they have an event or not. They also play all their songs on the speaker and tv. You can also see people trading their merch to get the member that they want. It is very lively and a great place to relax.
Keep up to date on events: Magnet by Shibuya 109 Twitter
Tower Records Shibuya has the biggest kpop album section in all of Tokyo, with a whole floor dedicated to it! (5th floor) They have almost every album possible and because kpop groups often come here, signatures of different artists can be found everywhere! If you’re lucky, you might even find some signed albums on sale! Often on the release week of an album, they give free posters or have promotional events for the groups!
Smaller Kpop groups go to this Tower Record to have a mini fan meeting, with most of the time being free or the entrance is buying an album at the store. Sometimes if they aren’t as popular, they will even sign and talk to you! I personality haven’t done it, but I was so tempted to do it when Sori was there. A new artist comes almost every week and they usually perform twice a day. Just be sure to look online to see when they are coming! There’s also a sign on the first floor when you enter and it says all the performances for that day. There were so many times I would just go to tower records just to look and then see that a kpop group that I like that would be performing there that day!
There are no photos or videos allowed unless they say it’s photoshoot time. Japanese people are very strict about filming events!!
Tower record event info: Official event page (Even though it is Japanese, most kpop groups are written in English. Scroll through the pages until you see a name you recognize!)
A lot of times there are kpop cafes all around Tokyo! The one I went to is the BT21 cafe, but there has been GOT7 and Stray Kids cafe in the past. These are temporary cafes so it is harder to track and to plan. Reservations are usually needed for these events, and sometimes you even have to pay a little bit of money in advance to make a reservation (I had to do this for the BT21 cafe). Within the reservation, you also have to pick the time that you go, and you have to be at the restaurant at that time. If you’r late, your eating time will also be cut because there will be people with the next time slot. The reservation is all in Japanese so google translate would be your best friend.
The prices are also not friendly since these are exclusive themed pop-up stores and the companies know that you will spend money. Even though it’s cute, it is not cute for the wallet! Some of the restaurants will even have a little pop-up shop for the restaurant after you eat, so be sure to bring a lot of money for this!
From June to September 2022, BT21 is having a limited-time cafe in 4 locations all over Japan!
Check out my Cafe Collaborations in Japan this Fall post!
Book-off is a secondhand shop mostly dealing with books and CDs, but they have many other things like games, electronics, and even plushies and toys. All the Book Off locations can be found here. I have had the best luck with Kpop albums at the Akihabara, Yoyogi, and Shinjuku branches. These are second hand so the albums usually do not have the photo card. One time I was super lucky and found an unopened NCT album for 700 yen before. Albums range from 500-1000 yen and even though it is second hand, brand new albums that just came out can also be found here. Go visit a Book off and give these album a home!
Concerts – Kpop Guide In Tokyo
Concerts in Japan is a whole other system compared to the ones in America, and I have made a guide on how to buy Kpop tickets in Japan. Most times it is general admission, with a first come first serve bases, but it sometimes can be lottery-based and even these lottery have rounds so the earlier you get them, the closer you are, even though the tickets are all the same price. For example, I was able to get front row for MAMA 2018 because I was able to get it on the first round. It was about $300 dollars, but everyone pays the same amount, even if you are front row, or all the way in the back, which SUCKS, so it is important to be up to date on when they release. Concert culture is also so different and I also plan to make a blog post on that.
This is the website I use to know about the upcoming kpop concerts: here.
Be sure to check out my Kpop ticket buying Guide for a smooth purchase of tickets in Japan.
If your a kpop fan and don’t know about Bt21, time to do some research! BT21 are characters that BTS has created themselves and the line store has all kinds of BT21 merch! They have everything from different sized plushies, ear masks, computer cases, notebooks, pencils, basically everything you can think of! They also have many seasonal limited time merch during Christmas and Halloween so be sure to check it out then! The Line store is just a really cute store to shop in general, and since its in the heart of Harajuku, there are other fun things to do in the area!
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Some Useful Sources when traveling to Japan:
My Japan posts: Pennyless Travels Japan posts
My kpop posts: Pennyless Travels Kpop Posts!
Youtube Channel: Just Coneys Corner
Food/Travel Instagram: @coneystravel
General Tourism information: Japan Travel Website
Airport pickup pocket wifi: 4G WiFi pocket wifi
Fun and Discounted admissions for cafes:Klook.com