Since this is a quiet thread, I hope no one minds me posting a 7,000 word essay.... I attended the 3/17/18 Keyakizaka individual handshake event. This was my first Keya event and my second ever big idol event (I attended the STU48 IHS two weeks earlier at the same location – writeup here), so I’ll make this a bit of a beginner’s perspective/tutorial up front in case you want some tips on your first 46G IHS. Let me also put the huge caveat here that my memory is terrible. I took as many notes as I could, but between nervousness and excitement I’m 100% sure I miss-remembered/mixed up some of the events below. Where I could find them, I’ve added pictures from the member’s blogs with them wearing the clothes for the slot I attended (many changed clothes every couple slots, and unfortunately I missed all of the cosplay outfits – Habu’s would have slayed me). Spoiler: Getting Tickets I knew I was going to be in Tokyo for few weeks, but honestly I didn’t know how to get tickets for the IHS and didn’t plan ahead. Also my Japanese is at a pretty basic level so I have to rely on the unreliable google translate for most webpages and forms, which is always a bit troubling. Thanks to @Riina here on the forums who encouraged me and offered some advice, about a week before my trip I started trying to get tickets. I figured out the general idea and was able to get some tickets at the last minute. For Keya (and NGT48 and Nogi), basically I went on Fortune Music, scrolled through the event listing images until I found a Keya one that was happening in the timeframe I would be there in the Tokyo area. Since I didn’t save screenshots at the time, I’ll illustrate here with some unrelated event pages: Main page Event details If you scroll to near the bottom, you’ll see the available lottery rounds. Basically how this seems to work is when the window to apply is open (lasting maybe a few hours or a few days) the icon with light up and you can click on it. No rounds open yet One round finished, one round open for applications If you click on the link, the following pages are different depending on the event. For instance, you may need to select a date if there are multiple days being sold at once, then select a type of ticket if there are handshake, autograph, or 2-shot slots available. Then you select the member. Members available for selection (this is not a great example since it’s not open yet, but instead of those "–" there would be a drop-down to select the number of tickets) So here’s where you need some strategy. Depending on the event, you may only be able to apply for a certain number of tickets (for instance, I think 3 was the maximum per member, per slot, per round for this Keya IHS). Each slot represents perhaps 1.5 hours – for this event there were 5 slots, with slot 1 starting at 10am and slot 5 at 6:30pm. Now some considerations: Each ticket may get you 3-7 seconds with the member, there may be limits to when/how many tickets you can use simultaneously, not every member will be available in every slot, it may be very unlikely to win a ticket for popular members, you only have time to see so many members in that 1.5 hour window, the lines for different members may be drastically different in length, you may not win every ticket you apply for, how long do you want to be at the event?, you may be able to get generic tickets/convert tickets from one member to another at the event under special circumstances, and you must buy every ticket you win in the lottery or risk being blacklisted. For me there was the additional complication that I had already applied for tickets to the NGT48 and Nogi IHS that were happening at the same time at the same place, with overlapping time slots. But Keya is my priority, and Fuuchan is my oshi, so I worked backwards from there. You select however many tickets you want, confirm, and then wait. A day or three after the round closes you get an email with your results. Here are mine for the first round: (Applied/Won) Nijika 1/1 Zumiko 3/0 Oda 2/2 Koike 2/1 Yuipon 1/0 Fuuchan 3/3 Sugai 1/0 Miyu 2/1 Naako 2/1 Neru 2/0 Habu 2/1 Aoi 1/1 Kage 1/1 Kyoko 2/1 You then need to pay for the tickets you won. I was able to pay with a foreign credit card, which is definitely not the norm for Japanese e-commerce sites, and have the delivery to my homestay family. I repeated this process in the next round in order to win a few more tickets: (Applied/Won) Nijika 3/3 Oda 3/3 Fuuchan 3/3 Sato 3/0 Shida 2/0 Miyu 3/0 Habu 3/0 Moriya 3/0 Yonesan 3/3 Memi 3/0 Kumi 2/2 Mirei 2/2 Ayaka 3/0 Konoka 2/0 Manamo 2/0 Here are my final results – I’ve committed myself to a loooong day at Big Sight, but I may never be able to attend another Keya event so I figured I’d better go for it – sorry wallet and feet. Final ticket matrix Note that for Keya the lottery rounds were listed a couple weeks ahead of time, but for other groups they seem to play it by ear – they announce one round, see how the sales go, then possibly open another round soon thereafter, so you should check the site often. Then you wait for the delivery – one time I only got them 2 days before the event. You get a box with a copy of the regular/theater edition CD for every ticket you bought, and a stack of tickets. For Keya that was all. For STU you also got a photocard for every ticket. The ticket though is all you need for the handshake – you now have to figure out what to do with your dozens of CDs. Spoiler: Getting In I dutifully left home at 7am and hopped on the train to Odaiba, arriving at Tokyo Big Sight just before 9am. I wanted to be there early to take care of getting my tickets stamped (more on that later), and I had been to the STU48 IHS at Big Sight two weeks before and an hour before opening was more than sufficient. It turned out Keya was in the same West Hall area, however that’s about where the similarities ended. I’d estimate maybe 100x more people were there for the Keya handshake, and fortunately the weather was a little cool but beautiful because before you could even reach the main entrance there were criers directing Keya fans to the right, up the exterior stairs to the upper West courtyard, and the Nogi and NGT fans straight into the main entrance. Reaching the courtyard there was a huge line leading to the West Hall side entrance. Well actually two lines, both with signs I couldn’t read. But I thought I recognized the kanji for handshake meeting on one (for the slightly shorter line at that point) and got in there (to be fair later in the day when I got closer I could see the other sign said “goods” in katakana in addition to the kanji). The crowd was interesting, though I can only compare it to a few other idol events I attended in my short time in Japan – STU48, NGT48, and Nogi IHS, an SKE48 national handshake, an AKB48 CD giveaway, and 22/7 hi-touch theater and live events. It was the youngest crowd, seemed like mostly early 20-somethings. Mostly male, but the highest percentage of women, maybe up to 20% in the morning. Lots of leather jackets and trendy clothes instead of suits and grungy casual wota wear, and not a few Techi cosplayers. But fewer prominent oshi towels or mobs of people wearing chicken suits. Slowly but steadily we made our way inside through the large corridor connecting the West Hall entrances – this had been mostly empty for the STU event, but here was literally completely packed. The line went down past the 3rd/4th hall were the STU event had been to the 2nd hall entrance (the 1st I think had the goods selling/pickup (if you ordered online) area that the other line was serving, plus a large area reserved for members and a photoshoot). Just inside the entrance was a line of security screening lanes, the first couple for women only. Here they did a cursory bag check, have you drink some of any drink you are carrying, and waved a metal detector in your general direction. After that I was confronted with an open hall with a barrier on the right side separating the area with the actual handshake lanes, and a rapidly growing line in front of me with a sign that I assumed to be for people with slot 1 tickets. Already worried about how much I had to do in the first slot, I quickly got in line, only realizing after a few minutes that it appeared that the information table had been hidden behind a pillar to the side of the security screening lanes. But at this point with a few hundred more people in line behind me and more rapidly entering, I chose to stay put. For the STU event if you didn’t have an official photo ID with an address matching the address printed on your tickets, you were not getting into the handshake lanes, period. Fortunately I had known that ahead of time (thanks again, @Riina), and all you needed to do (as a foreign visitor with a passport) was give your passport and tickets to the info desk workers. They do some sort of verification that takes a few minutes, then stamp each ticket so that they will be accepted without question later on. The STU event was run by Chara-ani, so I was left hoping this Fortune event, with a clearly much punier and not-very busy info table, had different rules. Lane assignments from the Keyaki official news feed Spoiler: Slot 1 – Aoi and Nijika I was still very nervous about the address issue, and so after they let us into the handshake area around 9:40 (just verifying at the gate that you had at least one slot 1 ticket) I spent a couple minutes pondering the exit back to the waiting area and the info booth just on the other side. But in the end I decided to try my luck and go for Aoi, who’s line was not long yet with only about a dozen people, so I could go halfway down her lane to the ticket check table immediately to see if I would get rejected. There were 31 lanes lined up in the orthogonal hall, with the first 10 being maybe 50% larger, presumably for the most popular members. For STU the lanes had clearly been in order of popularity; for Keya that was probably generally true but it was more complicated as especially Hiraganas would be in a lane for only a couple slots, replacing another member. As it turns out, they didn’t even comment on the address – just checked the name on my passport against the name in katakana on the ticket, glanced at the photo, and approved my one Aoi ticket (if you want to use multiple tickets, this is where you tell them and they’ll staple them into a packet). About 10:05 the members started coming out from the left side of the hall. There were more solid barriers here than STU so there was only a limited gap to see the members as they walked to their lanes, but I did see Aoi come out being given a bear hug by Oda. I wasn’t sure about Oda’s new short haircut at first, but in person it really suits her. Oda carried Aoi all the way to her lane (#19), then went to hers which was adjacent (#18). As you approach the front of the line there are baskets manned by a staff member for you to drop your bag and jacket into, and you then hand over your ticket(s) to another staff member who counts them and presumably has the stopwatch (I don’t actually recall seeing watches at the Keya event, but the other events definitely had them). You show your empty hands to the staff, and keep them up and out as you approach the member. I think all my handshakes at this event were hands apart, one holding each member’s hand, unlike the STU event where they were clasped. You then get to talk until the time is up and the fourth staff member hovering behind you grabs your shoulders and moves you to the exit. From Aoi’s blog From Aoi's blog. Actually this might be from a different day, but it's closer to what I remember her wearing. Aoi had her hair down and had a nice soft smile and a calm presence. With all the members this was my first time meeting them, so I always opened with an enthusiastic “hajimemasite” and closed with “arigatou” and “ganbatte kudasai”. I generally only spoke in Japanese, but tried to remember to always throw in a few words of thanks or encouragement in English, since in my previous HS experience that seemed to produce some extra excitement. Aoi spoke quietly but was attentive and held my hands gently and listened intently as I explained that my wife and I really loved her dancing and urged her to do her best. As expected for my first of the day, my Japanese came out as a bit of a mess, but she thanked me and waved to me as I was pushed away. Without taking any time to ruminate I moved straight to Nijika’s lane (#14), which didn’t have much of a line. I also had no problem validating my three tickets. I noticed the next lane over was decorated with narrow tables with lines of framed photographs. I checked and this was Sato's lane, so I guess maybe this was one of her art exhibitions? Nijika also had a very calming presence, with thin arms and a friendly smile. I had more time here so I told her that I was from the US, and that my wife and I really liked her, and that her dancing recently on MSta and Shibuya Note was really cool. She seemed happy with the compliments and thanked me. With my head still spinning (did I really just get to meet two Keyaki members?) I noted it was only 10:30, so maybe I could go see the couple NGT48 members I had 1st slot tickets for as well. But first I moved back to the security area to go to the info table – no need to push my luck. I explained (in poor Japanese) the issue with the address and the staff seemed to understand and pulled up my info on the computer. But then he questioned why I was there if I was able to use the first four tickets without a problem, and explained stamping wasn’t necessary, but since I was there he would do it anyway. After stamping each ticket he gave me a wristband, which was something I hadn’t had at the STU event. I didn’t understand his explanation as he attached it to me, but I thanked him anyway and moved off. It looked like they were letting another group of slot 1 ticket holders into the lanes area, but it was a much smaller crowd than before so I figured I would risk exiting the West Halls and go looking for the NGT event and maybe even try to get into the Nogi event and have my slot 2 tickets stamped in advance. However, immediately upon stepping out the exit into the hallway I regretted everything. The line to get into the security area was still enormous, stretching out through the courtyard doors and out of sight. I immediately abandoned hope of seeing the NGT members and started looking for the end of the handshake entrance line. The line moved achingly slowly, but I think I made it back into the Keya handshake lanes about 15 minutes into slot 2, around 12:15. Back in line outside the West Halls trying to get back in for slot 2 around 10:40. The line on the far left is just for the merch area. Spoiler: Slot 2 – Nijika (plus NGT and Nogi) For slot 2 I only had one Keya ticket, for Nijika again. She clearly remembered me (well I don’t think there were that many tall white guys at the event, certainly didn’t see any hanging around her lane), and I noticed this time she was wearing a nice pearl necklace. In any case, I complimented her appearance, said she’s been doing great, and wished her luck. From Nijika’s blog Since I was done and there was also an hour lunch break before the 3rd slot, I decided to risk the other groups this time. I made the 10 minute journey to the opposite side of the building to the larger East Hall area, where there was some sort of farming convention going on in addition to the NGT and Nogi handshakes. The crowd for Nogi was much smaller than Keya, and I was able to get in quickly and use my four tickets on Saito Chiharu without additional validation. I then moved to NGT, where the crowd was smaller still, probably a bit larger than the STU crowd but no long waits. I had one ticket each for Sugahara Riko, Yamaguchi Maho, and Yamada Noe, and got through all three in that order, though just barely as they closed Noe’s lane. Noe was probably the standout handshake for the whole day, but that’s for a different report. After that it was a quick curry & beer lunch at the East 2nd floor restaurant area, then back to line up for Keya slot 3. Spoiler: Slot 3 – Habu, Kyoko, Koike, and Miyu The line to get back in was just as long as before, but I made it back to the handshake lanes around the start of the slot at 2:30. I decided to go for Miyu first (lane #11) – her line wasn’t too long at the moment, and I’d heard rumors she might be feeling unwell so I didn’t want to miss her if she left early. I ended up making it all the way up to her ticket check table when the queue after that filled up, so I waited. But by 3:05 she still hadn’t shown up at her lane although I could see every other one seemed to be moving, and I was getting very nervous about the time. So I apologized to the woman at the ticket check table who I had been chatting with and ducked out of her lane (fortunately there was an empty area next to hers so I didn’t have to push my way out through the full queue behind me). I moved over to Habu’s lane (#17), which wasn’t too busy and I sailed in with one ticket. As expected she was tall and beautiful, she leaned towards me with a nice smile during the handshake, and my mind went completely blank. I did manage at least to thank her. From Habu’s blog A little frustrated with myself I decided to do Kyoko next (lane #26); I figured she may have a long queue so I would have time to compose my thoughts. It turns out there were only about a dozen waiting so I was able to get my ticket checked immediately. Her lane was lined with small handwritten signs with pictures of bowls of ramen and messages to the fans, which I unfortunately didn’t want to stop and try to decipher when I could keep things moving. Kyoko was tiny in person, which I had expected, and really cute with her hair back. She enthusiastically leaned into the handshake and smiled nicely while I told her my wife and I were big fans, and that in particular I thought she had an amazing voice. Even after I got pushed away she moved over to the side a bit so I could see her as I went to retrieve my stuff and waved – a very pleasant experience. From Kyoko’s blog Things were moving well, but again taking no time to rest I moved on to Koike (in one of the big lanes, #9). She had a bit of a wait with a couple dozen fans. As expected she was extremely cute in person (I think she is the cutest 46G/48G member), with a pleasantly high-pitched voice. Granted she was wearing several inch-tall platform shoes, but she was still much taller than I had expected, and overall more mature-looking. She was also enthusiastic about the handshake and listened while I told her that we liked her and that she was extremely cute. I got a nice smile for the compliments and a waving sendoff. From Koike’s blog Finished with my other tickets, I went back to Miyu’s lane, which was now moving but was still full up to the check table (maybe 40 people). I had a good laugh with the staff at the table, then got in line and made it up to her without too long of a wait. Her staff was more aggressive about putting the next person in queue really close to her while the previous person is handshaking, so I got a few extra seconds of observation. Miyu is small, but not tiny like Kyoko. Her hair was cut short and tucked back behind her ears, and she was wearing her large, round glasses. With the person in front of me she seemed very passive, not saying anything and just giving a slight nod in response to their comments (which I couldn’t hear). This was a bit troubling, but I only had a second or two to worry about it before being put up to her. She held my hands with a very light touch, and I changed whatever it was I was going to say before on the spot, blurting out (in hopefully comprehensible Japanese) that she was the first member I had really noticed when I first watched the Silent Majority MV, and how beautiful and cool I thought her performances were. I tried to speak gently but with enthusiasm, and I don’t know if it really had any effect, but she seemed to perk up just a little bit. As I was being pushed away I said thank you in Japanese and then English, and she suddenly turned to face me more where I was at the edge of her bench now and smiled and gave a slight nod, which considering her previous passivity was encouraging. I don’t recall if she had actually said anything though, maybe had greeted me quietly. Spoiler: Slot 4 – Miho birthday, Fuuchan, Naako, Yonesan, and Kumi This is the slot I was most excited about, and I didn’t want to mess anything up or get stuck outside in line, so I exited the handshake lane area just to the adjacent security area, and immediately got into the queue for people with 4th slot tickets. It turns out that unlike the STU event (or from my feeling the Nogi or NGT event) after each slot security would completely clear out the handshake area, so you needed to return to the security area or exit completely to the hall anyway. The line was four-across and snaked back and forth across the security area, though once the entire security area filled up (maybe 1000-1500 people? I’m bad at estimating) I was probably in the front 10% of the line inside (I can only imagine outside the line still stretched the length of the West Halls and into the courtyard). There was also, as always, a crowd that was sitting in the security area, not in line, but in the area near the barrier to the handshake lane area. I thought they were just waiting around for a later slot, but perhaps they were also anticipating an event. There were the normal announcements as they cleared the handshake area on time, but then there was a bit of a commotion and I could see them setting up a portable speaker against the barrier on the handshake lane side. The crowd turned and stood and started moving closer to the barrier in anticipation of something. The staff urged everyone to sit, which was mostly obeyed, at least initially, so I could briefly see all the way to the other side. To excited cries I could see a small platform set up and someone who appeared to be Miho (from a hundred feet away anyhow) flanked by what looked like the other Hiragana 2nd gens. It was indeed Miho’s birthday celebration, and she gave a short speech (where she got quite a bit choked up and paused for a bit to encouraging cheers from the crowd) and was presented with a bouquet, followed by a photo. It was difficult to really see or hear from where I was, especially as the people in front of me got excited and half-stood. I lamented that if we had all just stood up I was tall enough to just see over the Japanese crowd, though I would have felt a little bad blocking everyone behind me. After the birthday event it took some time before they started letting people into the handshake area, and all order of the line had broken down, so it was a bit of an uncharacteristic melee/pushing match to get back in. From 2nd Gen blog. I’m somewhere back there on the right, out of sight. I finally got in around 4:50 but I think the handshakes didn’t resume until after 5, so about a half-hour behind schedule. I went immediately to Naako’s lane (#8) since it was a large one but it wasn’t too full yet with only about 20 people ahead of me. I had handed over my ticket to the standing attendant (some lanes had a checker sitting at the table and an auxiliary attendant standing next to them to move things faster) and was fumbling with my passport when my wristband, which I had forgotten about, slipped down into view. The attendant gave a small exclamation and gestured at my band, saying no ID was required and approved my ticket immediately. Hmm. Each member had some presumably fan-provided flower displays set up behind them to liven up the otherwise utilitarian atmosphere. The most obvious ones I had seen were the several with giant balloons at the top spelling out “MIKU” that were near the first lane where she had had one slot in the morning and you could see as you entered. But Naako also had a notable number of lavish flower stands behind her station. Naako was about as I expected, engaged but quiet, clearly listening but moving in that slow way she has sometimes on Keyakitte. With only one ticket I just had time to tell her I was from the US and really happy to meet her. She smiled in her half-smile sort of way and responded that she was happy to meet me, too (which was about the most any Keya member had said to me so far). I told her I thought she was really cool, and said my goodbyes in Japanese and English as I was being pushed away. As I backed away to get my stuff she was still watching me and gave her weird 2-handed wave and a cute monotone “bye-bye” in English just like during her TV segments, so I was pretty stoked. Definitely most engaging so far, though that’s not a terribly high bar. From Naako’s blog I was too nervous to go to Fuuchan right then, so next I went down to Kumi’s lane (#25). There wasn’t much of a wait so I got up to her quickly with one ticket. She wasn’t as tall as I had expected but she leaned close to me while holding hands. I said I really liked her and wished her luck in Japanese and English. She thanked me in Japanese and then she said “bye” in English as I started to get pushed off. She then paused, still holding my hands, and was clearly trying to think of something else she wanted to say, but then just smiled and laughed and waved goodbye from the edge of her booth as I was sent around the barrier to get my stuff. Then I was ready for Fuuchan (lane #16) – I only wanted to spend three tickets at a time so I would have a chance to reflect in between. Surprisingly (as it was easy to get tickets, she traditionally hasn’t sold out many slots, and her low photocard resale prices, my impression has been that she’s one of the least popular among Japanese fans), her lane was packed with what looked like a hundred people ahead of me, but moving. I noticed a lot of fans here were carrying her oshi towel, too, especially the nice black and gold version. She had expressed that day in Keyaki Message, and on her blog, that she had managed to sell out more slots for this single, and was clearly very excited about it and grateful to her fans. To fit everyone her line wrapped back and forth several times the length of her queue, so I got some time standing next to her exit lane. After almost every person she would come over to the very edge of her stand so she could wave and thank them as they got their stuff and left. She seemed super energetic and had a great smile. She was looking beautiful with her hair back, short bangs, and wearing a blue shirt under a dark sweater-vest – like a high-end school uniform. On her post-handshake blog she posted some pictures from the event, thanked everyone for coming to see her, and apologized for the long wait to get inside. From Fuuchan's blog Fuuchan blog photo from her lane with the final barrier reversed so you can see her decorations (I was so focused on her I didn’t even notice them at the time). During the handshake the member is on the near side of that blue fence, and you are in the narrow space between the tall barrier and the fence surrounded by staff members. As expected she was enthusiastic with the handshake and I excitedly told her that I’m from the US and really like her, and that she’s my oshi. She seemed pleased, and I thanked her and offered some encouragement as I got pushed off, and she smiled and waved and thanked me as I went to get my stuff. It was great, though honestly the time with three tickets felt just as short as one. I was pretty nervous and so the whole thing was even more of a blur than my normal whirlwind handshake experiences. I didn’t stop to reflect much as I was paranoid about running out of time, especially since I didn’t know if they would extend the slot as it had started so late. So I moved immediately to Yonesan’s lane (#13), which was busy with a couple dozen in line, and cashed in my three tickets at once. Yone was looking super cute, and I felt much more relaxed talking with her for some reason. She listened with bright eyes as I explained my job and wished her luck with her science studies. She seemed quite happy with the connection and thanked me profusely. I also complimented her Showrooms (if I had more time I would have complimented her tolerance for Oda and Naako’s antics as well), and she had a great smile as she waved me off. Then it was back to Fuuchan’s lane for my final three tickets. I stated with “I’m back!” in English as I approached her, and she gave me a nice “okaeri” as welcome. Back to Japanese, after gushing for a moment I told her that I really love goninbayashi, and hoped they would get a music video in the future. She nodded and agreed, saying she wants to do one too, and they will work towards it. Again goodbyes and she gave me a nice “mata, ne” as I was leaving – well more being carried away as her staff seemed to be quite eager to keep things moving. Again, it felt like I got about three seconds with her, but it was great while it lasted. Probably blushing, I recycled back to the security area and got in line for the final slot. Spoiler: Slot 5 – Oda, Mirei, and Kageyama It seems they were keeping the 4th slot open longer to make up for the delay, so I had a while in line here. I was hot, my feet and legs and back were sore, and I was mentally and physically exhausted at this point, but certainly was not going to duck out now. I wasn’t sure if the late session would be more or less crowded than the morning, but the crowd looked as huge as ever, though it seemed to be more male and more hardcore. Around me there were guys with a different member on each background page of their phone, full replica 6th single jackets, dogtags, and boots, multiple oshi towels streaming from their belts, and lanyards with a large member’s photo prominently displayed. I finally got back in around 7:10pm, so still about a half-hour behind schedule. I went straight for Oda’s lane (#18), and used two of my tickets first. She was looking cute with her new haircut and striped polo shirt, and as expected she was very attentive in the handshake. I congratulated her on centering the latest goninbayashi song and thanked her for being so great. I got a thank you and a goodbye from her in English and Japanese in return. From Oda’s blog Next I moved to Mirei (lane #28) with two tickets, again feeling I didn’t know how much time I had before they started closing queues. Her lane, like most of the ones I could see, was full, so I guess the late times are popular. I told her I was from the US and congratulated her on centering Ima ni Mite Iro. I thanked her in Japanese and English, and she also thanked me for coming in both languages, and seemed very excited while waving me goodbye with a big smile. As I was retrieving my bags from the baskets I could hear her exclaim loudly (to the staff, or the next person in line?) that she was really excited to have met someone from America. Next I went to Kageyama’s lane (#24), but it was full and not moving, so I decided not to wait and went back to Oda’s queue. Her sign had been lowered, indicating they were closing her lane, but they hadn’t blocked it off yet so I slipped in and got in line; there were about a dozen people waiting just to get up to her check table. I used my last three tickets and told her I really enjoy her on Keyakitte, and also that it would be great to have a Nanachanzu song. She laughed and agreed she’d like to do one, too, and we said our goodbyes again. Finally back to Kageyama for my last ticket of the day – her lane is still full but appears to be moving now. It’s after 8pm at this point, and quite a few lanes are actually closing now. There were also staff with clipboards walking through the lines in the remaining lanes asking if anyone was holding tickets for another member, which was a nice touch. The lane in fact closed while I was still waiting, causing the ten or so fans who were lingering outside for the end to suddenly rush to get in line. Yuuka looked exactly as I’d expected from TV, which I had found to not necessarily be true of a lot of members. She was resting on the edge of a tall stool, but still smiling and leaning forward towards me. I said hello and where I was from, wondering if it would prompt any Superbowl comments. I wanted to compliment her singing voice, too, but I was already being pushed out. She smiled brightly and we said our goodbyes as I was moved away, she said “goodbye, thank you!” in excellent English. I wish I had had time to compliment her ability. From Yuuka’s blog And so that was the end. I spent a few minutes watching from near the far exit of the handshake area – groups of fans were gathered there, and some of the Hiraganas that had finished their handshakes would step from behind the final barriers and wave to the enthusiastic cheers of the crowd. Spoiler: Conclusion So that was my first Keyakizaka handshake experience. Overall, it was really enjoyable. The members were all friendly, if a bit passive. But I expected Keya members to be more shy than your average idol, and they lived up to that, but still made for a fun handshake. I’m a bit sad Naako wasn’t more of a fisher, and I hope Miyu is doing alright. But Fuuchan was great as I had hoped (really I probably would have been happy just getting to Fuyuka), and Yonesan was unexpectedly fun to talk to. If I had to do it again, there’s not a lot I think I would change. Maybe I would have stashed my coat in a coin locker to save taking it on and off and maybe stay a bit cooler. Also, learn more Japanese. It’s great to hear the members talk, so maybe I would have asked more questions, but it’s hard to balance the time to be able to say anything meaningful. Also, since I was able to make it through queues much faster in the morning, perhaps try to do more members in the early slots and save the later ones for multiple tickets on fewer members. Certainly the size of the crowd getting in was quite overwhelming, especially compared to any other idol event I went to while I was in Japan. But I was able to use all of my Keya tickets in the end, so it worked out ok.