Tag Archives: Jakarta

7th June: Jakarta – JKT48 & Countdown Asia Festival Day 2

January 14, 2016 by

The plan today was JKT48 theater then head back to Countdown Asia Festival! Mindmix won the same ticket as mine so I plan to meet up with him at FX for Team KIII’s “Boku no Taiyou“!

WinAnggy offered to give me a ride to FX but she’s not joining since she has class right after. I’m more of a car-person and this is basically my 2nd motorcycle ride ever in my life so yeah, I was hanging for my life here. A motorcycle ride through Jakarta’s traffic, bucket list checked.

JKT_AnggryI met up with Mindmix to redeem our tickets. Bingo starts at 11.30 so we head upstairs to the foodcourt for our own tiny Jakarta brunch.

JKT_TicketWe both had Sate Padang (I think), and talked about JKT48 while we fill up our tummies. I wasn’t familiar with Team KIII as I was more familiar with Team J. But I had watched Team KIII’s “Boku no Taiyou” 2 years ago and I remember being impressed with Yona and Sinka. I think that this setlist is a revival? I wasn’t sure. But it was interesting that I get to see the same setlist I saw 2 years ago.

JKT_Sate

Right before we went in, a group of guys stopped us and asked us to support JKT48 Team T later at Countdown Asia Festival. They gave us this free invitation so me and Mindmix just looked at each other. Score! We were planning to go there anyway but now we got free tickets for it, haha.

JKT_2nd_TicketBoku no Taiyou” was fun! I could clearly see the improvement they had since 2 years ago and Mix was thrilled that he got a live half-assed translation on-the-go for him. The first MC was easy to follow when they were talking about their favorite cookings and the second MC and after I was just as lost as him. I was impressed with Sisil, who I never noticed before. I thought she was funny and engaging, noticing me and Mix in the theater and tried talking in English (and failing). I remember I went out of the theater thinking that I might just found my Team KIII oshi.

JKT_TheaterWe head back to Countdown Asia Festival with our free tickets. Anggy, Ixa and Mocil weren’t free on that day so it was just me and Mix. We head to the Dempa booth where they had some merchandise sold.

JKT_EntranceSince the only light stick that I brought was a red JKT48 one, I thought of buying a Dempa light stick. After making sure I have enough money to get a taxi to the airport, I bought their CD and their badges as well.

JKT_GoodsBadly for me, the only Dempa song I was familiar about was W.W.D and W.W.D II. So I was following the lead of the Japanese wota that were there as well. They didn’t sing W.W.D but I really enjoyed “Neo Japanism” and they also sang their latest single, “Otsukaresama~” or rather “Otsukare Summer”. Towel waving songs are always fun. (Yes, I waved a HKT48 towel. Sue me.)

JKT_DempaI waited around till JKT48 Team T appearances. I was risking it as I was actually late for my taxi to the airport. But they were singing “Wink wa Sankai” and a song or two wouldn’t hurt me, right? After bidding Mix farewell I left him and rushed to grab a taxi. Turns out I was wrong and the prospect of me missing my flight might be real. Good thing I had a taxi driver who drives like a madman when I told him the time of my flight. Although, in his defense, all taxi drivers in Jakarta are madmen.

JKT_TeamTI managed to grab my flight with 8 minutes to spare thanks to my taxi driver. It was a close call as I had work the very next morning. It was a rushed yet awesome 2 days.

I was glad to meet Mindmix, after chatting with him for almost 2 years. And was so happy to finally meet Anggy, who I couldn’t meet the last time I went to Jakarta. It was always a fun time to meet the crazies that is Ixa and Mocil as well. It’s fun to able to watch Sousenkyo with friends, even though by “watching” it was actually just reading the ranking through Twitter and us reacting to it. And of course, to be able to see Kamen Joshi again, not to mention Dempagumi and also watch Team T’s performance and a theater show by Team KIII? I thought I made really good use of my 2 days and there was no regret whatsoever.

I went home, tired but happy. It was crazy to think that I traveled to two different countries in a span of 1 week just to see idols. From Home > Tokyo > Home > Jakarta > Home. But Tokyo and Jakarta felt like home to me in some kind of a weird way. When you have online friends from all over the world, even though you’re traveling by yourself, you’re never alone. And that what makes it feel home to me.

6th June: Jakarta – Countdown Asia Festival Day 1

January 13, 2016 by

A day after I got back I started thinking about the things I did in Japan. Of course, by now the rest of the AIDOL gang are heading to Fukuoka for the Sousenkyo, while I’m back to work and stuck in office. The one thing that I have been hammering myself about is my promise with Anna. I said yes to her when she asked me to come to Jakarta but the question is am I really going to Jakarta? Just to see Kamen Joshi again? I don’t really like them that much do I?

Turns out I kinda do. I basically finished all my money in Japan so I was lucky that the miles point I got from my Japan trip could cover up my Jakarta flight. Since I used up all my leave from work as well, I had to fly off Saturday morning and come back on Sunday night. Plus, I also asked for help from one of UKN48 staff, Anggy to stay near her place so I would save on accommodation. It was crazy but I was doing it.FlightSo on Saturday morning, there I was, with little to no money and heading to Jakarta for Kamen Joshi. I looked up the time table and Kamen Joshi has 2 performances on the 1st day. Yay! Plus, Dempagumi will also make an appearance on 2nd Day at 4.30pm, leaving my morning free. So, I decided to apply for JKT48’s theater in the morning.

JKT_TTI reached the airport and straightaway head to FX Sudirman, the shopping mall that JKT48’s theater is located at, to meet up with Mindmix from my Half48 irc chat. We head to Lapangan D Senayan together and was just in time for Kamen Joshi.

JKT_!stTicketI also met up with Anggy, a timer from UKN48. Ixarus and Mocil couldn’t make it to the morning show as they had other plans so it was just me, Mindmix and Anggy.

KamenJoshiSince this was literally my second time watching them live, I didn’t know the calls or even who the other members are. The ones appearing was Alice Juban, of whom I only recognized the center, Tachibana Anna and Sawada Risa, Wayne’s oshimen. There were a lot of Mori Kanon fans in attendance, which later I found out are called Kanon’s Children. And I find that interesting.

JKT_KAmenKamen Gaijin subbed a few of Kamen Joshi’s Jakarta adventures which is of course translated by yours truly. I thought this was a good indication that I truly like the group. I wouldn’t translate something I don’t have an interest in and I was definitely interested in this group.

It was 2pm when Kamen Joshi’s performance was over and it was unbearably HOT in Jakarta. Me, Mindmix and Anggy head back to FX to enjoy the air-conditioned building since we have almost 4 hours till the next Kamen Joshi performance. We open up our phones and watch a streaming of Sousenkyo in a tiny cafe in Jakarta. It wasn’t ideal, I sure wished I was in Fukuoka watching it with my own two eyes but it was better than nothing. Plus, I love watching Anggy’s reaction every time someone from SKE ranks.

JKT_SousenkyoI saw Anna tweeted that there will be an impromptu handshake session. Since the sousenkyo stream was being wonky, I rushed Mindmix and Anggy to go to the handshake session with me. Knowing my luck, when we arrived the session ended but the girls were distributing flyers instead so I had to go see Anna and say something.

I yelled out “Anna!” to grab her attention. She saw me and immediately recognized me. “Half-chan, you really came!”. Not only did she recognized me but she remembered my name as well. No wonder people told me that she has a good memory. Their performance was up next and I couldn’t talk anymore. I was already being rude enough for taking her time when she should be heading to the stage to get ready. She gestured to me that she has to go to the stage while I nod understandingly that she needs to leave. She signaled me asking if I’ll be watching the live and I signaled back OK. It was a short interaction, but enough to make me feel happy.

By the evening performance, Ixa and Mocil came over to join us. We had so much fun headbanging to Kamen Joshi.

JKT_1stNightAfter Kamen Joshi, we sat around and continue struggling to stream Sousenkyo but ended up watching the twitter timeline instead. They were about to announce the Top 10, and every single announcement seemed to be taking such a long time.

JKT_ResultOnce Sasshi was announced as Number 1 again I laughed in all their faces and followed Anggy back. Kamen Joshi and Sousenkyo streaming with friends, it wasn’t what I had in mind a year before but it seemed perfect. I ended the day with an email from JKT48 saying I won the theater application for tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I would be seeing JKT48 and Dempagumi. I can’t wait.

20th Feb: AKB48 x JKT48 concert

January 1, 2016 by

When I heard about AKB48 coming to Jakarta to do a collaboration concert, I was hesitant on going. On one hand, I really wanted to go but on the other, I was also saving money to go to Japan in May. But, a few weeks before the concert, they release the names of the members that are going to the concert.

  • Team A: Matsui Sakiko, Morikawa Ayaka
  • Team K: Kitahara Rie, Shimada Haruka, Yokoyama Yui
  • Team B: Oshima Ryoka, Uchiyama Natsuki, Kawamoto Saya, Kuramochi Asuka, Takeuchi Miyu, Natori Wakana, Nozawa Rena, Hashimoto Hikari, Hirata Rina
  • Team 4: Okada Nana

The moment I saw Shimada Haruka it was a done deal. I bought the flight tickets instantly and quickly booked my place to stay. I know I’ll be seeing her again in May but May can’t come soon enough. I was determined. I’m going to this concert.

20th Feb was a Friday but I was lucky that 20th Feb is a public holiday in my country so I had the freedom to fly off on Friday morning itself. There were lots of things I had to do before the concert. Both of my colleagues (there’s only 3 in my department) are on leave for the week so I had to finish the whole week of work for 3 people before I fly on Friday. Busy was an understatement.

After finishing my work till late on Thursday, I had packed all I needed. I had my light sticks ready in my bag, 3 millions rupiah exchanged, putting 2 millions in my bag and bringing 1 million with me in my wallet. After double checking and triple checking my passport and my concert tickets, I was ready. That is when the first out of many obstacle hits me. My flight was delayed.

I was supposed to arrive in Jakarta at 11am, the morning of the concert. It was ample time for me to check in to my accommodation, then arrive at the concert hall around 2pm to meet up with people from Half48 chatroom & UKN48. Instead, my new delayed flight will make me arrive at 2.55pm. Once landed, I grabbed the first taxi service I could find to take me to my place of stay (I paid 320,000 rupiah which I now know was bloody expensive and I should have haggled the price). I was staying at Jalan Cockroaminoto which I somehow pronounced as CockroAminaSato, a mere 5km away from Kokas aka Kota Kasablanka (the concert place). I did think of going to Kokas straight away but I still have 3 hours till the concert starts and I thought I still have time. Boy, was I wrong. What I didn’t realize is 3pm on a Friday was when the traffic in Jakarta is at its worst. First 15 minutes after arriving in Jakarta and I was face to face with the infamous traffic jam a.k.a macet. The feeling of regret is starting to set in.

After paying 500,000 rupiah for my hotel deposit, I quickly threw my bags in the room and ran to the street to grab a taxi to Kokas. From my hotel to Kokas was only 20,000 rupiah, which was when the reality hit me that I paid an unreasonable amount for the taxi at the airport. After arriving at Kokas, I also realized few other things. I left my light sticks and the rest of my money in my bags at the hotel room. So there I was, in Kota Kasablanka, with 160,000 rupiah (Around 11USD) in my pocket, and 30 minutes till the door is open for the concert to start. The wifi connection in Kokas wasn’t very stable as well, so I couldn’t meet up with the other guys.

People were already queuing up. I tried looking around but there were too many people for me to find any Half48 chatroom or UKN48 people around.

Jakarta_Queue

Tired, worried, and losing all the excitement I had for the concert, I head on inside the concert hall. I didn’t have enough money to buy merchandise (I could buy something but then I would have no money left for dinner and for the ride back to the hotel so I decided to be an adult and hold out on the merchandise temptation). Luckily, people were giving away free glow sticks so I at least had something in my hand. The seats were separated into left and right section and since nothing in my day seems to be going right so far, I headed to the left side of the seating area.

Jakarta_ConcertKage-ana started and it was Melody. Her Indonesian was clear and slow enough so I could understand most of it. (I basically can understand a bit but don’t ask me to speak Indonesian, I sound weird). Overture started and the whole concert hall, I’m not kidding, EVERYONE started to chant. The boys, the girls, the old uncles and aunties, even the 6 year old girl sitting in front of me. Although, the guy behind me was shouting “Tiger! Fire! Tiger! Fire! Jya! Jya!” on repeat but A+ for effort.

I won’t bother on posting the setlist but I’ll talk about the performance that sticks to my mind. “Kibouteki Refrain” started playing and the whole 16 AKB girls were in a straight line from one end of the stage to the other end singing the song. As the light shines on the girls, who did I see directly in front of me, singing on the left side of the stage? It was none other than my AKB oshi, Shimada Haruka. I’m probably exaggerating but my whole worry… that whole ordeal of obstacles and happenings and shitty stuff that happened to me before the concert started? It was washed away when I saw her. All the regrets I had for the concert vanished as I watch her dancing energetically with her twin-tails bouncing around.

Sitting on the edge of the hall means I get first hand view of the trolley that the AKB members climbed in on the side. I can’t remember who was the AKB member who got it on the right side, but Yui & Ryouka was on the left. And they were so close. Suddenly my choice of sitting on the left side didn’t seem so bad. I remember Mocchi got on the trolley for the left side on one song and she was breathtakingly beautiful. Just plain gorgeous. Rena was in the center position for most of the song, which was apt considering her history with JKT48. But Naachan got the most cheer whenever she is on screen.

The MC sessions were fun and easy to follow along even though they used a mix of Japanese and Indonesians. The girls were engaging and funny. And I swear I’m not being biased, but Shimada was hilarious. She was not afraid to make fun of herself and I love when the whole hall just burst into laughter every time she shouts the word “Kurus! (Skinny)”.

The concert started with AKB then a few songs mixes AKB members with JKT members. After a few songs, JKT48 starts to perform. My attention immediately went to Team T, the newly formed team when they sang “Wink wa Sankai“. The MC after the JKT48 performance was an AKB vs JKT game which was awesome. It felt like I was watching a variety show, except in a huge hall with all my friends.

After the little competition, it was a bit of a shuffle as they mix up a few AKB and JKT members to sing songs. Mocchi stands out so much in “Blue Rose” but Naomi from JKT wasn’t about to give in. She fit in quite well with Mocchi, Chikarina and Aaya because for a second there I was wondering which AKB member was the 4th girl before I realized that she is from JKT.

Rena, Ayana & Andela performed “Heart Gata Virus” and it was clear that this is Rena’s song. The special video at the beginning of the song focused on her. Here is a girl, who traveled here and there during her childhood but somehow ended up in Jakarta. She found a home in JKT48. And it shows. The reception of fellow JKT members and the fans towards her was so apparent, it was touching. I don’t think if Haruka or Chikarina goes back to Japan would they got this level of attention. Even through her performance I could feel that she is saying to her fans, “Tadaima” or “I’m back“. I even forgot the fact that this is a 3-person unit as all my eyes could focus was on Rena at the center. Only when the other fans started chanting, “A~yana! A~yana! Ayana! Ayana!” then I realized, “Oh yeah, my JKT Oshi is in this unit too. Haha.”

Ame no Doubutsuen” was the first song that some other girl stole my attention from Shimada. Kinal was playful and energetic, teasing JKT and AKB members alike. She truly captures the spirit of the song, and I find myself difficult to stop watching her. Yui & Melody sang “Temo Demo Namida” and Yui went up the left trolley. I hate to brag but she basically sang that song while looking at me. Well, not directly at me but towards my general area.

The concert goes back to AKB performing and then back to JKT performing, with MCs to keep us entertained in the middle. The highlight for me was the last song, “Sakura no Hanabiratachi”. During MCs, the fans constantly needed reminder to be silent. Members and other fans keep shushing and telling us to keep it quiet in order to hear what the other member is saying. But not for this song. As the spotlight hits Sakiko, without anyone telling us to, the whole concert hall fell silent. She plays the first few piano notes, perfectly playing the familiar sounds of bell chiming in the beginning of Sakura no Hanabiratachi, and captivating all of us with her fingers.

Once the song start, everyone in the hall altogether started singing the lyrics in Japanese (romaji lyrics on screen helped). Every time the camera focuses on the girls, there were looks of surprise and awe. All of us were swaying our glow sticks from left to right and singing along with the girls. In that moment, it felt like all of us were one. As the song ended, I can’t help but feel teary eyed. I don’t know whether it was the lyrics of the song, indicating graduation and end of a journey as if this concert is coming to an end, or the unity of the fans and the members.

The girls bid their farewell and for the first time in this concert, I checked the time. Almost clocking 2 hours plus and I didn’t even realized it. I really enjoyed the concert but the minute the concert ends and I had two thoughts:

  1. Damn, I wished they sang “First Rabbit”
  2. Man, Shimada didn’t even get to ride that trolley thing at all (left or right side)

I was waiting for someone to start an encore shout and was glad someone started just a few minutes after the concert ended. The curtains open back again with all of them singing “After rain” followed by “10 Nen Zakura”. Then, my miracle happened. The familiar first few beats of “First Rabbit” started and I immediately recognized it. But I look on my left to find out that Shimada was on the trolley and I just lost all my shit. I think I lost my voice that night after shouting her name so much. It was a bloody perfect encore.

I managed to get a proper wifi connection after the concert ended. I met up with Mocil, Ixarus, Ryan, Araishikeiwai (Or Rick as I call him) and a few friends of theirs. I met Ryan when he came to my country a few weeks prior so there was no mystery there. But meeting Ixa, Mocil and Rick was awesome as I’ve been chatting with Ixa & Mocil in our Half48 chatroom for almost 2 years and this was the first time for me meeting them. It was the first of many for me to actually go out and meet my online friends. Before, I always hide behind my online profiles but “Half” is my first one that makes me feel that I really made a connection with people. So, I decided to break out of my comfort shell and actually meet my online friends. They were just the lucky ones to meet me first, and more in the future was yet to come.

Jakarta_IdiotsThey took me to eat Sate Padang. Which was good, because I was starving. Lucky for them, the 160,000 rupiah I had was enough for the food and the ride back home. I really didn’t want to be the asshole who borrows money the first time we meet, haha.

Jakarta_SateThe next day, I met up with Ixa and Rick again to try to get into AnDare’s recording at JKT48’s theater.

Jakarta_Idiots2Jakarta_JKT48Too bad we couldn’t get in so we opted for Japanese food instead. I’ve watched JKT48 theater before back in 2013 and I can’t remember why I didn’t apply for theater tickets on this trip. Either there was no show or I felt like I didn’t have the time.

On Sunday, I was already in an early flight back home and my 3 days in Jakarta ended quickly. Looking back, the concert was the best 3 hours of my night. And to think my flight was delayed, I had 3 hours to get to the concert, 2 of those hours was stuck in traffic, with little money, and couldn’t find my friends, feeling down as hell but the girls were so energetic and funny and amazing and it just made me feel glad that I decided to come after all.

Jakarta_FlightBetween attending the concert and actually meeting other fans, I was so glad I came. And it got me proper excited for my Japan trip in May. I will be attending my first 2-shot event and making my first trip to Japan. Just thinking about it makes me nervous and excited.