I traveled to Shizuoka 109 this spring (previous posts) and stumbled upon Gyda’s producer Yuria Kushido doing an in store meet-and-greet known in japan as a “raiten ibento”(来店イベント). I’ve chronicled stumbling into Momoko Ogihara at these types of events, went to a Sakurina event, and the Liz Lisa My Melody event. I thought I’d show how an instore event looks and how to find one near you if you’re traveling or staying in Japan.
What’s an in store event?
Anything or anyone famous holds an event in connection with a store. It’s usually one of three types: producers, models or characters.
Producers usually hold in store events to greet their fans and up sales in that particular store.
For Liz Lisa they have their character that visits select stores. Characters are such a big boom that they often have events in big stores.
Brands that do collaboration work with models often have in store events, for example Amo and Candy Stripper or Yui Kanno and Liz Lisa. TWNRoom had three models appear for their opening event. Models also appear for magazines, new magazine Larme has a few events a year. Since most stores are based in Tokyo, Tokyo events are more common, but they happen all over Japan. Events can also coincide with store openings or other big store moves like design renewals.
How to find out about in store events?
Follow blogs of stores and models you like. This is the number one best way to do it. Blogs are likely where people post about it. Most of the time the in store events notices are only that week so you have to be quick to catch them. Twitter and instagram in store notice posts aren’t as common, so definitely check blogs.
One I’m aware of: Larme and its popular models have an upcoming model event for Halloween at La Foret 10/25
What’s required from you?
In store events are usually to increase store sales numbers, so in order to participate you have to buy something. The dollar amount varies.
At the Yuria Kushido for Gyda it was 5,000 yen ($49). The My Melody event was 20,000 yen ($198). The amount you buy is usually only for purchases made the same day of the event, meaning for the My Melody event it buy 20,000 yen that day. Okarie the director of Ank Rouge recently had an in store event (raiten ibento) at Tokyu Lala Port, you had to purchase 10,000 yen that day for a photo and autograph. The Nameko event was free but I had to ask for a ticket.
You are given a ticket and when stand in line and it becomes your turn you give the ticket away.
For Popular events QUEUE EARLY!
As early as you can and accept to be waiting a long time. La Foret mega meets always attract a ton of fans and they are dedicated.
I arrived on time for this popular La Foret event.
However everyone else came earlier. The line for it stretched up all 7 floors of La Foret and outside the building curving around the street.
If you really want to see a big event show up early as you can and be prepared to stick it out waiting in line for a long time.
This is only for big events, small in store events aren’t as crazy. The only pressure for in-store events is when they are opening events. Then of course more fan fare and people are expected to show.
What’s allowed and how many photos can you take?
You can take as many photos as you want of the surrounding area usually, but of yourself and the person or character it depends. Usually it’s just two devices and one photo on each such as a regular camera and an iPhone or if friends are posing together then their two smartphones. They will usually just shoot one photo on each device.
Japan In-Store meets with models and characters
GYDA Yuria Kushido at Shizuoka 109’s GYDA
I stumbled onto a GYDA event for their producer Yuria Kushido when I was taking a day trip to Shizuoka. I keep stumbling onto events, which is a fun suprise.
In the GYDA store they were using this sign next to the cash register to let customers know of a raiten ibento (来店イベント). Signs were also around the 1st floor of Shizuoka 109.
But even if you didn’t go into the store you’d notice by the crowd of stylish women queueing up to meet Yuria Kushido.
Yuria Kushido is both lovely, confident and extremely friendly. Her fans were also well dressed in their GYDA best. Yuria made everyone’s day who stood in line that day and spent a nice amount of time talking with each.
As you can see the guy handler is the photographer/bag holder. There he is walking and offering to hold the girl’s bag. A male assitant/photographer/bag holder is very common at producer in store events.
She signed everyone’s bag with a little note.
Bag on arm the male assistant takes photos with a GYDA staff camera and the fan’s phone camera.
Yuria was doing the same pose in every one because she knows her angles.
She’s so petite! Look at her in HEELS next to schoolgirls! Making the schoolgirl’s day.
and now for a completely different event…
Nameko photo event at Tokyu Hands in Shibuya
Nameko is a derpy mushroom character that has had a series of popular smartphone games and character lines as well as gamesen catch-game plushies.
Tokyu Hands is a popular chain that stocks home goods, stationary items (Like the Liz Lisa x Sliccies collaboration) and character goods. I got a message from Lucie that Nameko was doing a character event one Saturday and Alice and I are both nutty for Nameko so we quick trained ourselves from Harajuku to Shibuya and rushed to Tokyu Hands.
Inside Loft there’s a character section in the bigger stores. The character rotates but it’s usually filled with merchandise.
There was a small sign notifying that Nameko would make an apperance.
Here’s a close-up of the sign. It says Nameko will be doing three sessions starting at 1:00, 3:00, and 5:00. Each session is limited to 30 people and you can only take one photo a piece.
There was nothing needed to buy so we just asked a shop staff and were given a ticket.
Sure enough Nameko arrived. In the big mushroom felt-flesh.