I can’t believe I actually hopped on a 3-hour train to Tokyo the day after landing in Osaka just to see this exhibit, and I’m so glad I did!
The Festa was basically an exhibition of the outfits that were designed for the idols for the Shining Dream CD. They were designed by fashion designer Keita Maruyama, and the outfits were actually created in real-life! How incredible is it that an entire collection of outfits was designed for a group of fictional idols?? That’s how popular UtaPri is in Japan!
But let’s backtrack to the beginning. The Festa was located in Harajuku LaForet, which is considered the mecca of Harajuku fashion. On the 6th floor is the LaForet Museum, where the Shining Dream Festa was featured until August 21st.
In order to get a ticket, you either had to enter a lottery for advance ticket purchase, or wait until the sale date. I signed up on cnplayguide using my friend’s Japanese address and phone number, and entered the lottery by choosing the top three dates and times that I wanted a ticket for. I chose times on the last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, since those were the only dates I could do after arriving in Japan.
I figured that the demand would be high and that I probably wouldn’t be chosen, but I actually was selected for the Friday and Saturday times! I dropped the Friday one and had my friend pay for the 3pm Saturday one so that I could have a little more time to breathe after arriving on Thursday afternoon. Paying for the tickets is only possible by credit card (I think only Japanese cards are accepted but ’m not certain) or in cash at a convenience store in Japan. So if you live overseas, that makes it really difficult to get a ticket–fortunately my friend that I depend on to send merchandise for me was willing to pay for the ticket at Seven-Eleven for me. Once that was done, I just had to wait until the end of July when tickets would be available for pickup.
The good news is that, once you find a way to pay for the ticket, you can actually pick it up yourself when you arrive in Japan. Just go to any FamilyMart or Seven-Eleven (depending on which one you chose) and follow the instructions on cnplayguide. For 7-11 I showed the cashier my confirmation e-mail and then signed for the ticket.
If you couldn’t get a ticket in advance, they did have them for general sale afterwards, but I think they only sold them up to August 10th(??). As far as I know there was no at-door ticket sales.
After the Shining Store, I had some time to kill so I met with a friend and we did some window shopping (and he was kind enough to take all of my Shining Store merch and hold onto it for me until I returned to Tokyo) until it was time for the Festa. Getting in line was a funny thing–I took the elevator to the 6th floor, but there was such a long line of people waiting on the stairs to get in that by the time I found the end of the line, I was back on the 2nd floor XD
At 3pm the line started moving, but after I handed the lady my ticket, the line stopped. I thought it was because it was crowded and people were taking a really long time to take pictures, but that wasn’t the case. While slowly moving through the hall, there were messages from the Shining Agency, Chinatsu Kurahana, and Keita Maruyama (Japanese only), as well as written motifs for DAY DREAM and NIGHT DREAM (Japanese and English). Photos weren’t allowed but the line moved so slowly that I was able to type out the English version of the motifs:
In the next area, there were close-up photos of the actual outfits and the photoshoot, as well as Maruyama’s rough sketches and Kurahana’s finished illustrations. I wish I could have taken pictures because the idols looked adorable in the rough sketches–he drew them with their eyes closed and smiling, as if they were having sweet dreams <3
The next area was what caused the long wait–it was an open area with benches set up facing a projector screen, and Prince Headphones all lined up. A lot of people (including myself) went for a spot that had their favorite character’s headphones and sat down. When all the seats were filled, we watched an interview of Maruyama where he talks about the concepts for the DAY DREAM and NIGHT DREAM outfits and how he came up with each character’s design. While I was able to understand the interview, unfortunately my memory is totally shot from the past few days of traveling–I can only clearly remember that he said he went for a “sexy” image for NIGHT DREAM which included making Masato’s shirt out of lace…meaning you can see his skin underneath *blush*
After the presentation, we went into the next room which had the outfits displayed on mannequins, DAY on the left side and NIGHT on the right. They alternated the songs, so while DAY DREAM was playing, they had spotlights and a video for the DAY side, and then NIGHT DREAM would play and the lights and video would play on that side. They had special versions of the songs where the characters would say lines during the song as if it were a live concert. Along the back wall were displays of the idols, and on the sides were the bears displayed in glass cases. People could stay as long as they wanted to take pictures, so as long as the area wasn’t too crowded with the next group coming in from the presentation room.
In the next hall were Keita Maruyama x UtaPri goods, which I also couldn’t take pictures of. They had messenger bags and bomber jackets for each character, all tan with the only difference being the color of the emblem. In the glass cases were the Shining Dream goods. They handed out papers with the goods so you could mark what you wanted to buy and then hand it to someone at the counter for purchase.
There was also a wall where you could write a message. They had colored pens in a box to the left so you could pick a color–both purple pens were kind of dried out but I did my best to write a heartfelt message!
The exit was next to the entrance, so the mural could be photographed both on the way in and coming out.
So that was it! I was tempted to buy some goods even though I said I wouldn’t, but unfortunately (or fortunately?) I was low on money after spending an ungodly amount at the Shining Store earlier in the day.
I have more photos, but I’ll have to upload them when my body isn’t wrecked. This trip has been way more exhausting than I expected it would be so I need some time to rest properly. >_<;