Finally, I’m writing a guide to explain how to register and purchase tickets on Ticket Pia. Ticket Pia is one of the many online services to purchase tickets to concerts, musicals, and other events in Japan. What I love about ordering things in Japan is that credit card is not always required (although that is what I used to buy my tickets). You can have the tickets mailed to you (as I did) but you can also pick them up at selected convenience stores.
Before I go on, READ THIS FIRST:
If there is a specific event that you wish to attend, make sure you register for an account days BEFORE tickets go on sale. You don’t want to get stuck registering at the last minute, only for the event to be sold out by the time you finish signing up. Services like Ticket Pia and Lawson Ticket are entirely in Japanese, so if you don’t have the least bit of Japanese language ability, I suggest that you get some. (Otherwise, why be in Japan in the first place?) If you have a Japanese friend to help you, then you don’t need this guide. But if you’re like me and have to figure things out on your own, read on.
Things you will need:
A Japanese address
A Japanese phone number
An input method for typing in Japanese (if you don’t have it set up already, click here to enable it for Mac OS X and here for Windows)
Rikaichan (A pop-up dictionary extension for Firefox. It helps in case there is something you can’t read).
First, the main page, which is here (URL: http://t.pia.jp). The top of the page will look something like this (click to see full size):
Click the link that’s circled (that’s the member registration link) and it will lead you to a page like this:
The registration form. I’ve had issues with Japanese registration forms, because they can be very picky about how they want you to type in your information. Fortunately, Pia is a little easier to deal with. Look to the right of each text field and it will tell you in parentheses how the text should be typed. Japanese text comes in full- and half-width sizes, which is what these parenthetical references are describing. I don’t know about Windows, but in OS X Kotoeri automatically adjusts to the required input, so you shouldn’t have to manually convert to a different character width.
If you do not have a Japanese name (or any name that uses Chinese characters), you can type your name in Katakana in both the お名前 and フリガナ fields. Remember that last name comes before first name.
The address section might be a little tricky depending on your address. If you don’t plan to have your tickets mailed to you, you can leave out a few things in the ビル・マンション名 section until it lets you go to the next page. (For example, when I was in Japan I lived in a building called J-DREAM 富士見台. For this step-by-step I had trouble with that field so I left out the J-DREAM part.) For the phone number, hopefully you have a Japanese cell phone, but if not you can try using the phone number of the building located at the address you’re using. I’ve never had Ticket Pia call me so I don’t think it’s a big deal.
Next is the payment information. By default, “Don’t choose a payment method” is selected, so you can leave it alone until you’re ready to make a purchase. If you want to choose right away, you can choose between the convenience store/bank option or credit card. You can always change this later.
You can enter in some alternate e-mail addresses if you want. At the bottom is the confirmation code of course. If something goes wrong with your registration you’ll need to type this and your chosen password again along with making any necessary corrections to the form. Once everything goes through, you’ll arrive at the confirmation page. If the information is correct, click the orange button on the right. If you need to make changes, click the center button. The grey button on the left is to abort and return to the main page.
While writing this up I didn’t submit my sample registration, so I don’t remember if anything else comes up. Check your e-mail for the registration confirmation, and from there you should be ready to go. Log in to your account and start searching for events. You can search for events by artist, so you can view all of the upcoming lives that artist or band has scheduled. Be sure to check the location of those lives, so you don’t end up having to take a Shinkansen across the country (or not go at all).
I left quite a few things unexplained, which is why I advise you to learn Japanese so that you can figure things out for yourself 🙂 If you have any specific questions, you can leave a comment.
Part 2 will include tips and information for when you’re ready to buy tickets. I can’t really tell you how to get the best seats, but I can explain a few things about how to get tickets before they run out.