I think I’m addicted to attending EXO’s concerts. No joke! The ElyXiOn in Saitama, Japan was my second ElyXiOn concert and first for this year (plus I went for the Singapore concert since it’s on my home ground and hoping (fingers and toes crossed!) to make it for the ElyXiOndot!).
This trip was especially meaningful as it was my first time visiting Japan (because I’ve been hyper focused on Korea all this while) and also the concert was on a very special date for me. Anyway, enough about me and here’s what you came for – how is the SMTOWN Travel Global Package different outside of Korea?
I’ll just put it out here again before I start that I am not affiliated to SMTOWN Travel in any way, just your regular fan who wants to attend the concerts and this is all paid for out of my own pocket – but if anyone from SMTOWN Travel is reading this I’m open to collabs! Heh.
So, back to the ElyXiOn in Saitama. When they first announced the Japan concert venues and dates I was a teeny weeny bit bummed that this year’s concert would not be held at the Tokyo Dome. I’ve heard that Tokyo Dome is a fantastic concert venue and I’m not sure how Saitama Super Arena stacks up.
As it would be my first time in Japan, I opted for the SMTOWN Travel Global Package again because I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to get back to my Tokyo hotel from the Saitama Super Arena. Ticketing for the Global Packages outside of Korea is equally as stressful because there are less packages to go around – for example, the Global Package in Tokyo had just one busload of participants (around 30 pax?) and I believe the same goes for other overseas packages. So, chances of you actually getting a Global Package for overseas is equally as challenging as the Korean concerts.
The mechanics or process of getting a Global Package are exactly the same as what I’ve described in my fan guide, so do read up on it here if you’re interested.
I managed to snag a package for the second day (my preferred date), so I only picked up my tickets at the hotel in the evening of the first day. There were only a few envelopes left with the staff, so I’m assuming most participants either went for the first concert night or managed to get both nights. The tour souvenirs for the ElyXiOn in Japan were different from the ones I got in Seoul, and based on a friend’s account of the Global Package in Singapore, she got something different there too.
Other than the difference in souvenirs, the rest of the Global Package experience was quite routine:
- The bus will take you to the concert venue at a fixed time so don’t be late!
- You should arrive at the concert venue with enough time to walk around and soak in the atmosphere.
- Give yourself enough time to get through whatever security checks the venue has.
- If the concert you’re attending uses Wyth (Seoul and Japan concerts do!) make sure your lightstick is properly paired to your seat number.
- Observe concert etiquette while you’re having fun – in Japan we were advised not to bring any fan slogans or banners as it would block other people’s view. Security was also very strict about photo taking so I have no photos for the blog!
- Make sure you know where the pickup point is after the concert – it will take you some time to return to the pickup point so please don’t be that one concert goer who makes the whole bus wait (there’s always one such person in every tour group).
The food box given after the concert was decidedly not as appealing (visual merchandise wise) as the Korean concerts. No branded water bottle or other themed souvenirs, just a bottled drink and pastries that can be bought in Japan at a convenience store. I ended up visiting the Family Mart at the hotel for my dinner instead.
If you’d like to know about the hotel, we were staying at the Sunshine City Prince Hotel in Ikebukuro and there’ll be a blog post on the hotel coming up real soon, or once I get around to writing about it.
See you again on my next travel adventure with SMTOWN Travel’s Global Package!