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J-Pop Summit 2015: Ft. Mason Center, San Francisco, CA (second day)

Posted by mountainoluv, 05 October 2015 · 1501 views

J-PopJ-Pop Summit 2015 Eir Aoi AMIAYA Jaru Jaru San Francisco Go-torch Characters Hyatt House Emeryville California
J-Pop Summit 2015: Ft. Mason Center, San Francisco, CA (second day) This is a continuation of my previous blog entry about the J-Pop Summit 2015. This was an event held at Ft. Mason Center in San Francisco, August 8-9. This post will feature the highlights of the second day at the event, Sunday, 8/9.

We didn’t get too early of a start. The family member I was with was a little bit sick, so we took it easy in the morning. Eventually, we made our way to the venue (a bus, a subway, another bus, and a short walk). The first act that I remember seeing on Sunday was a two-man comedy act called Jaru Jaru. I enjoyed them . . . they were quite funny. One skit I remember from their show was that one guy was carrying a bag, and the other one grabbed it from him (i.e., a thief). It was a big struggle, but the thief was able to get it. Then, for some reason, the thief gave it back to the owner. Then, he grabbed it again, and there was another big struggle. This went on for a few times, until the owner was like, “Here! You take it! I don’t want it anymore!” The act was 100 percent in English, too.

The next act was DJ AMIAYA. These are two identical-twin sisters. (By the way, all of the acts were from Japan.) They have blonde hair, and are quite pretty. They sing and DJ and jump around the stage. I’d say it was OK. I would have rather seen them do synchronized dancing, the way W (Ai Kago and Nozomi Tsuji) used to do.

Then, it was time for the meet & greet session with Eir Aoi. I was really excited about that. The fact that VIP pass holders got to attend this session and get a photo with Eir Aoi was a big reason I bought the VIP passes and attended J-Pop Summit 2015. This session was held in a smaller building on the side of the main Pavilion, namely, the Firehouse. We got to the door, and a worker asked for a printout of our pass to get into the meet & greet session. I didn’t know what she was talking about. I thought all we had to do was to print out the receipt for our VIP passes. (Note that they took this from us when we got our badges.) Anyway, apparently, we were also supposed to reserve a spot at the meet & greet session, and to print out proof of that. I didn’t know we had to do that, but a lot of other people had their printouts and were admitted. Eventually there were about six people with VIP passes standing by the door, who didn’t have the extra printout. There was enough space in the room, so she said “Go ahead” and let us in. What a relief! So, we got our seats. Some guy came out and instructed us to not ask any inappropriate questions. Then, Eir Aoi came in the room. People raised their hands and asked questions. What I remember from them is that someone asked what song of hers was her favorite. She indicated her debut song. Someone else asked what her favorite part of San Francisco was (answer: clam chowder). There was another question about some obscure aspect of an anime for which she sang the theme song. Everyone was going “Huh?”

After the questions, we got to line up and get our picture taken with her. It was really fun. When it was my turn, I told her she was kawaii and that it was nice to meet her. It went by so fast. It was funny that some people asked her to do special poses, like with a sword. The meet & greet session with Eir Aoi was a great experience. It was the first thing like that I had ever been to. I will cherish the photo I have of me and Eir Aoi. (Actually, this is the first and only celebrity I’ve ever gotten my picture taken with, unless you count a guy who won a Nobel Prize in economics.)

We attended another act, after the meet & greet session, back in the main hall. It was the Go-torch Characters. I didn’t know it at the time, but each one represented a different region of Japan. One thing that stood out to me was a group of three young ladies who had shopping bags over their heads. The shopping bags had big anime eyes glued to them. It was fun to see them dance around and interact with the crowd. At one point, one of the girls threw a glow stick into the audience. It was going to the front of the VIP section. A couple of nerds were standing there, on flat feet, waiting for it to fall into their hands. I came up behind them and jumped for it, like I was going for a rebound in a basketball game. It was thrilling to catch the glow stick. That’s another great memory from the trip. A few minutes later, another girl threw a glow stick to the first row of the General Admission section. It hit someone in the hand, and dropped in front of them, on the ground, in the VIP section. My family member pounced on it, right before a little girl could get it. We were so pleased that we both got a glow stick. The little girl who didn’t get it, on the other hand, was hugging her mother and sobbing.

Those were the highlights of the second day of J-Pop Summit 2015. We made it back to the McArthur BART station at ~7:05 p.m. The free buses for Emeryville stopped at 7, though. We met a nice man who recognized us from the J-Pop Summit. He was going to a place close to our hotel. He showed us where to catch a cab, and we split a cab with him.

The next day, we checked out of the hotel and did some stuff around Emeryville. For example, we went to see “Shawn the Sheep” at a nearby movie theater. That night, we got on another Amtrak train, in order to continue our vacation in another city.

I’d recommend the J-Pop Summit to people who are interested in J-Pop music and/or Japanese culture. It was a very fun event . . . much more intimate than Anime Expo. If you live in the Bay Area, I’d say attend it next year for sure. As an aside, we were very happy with the Hyatt House hotel in Emeryville. They had a great free breakfast and a pool. The room was nice, too, with a lovely view of the San Francisco downtown skyline and free wifi. If you don’t mind riding public transportation, this is a nice hotel for your visit to San Francisco. We stayed at the Hyatt House hotel in Emeryville for three nights, and I’d definitely like to go back.




April 2020

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