Anton’s Big Tokyo Trip: Part 1 - A Meeting Mishap with Mao Hamasaki

Published : March 2nd, 2024 Written by Anton Algren

Yes, you read that right. Part 1. Just as with my Holiday JAV ideas, right as I began to first outline the events of this wild weekend in Tokyo, I realized that so much had happened that if I wanted to cover everything in the detail it deserved, I would have to split this up into parts. So, rather than one massive article, you’ll be getting several smaller articles, the bite-sizedness of them making it easier and more convenient for you all to read.

And now that we’ve cleared all that up, I should probably start, not at the beginning, but before the beginning, the prelude to this Tokyo adventure I had with the incomparable June Lovejoy. This trip arose from not one, not two, but three ideas that I had for articles, all converging into a wonderful winter weekend.

Firstly, I’d been meaning to write an article on SOD Land for a while now. I’d hoped to do it much earlier than February 2024, but unfortunately after its recent closure, this plan was put on hold, and, like a plane waiting to land, I had to putt-putt about twiddling my thumbs until SOD Land finally reopened and I could plan a trip to it once more.

Honestly though, I’m partly glad it took so long to reopen, since it meant that I got to go after seeing June Lovejoy’s new post on their website. June is a busy bee, as you all know, branching out into many new enterprises with an indefatigable work ethic like that of Tyler Perry (and whatever else you can say about ole Tyler, he works his ass off). And by sheer, amazing coincidence, as I was planning my belated SOD Land trip, I stumbled upon June’s newest enterprise: sexy tour guiding.

Yes, if you want to experience some more adult or LGBTQ-friendly areas in Tokyo that your average tour guide won’t take you to, you can check out Lovejoy Tours! As detailed on their website, June Lovejoy themselves can take you to Japanese BDSM bars, FTM clubs (like in that documentary Shinjuku Boys), Japanese bathhouses and onsens, and just about any other sexy establishment you can find in old Edo (within the realms of Japanese law, of course).

All exciting places, thought I when first I saw June’s tweet on the subject. However, the potential tour place that stood out to me the most was the tour of SOD Land. Yes, if you want to visit the place and also want an interpreter and guide, you can hire June! The last time I met June, they seemed like a really cool person, and while I know enough Japanese to get by in this country, I also knew that having someone both fully fluent and potentially pals with the place’s employees would make the experience a thousand times better. And even better than a thousand times better, with June’s presence I could use the article to showcase not simply SOD Land itself, but June’s tour services as well. I’d get to have a fun evening and give June some advertising. So surely, all of you, you can understand why I just had to call June up and plan something. June, for their part, seemed just as excited by the idea as I was, and we soon were coordinating a time and place to meet at SOD Land.

So, with that being planned out, I set about putting into motion the third and final goal I hoped to accomplish on this trip. See, as you all know from my previous field reports, most venues for actress fan meets don’t allow you to reserve tickets. You have to physically show up at the venue a week before and purchase tickets at the shop, which, if you live in the area, is no big deal, but, if you live in the isolated countryside like I do, can be a problem. It takes me a two and a half hour bus ride just to get down to Osaka, and five hours on the train just to get to Tokyo, and that’s just the time investment. Zenra is kind enough to give me a travel retainer for these field reports, for which I am forever grateful. But taking a full trip to Tokyo simply to purchase tickets to a fan meet would strain the generosity of my awesome boss, and also strain my body and mind (those long-ass train rides really take it out of you). So because of that, all previous Tokyo events I’ve covered have involved me making reservations beforehand, so I only have to make one trip.

Unfortunately, most of the truly A-List actresses that I know you all would want to see, and I certainly would want to meet, rarely if ever venture outside of Tokyo. Like I said, those long-ass train rides really take it out of you, so why should a big name actress subject herself to them? As such, I’ve had to pass up several fan meets in the past with actresses like Minami Kojima, Mayuki Ito, Yua Mikami, and Eimi Fukada, all because the events were exclusive to Tokyo.

However, I have a pal, we’ll call him Friendpatine, who just so happens to live near Akihabara. Indeed, his doggo loves to frolic in the park just by Akihabara station. So, I thought to myself as I considered a date on which to meet with June, what if Friendpatine were to purchase a ticket for me? There’s no rule or law I could find that said I had to purchase tickets for myself alone. Scalpers are of course bad news, but people buy concert tickets as gifts for their friends all the time. Would the same rules of law and etiquette apply to fan meet tickets?

I decided to test this theory, and, after confirming the idea with Friendpatine, set the date for June on the same day as a Mao Hamasaki fan meet in Akiba. If this worked, I would be able to get two events on one trip. And if not, I still had SOD Land and June to justify my train to Tokyo.

A week before the event, I sent the JAV event page to my pal and detailed exactly what I wanted. He needed to go to the venue and purchase two DVDs for the 5:00 PM event, and if he had any trouble at all, he could call me. I’d be ready to pick up.

Sadly, I mixed up 5:00 PM and 17:00 and asked Friendpatine to get tickets for a 15:00 event, which resulted in him calling me to sheepishly say there was no such event. But even once I realized my silly mistake and confirmed I wanted the 17:00 event, I could hear the store attendant on the other end being unusually grouchy. Friendpatine kept insisting he wanted the evening event tickets, and the store attendant kept grumbling, and while eventually Friendpatine got the tickets, they said 12:00~ instead of 17:00. We weren’t quite sure what had happened, but we knew that, because we had at least gotten the tickets, we could test if they were still valid in my hands when I went into Tokyo on Sunday. And, thanks to them being the 17:00 tickets instead of 12:00 tickets, I could afford to wake up at a reasonable hour when I set out for Tokyo, instead of having to catch the first train in the wee hours of the morn.

Eventually the day came, and I walked out of Akihabara station to see my pal waiting for me with his doggo. It had been a while since we’d last met face-to-face, it was good to catch up. And after grabbing a late lunch and chatting over a dog walk, Friendpatine passed the tickets to me, and I set out to see if I could attend the event.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t just made a mistake with time, but with place. I found the venue, Ali Baba, fairly easily, and I entered to find a space set out for Mao’s event. However, when I showed the tickets, the store owner said that they were only valid for 12:00, not 17:00. I showed the owner the event listing on my phone, just as I knew Friendpatine had done when he’d insisted in even better Japanese than me that he’d wanted tickets for the 17:00 event. But unlike the gruff grumblings of the surly-voiced attendant, the cheerful tenor of the store owner went “Ahhhh!” in that way one does when one finally sees the problem, and he then pointed out to me that the 17:00 event was at a completely different store.

I was thoroughly flabbergasted. Not once, in all the various fan meets I have attended, has this ever happened. If multiple times are listed for a fan meet on the official JAV event site, then they are always at the same venue. And even after the store owner pointed out my mistake, I still didn’t see it at first, because while each event on this listing was at separate addresses, they were both in the same building complex! Not even a full city block apart, there was literally only a wall between them. I had to zoom in on the map just to see that they were in fact different places. And yet because of this, the ticket purchased at this store was not valid for the event at the store next door.

Just to rub salt on the wounds, this helpful store owner pulled out a paper map and drew me directions to the other store with a pencil. But when I asked if I could still purchase tickets for the 17:00 event, he hissed a sharp, apologetic intake of breath, and I took the hint.

So, in the end, failure. Defeat, even. Fiasco, if you will. A cock-up, for those inclined. And what made it even worse was that, if Friendpatine had simply purchased tickets with this store owner, instead of that dickish attendant, we both could have realized our mistake before it was too late. The owner would have directed my pal to the right store, and I would have been able to attend the event without a problem.

And yet, despite this failure, a treasure trove of information was learnt from the experience, which will surely aid me in future field reports. Firstly, yes, my ticket was completely valid despite it being purchased by Friendpatine. Its only issue was that I’d arrived too late to use it.

Secondly, I learned that smut shops are very differently arranged in the heart of Tokyo than in Osaka, Kyoto, or even Kobe. In all those Keihanshin cities, you’ll have a handful of adult shops in the same neighborhood, but they’ll all be spaced pretty far apart from one another. Like you’d expect from competing chains, there’s enough space for them to not set up shop right next door to each other, and the thought of twenty or so smut shops all crammed together in the same set of city blocks is utterly unthinkable. Also, while I thought that the Kaitori Max in Namba was fairly small, it at least had multiple floors to itself. Ali Baba meanwhile, had a single floor in a single building complex to cram all its stuff in, and the space set out for Mao was both as small as the one for Sumire Mizukawa and as makeshift as the one for Akari Niimura. In short, it was a completely different creature than the style of stores I’d encountered in Kansai.

Thirdly, and most importantly, I learned to check every last detail of an event the next time I set out to get tickets for it. I won’t make the same mistake twice, and now that I know what to do to attend Tokyo events, I am determined to fill these last months I have with just those kinds of trips.

Yes, you read that right. I am returning to America later this year. So because of that, this next half year is all I’ve got left to set aside for fan meet events. I want to make the most of the time I have left, so I intend to go to Tokyo each month to meet the biggest actresses I can. But I figured now’s as good a time as any to let you all know these Anton Field Reports will be coming to an end sooner rather than later. Nothing lasts forever, as they say. But hopefully, before this series I love to write and you all love to read ends for good, I can make up for this misstep and meet Mao in Tokyo.

So, cursing myself for such a mistake but determined to do better in the future, I got on the train and made my way from Akiba to Kabukicho. Perhaps the third experiment I’d attempted hadn’t paid off, but I was determined to see success with the other two. To see how that went though, I’m afraid you all will have to wait until the next chapter of this series. Until then, if there are any A-List actresses you all are just dying for me to see, please leave a comment down below. I can’t guarantee I’ll visit them for certain, since I don’t know if they’ll even have fan meets this year. But I’ll at least know who to aim for, as I plan out future field reports.

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