2540Re: Touring in Japan?
- Oct 13, 2006i have been over there twice to play. generally, it is
not super easy to just get a tour together. japan is
controlled by a few big entertainment heavyweights.
the smaller outfits are few. to go over and be totally
legit requires a lot of paperwork and jumping through
hoops to get the proper visas. even lightning bolt
can't do it properly and they have been there a few
times and have done well by underground standards.
generally it is pretty easy to get through customs by
just saying you are not there to play for money,
despite the fact that you have instruments and
merchandise. the feeling among a few people i spoke to
in japan about the lightning bolt incident (i was
actually over there when that happened) was that
someone with a grudge ratted them out to customs. they
were immediately pulled aside at the immigration line
and the authorities had a list of their tour dates and
everything else about them ready as evidence. this is
somewhat of a rarity, according to a friend in osaka,
but it does occur from time to time.
the other big obstacle is just the fact that japan is
an expensive place to get around so any tour usually
involves a rented van and high toll rates. you just
have to find a sympathetic person willing to brave the
obstacles. it is a great place to play and the
audiences are very attentive, very knowledgeable and
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