A friend asked me for advice on going to the Johnny’s Shop so, me being extra, I made a tutorial. I hope people find this helpful ♡
Updated June 2020
This is the official store where you can buy behind the scenes photos of the boys at work. They usually release sets of photos for PV makings, album jacket photo shoots, tour goods photo shoots and sometimes behind the scenes photos from special events like overseas travel or collaboration projects.
The Johnny’s Shop very recently launched an online store HERE so now going to the Johnny’s Shop isn’t necessary at all but if you’re traveling and still want to experience what it’s like then I would recommend it. It’s a pretty unique experience.
Important things to note:
- If you go to the Harajuku (Tokyo) store there is a high chance you will have up to a 3-4 hour wait to get into the store and then another 1-2 hours once you do get inside, so make sure you have time (Addit: I wrote this tutorial before the launch of the online store so the traffic situation may have calmed down now. 2nd addit: I went to the store in August 2019… It’s still horrendous)
- The stores are much busier when there’s a Johnny’s concert on in that city, the day new photos are released and on weekends. It’s best to go on a weekday if you can.
- You are not allowed to take photos, even of the outside of the store. There are staff and security guards who will tell you off if they catch you
- You DON’T need an FC membership to enter the Johnny’s shop
- You can check which sets of photos are currently available on the Johnny’s Web website HERE or by checking them out on the online store HERE
There are four Johnny’s Stores in Japan: Harajuku (Tokyo), Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.
There are maps and directions on the website for each store HERE but they are all in Japanese and I personally don’t find them overly helpful.
Timed Entry Tickets
The busy Osaka and Harajuku (Tokyo) stores fill up pretty quickly on a weekend so it’s likely you’ll be given a timed entry ticket. When you go to enter the store/join the queue the security guard might hand you a small piece of paper with a time on it. This means that the store is full at the moment but if you come back at the time on your ticket, they have a space reserved for you. Depending how busy it is they will hand out tickets that allow one or two people entry so make sure you get enough tickets for everyone in your group. If it’s one person per ticket then you will all have to queue together if you all want to enter the store together. After you get your ticket you’re free to go and do other shopping and sight-seeing, just make sure you’re back at the store by the time written on your ticket. There is a half hour period for you to enter so it’s ok if you get held up and get there a few minutes after the time specified on your ticket.
If you happen to be on Kyushu the Fukuoka Johnny’s shop is the least busy of the four. It is highly likely that you will be able to walk straight in the door and be finished and out again in half an hour. I lived on Kyushu for two years and I never once had to wait to get inside this store. The longest I ever had to wait for the cashier was an hour but that was on a concert weekend.
To get here you’ll need to get to Tenjin天神. If you’re in Tenjin Station (it’s a labyrinth, strength be with you) follow the signs to the West 2 Exit 西２. You’ll come out at a big intersection with a Starbucks on the corner. Continue straight along the street, you’ll pass by a Book Off and Aeon mall on the right and a Mos Burger on the left. Just after Mos Burger there’s a pokey little street with a Shell service station on the corner, turn left down here. The Johnny’s store is just a short walk down on your left.
I have been here twice, once nine years ago and then again in 2019. The website recommends you go to Hisaya Odori Station 久屋大通駅. From here take exit 1, you should come out in front of a Starbucks. Head up the street away from the train line and the store should be two blocks up on your left. This store is also pretty quiet like Fukuoka. Both times I walked straight in. The first time I went was a random weekday and I was the only one in the store. The second time was on a concert weekend and there was an hour and a half wait for cashier.
The Osaka store can get busy on weekends but I have never had to queue too long here. The longest wait I have had to get in was two hours and then about an hour for the cashier on a concert weekend. If you go on a weekend it’s likely you’ll be given a timed entry ticket.
To get to the store find the HEP 5 building (the huge red one with the bright red Ferris wheel on top, you can’t miss it!). You can get here by taking the Midosuji Subway line 御堂筋線to Umeda Station 梅田駅or you can walk from JR Osaka Station 大阪駅. Once you’re in front of HEP 5 main entrance walk down the street on the left side of the building. You’ll come to another street that forks off to the left, follow this down and around and when you come out on the main road the Johnny’s store will be on the corner on your right. (HEP 5 is also a great place to go while you’re waiting. There are lots of cute stores, the ferris wheel, and cafes to keep you occupied).
This store used to be ok on weekdays but apparently it is busy all the time now and weekends are absolute hell. My recommendation is to avoid this store and go somewhere else if you can OR go here first thing in the morning and plan an entire shopping day in Harajuku around the time you get on your entry ticket.
To get to the Tokyo store take the Yamanote line 山手線to Harajuku station原宿駅. Take the second Omotesando exit 表参道 and cross the road towards the GAP then walk right up the street. You’ll get to a small park with some tall trees, paved areas and a smoking area. This little park is where you’ll need to queue to get timed entry tickets. If it’s early, or not too busy you might just stand and wait for an hour and then get straight into the store. If there is no one queuing in the park then you may be right to head straight to the store OR all of the tickets for the day have already been handed out and you won’t be able to enter that day.
If you NEED to go to the store on a certain day I highly recommend joining the queue BEFORE the store opens. The store opens at 10am but people will start queuing as early as 7-8am, especially on weekends. I always go and queue about this time and the latest timed entry ticket I have received is 3pm. The earliest was 11:30am. The latest time I went to the store I got a ticket for 1:30pm and even though it was timed entry I still had to queue outside the store for an hour before I got inside.
When you actually want to go to the store you may need to queue in the park again with the other people with the same timed entry as you and wait to be directed by the security guard. Otherwise head down the little street downhill opposite the park. There will probably be a security guard standing at the end of the street directing the fangirl traffic. The store is just a short way down the street on your left.
How to buy photos
So once you’re actually inside the store you’ll need to know how to buy photos because no, not even that can be straight forward.
When you enter the store there will be a pile of paper order forms and pencils in a box by the entrance somewhere. You will need one order form per group/corner. So say you were planning to buy photos from Hey! Say! JUMP, A.B.C-Z and some of the Overseas Travel Corner photos; you’ll need three forms. I always grab a spare form as well coz chances are something else will catch your eye and sometimes getting back to the front of the store to get another sheet just isn’t possible.
The store is basically just a maze of walls with photos on them. If you’re lost or can’t find something check on the wall near the entrance, there should be a map of the corner layout.
To fill in your order form place the corner name in the topmost box that says corner name コーナー名. Each photo on the wall has a number. When you find one you like write down how many copies you want of the photo in the corresponding box on the form. Once you have picked all the photos you want, tally up the total and put it in the box at the bottom.
Once all your forms are filled out take them to the cashier (you’ll probably have to queue again). They’ll input all your data with their lighting quick fingers, check your math, and go gather your photos. For bigger groups like JUMP you may have to use the back side of the form as well so make sure the cashier checks the back, sometimes they forget. Once they’ve collected them all they bring them out and if it’s not too busy they lay them all out on the counter for you to check.
How to buy other goods
The Johnny’s Store also sells some other goods like concert photo books, photo albums, penlights etc. If you want any of these goods just write them in the blank box on the back of the form.
CHALLENGE- buy photos as a set:
If you like every single photo your boy is in from a certain shoot you can buy the whole set. You can do this simply by filling in every single box on the form OR to make it quicker for the cashier you can use the set order section. Look above the photo wall for a little table summarising all of the sets available for that corner and the numbers for each set. Then at the top of the form write the set name for example: Ｗｈｉｔｅ Ｌｏｖｅ 八乙女光（１５９〜１７３）. Then put the number of copies of the entire set that you want in the next box. When you calculate your total don’t forget to take this into account. If you want 1 set of 10 photos you put 1 in the set box at the top but have to include 10 photos when totalling up.