If I were being quite honest with myself, I knew that this vacation would be epic, and well deserved.
Before I even made the plans to go to Japan, my friend bought tickets to a concert going on during one of the few fireworks shows happening in Tokyo this year. (Most of them have been cancelled, encouraging the normal sponsors to donate the money to the Tohoku Earthquake reconstruction project instead. Which, by the way, still needs continued support.) U-Kiss would be performing, and for anyone who knows me even in the slightest, this is all that is needed for me to be there. So I got tickets. The next day, 2PM, one of the biggest groups in Korea, announced they too would be at this concert. I love 2PM, so this concert really couldn’t get much better.
From there, my plans ended up with me getting a JR Pass so I could travel around the Kansai region easily, go to a Prince of Tennis musical a week later, and then take the ferry from Fukuoka 10 days after landing. Essentially, this trip was becoming everything I could possibly want to do on a vacation to Japan.
After a long two week summer camp at work, I was able to finally escape on my two weeks of holiday on Friday, and found myself camped out at Gimpo airport, waiting to head to Japan.
I’m not what you would call a relaxed traveller. Just ask my family, I begin to panic about money and stuff to pack the night or two before, and it continues until I land and there’s no way out. Then, on top of that, flying really isn’t my favourite way to travel. I think it’s cool, I just hate take offs and landings. A lot. So the flight attendant got to watch me with amusement as I jumped and clung to my Piropiro neck pillow and bag and watched out the window for gremlins on the wing. So when we were going through customs at Haneda International Airport, I was only just beginning to relax and finally feel like I was on vacation.
And then I looked to my left. The person standing RIGHT next to me looked a LOT like Junsu Kim from 2PM. Thing is though, Junsu doesn’t have what I would call “distinctive” features. He’s incredibly good looking, but if he tries, he can be very generic looking. And in his large baseball cap and glasses, he looked very generic, though good looking. I shrugged it off, because I often think people look like other people and it’s just me being crazy. But then the guy in front of me did a double take too! So I thought, okay, perhaps I’m not crazy. I still shrugged it off though.
We both moved forward in line, and had to get out our customs declaration forms. I’m inquisitive, so I peeked at look at the name on the top.
Well I pretty much stopped breathing. Suddenly, it all made sense. Of course they’d be on that flight. He had a concert the next day, 2PM works in Seoul, so they would head over the night before, and then fly out at the end of the weekend. I was in too much of a shock to think much more of it though, and was quite happy to just think, “Oh wow, just went through customs with a k-pop super star!”
And then I got through my own customs clearance and realized that he clearly wasn’t travelling alone, when I found Chansung of 2PM standing on the other side of the gates, talking to piles of older women who were all thinking the same thing I was: Oh my god.
Part of me wanted to leave them alone, because it would suck to be harassed in an airport. However, 2PM are one of two groups that I had resigned to the “I will never ever ever meet them in real life” folder in my love for k-pop, along with Big Bang. And here I was, a few feet from one of my favourites in the band. I had the opportunity to change that. And god knows I hate losing opportunities.
So I spoke to Chansung.
I wish I could say I was cool and charming and could talk to him with the same ease as I have had when speaking to U-Kiss or others I get to meet. But that’s not the case. I was tired, flustered, and lacked the ability to speak ANY language. I defaulted to English, to which he impressed me with amazing English skills, and embarrassed myself in an astounding way by messing up nearly every sentence I said and stammering. Either he took pity on me or found my love for his band genuine and adorable as I exclaimed my apologies for being an idiot and told him I’d be going to his concert on Saturday and wished him the best of luck. I even was able to shake his hand, which was very exciting indeed!
And then I went off to get my luggage and hyperventilate.
A gaggle of Japanese girls were standing behind me, and they were asking if it was really them, While they were all wearing glasses and a hat (except for Chansung, which was the only reason he was the one being hounded the most) we were pretty sure that four of the six members were on our plane with us – Chansung, Junsu, Junho and Wooyoung. Of course, that meant the two most popular members, Nichkhun and Taecyeon, were off somewhere else. Sadly. The other girls complained about not getting to see Nichkhun, but I couldn’t care less.
I had just shaken hands with a member of 2PM, and I’d only been in Japan for 30 minutes. I had 10 days ahead of me.
This trip is beginning to show incredible promise.