Underground Male Idol Group: Broom☆

Japan is chock-full of idol groups that have made it big. To fans, they are faraway and untouchable. But what if you could have a more sincere and close-up experience with talented singers and dancers?

An underground idol group worth seeing during your stay is Broom☆ (pronounced bu-loom in Japanese), a five member ensemble of handsome young guys, aka ikemen (ee-kay-men). Their specialties are singing and dancing to popular J-pop and K-pop songs that you may already be a fan of! Not only that, Broom☆ also performs some original songs as well as various skits and games.

{From left to right: Hiroto, Takayuki, Takahiro (leader), Tsubasa, Toshiya}
They sometimes perform at B-Box in Shinjuku, but you're more likely to see them at the KPL venue in Shin-Okubo, just one stop from Shinjuku by the Yamanote Line.

Broom☆'s shows are often on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so if you miss a day, or want to see them again, it's easy! Now, as much as I want to force you to go see them, I'll just tell you my personal experience and why I recommend Broom☆.

I saw them for the first time over a year ago. The songs that caught my attention were BIGBANG's "Fantastic Baby" and another song called "Telepathy". Fans sang along and cheered with claps and/or blue penlights. Lights flashed and the choreography and music caught me in whiplash. I've always been a fan of choreographed dancing but seeing it in real life was stunning. The group is talented and they know how to capture the audience and have fun. Since then I've seen them several times and learned more about the members, the other fans, and the flow of things.

Before each show, a line is formed next to the street fence. Long-time fans arrive 30 minutes early! You don't have to go that soon, but I recommend getting in line at least 10-15 minutes early. People with reservations are called first, then others are first-come first-serve.

Live shows last an hour that's entertaining the whole time. After several songs, the members introduce themselves and ask if there are new attendees. Broom☆ also does a special invitation for those who's birthday is that month. Birthday fans sit on chairs on the stage and Broom☆ performs their own birthday song around the lucky people!

Even when the show ends, don't leave just yet! You can snap a polaroid photo, or cheki, with your favorite member! One cheki costs ¥500 and you can buy as many as you want and have your friends join too for a fun-filled snap! And while your cheki is drying, you can chat with the member you took it with!
My chekis with each member~

For first timers, the entrance fee is ¥1000. After that, the door fee rises to ¥3000. Reservations are ¥2500 and are very easy to acquire. Just go to their schedule page, click on the desired event, click "more details" and at the bottom you'll see a link to a form! All you need to put is your name (just first name is fine), email address, how many people are in your party, which event you wish to attend, party members' names, and remarks (this is where you can say who has a birthday that month).

I got lost many times before I decided to add KPL to Google Maps myself haha. The location is also on the KPL site but feel free to copy and paste this:
5F, 2 Chome-2-1 Hyakuninchō, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 169-0073, Japan. It's hard to catch if you don't know what you're looking for but if you see a cafe called Coffee Prince, you're at the right building!

Sometimes being in a foreign environment where you may stick out can be overwhelming.  I used to be incredibly nervous especially since I was alone and didn't know anyone yet. I'll give you a time-old trick that saved me: watch what everyone else does first :D! Even if you don't speak a lick of Japanese, the fans are very welcoming and friendly when you greet them! 

Takahiro, Takayuki, Tsubasa, Hiroto, and Toshiya are all very kind and treat everyone equally so please don't be nervous! As far as I know, they don't speak English often (apparently Toshiya is studying English :D), but they do their best to make sure their fans have a great time! And who knows, maybe we'll bump into each other!

UPDATE: It has been announced that Toshiya will be separating from Broom☆ starting July 17 in order to focus on solo projects. Don't miss your chance to see all five members before then!

Lorelei VanderGriend