I was in Tokyo from March 27 to April 11, 2018, my second trip to Japan and one that was planned around this year’s series of four Hello! Project Hina Fes concerts, the centerpiece being the Morning Musume reunion concert on Saturday afternoon, March 31, featuring all five founding members of MM, followed by a Hello! Project reunion concert with other former MM members that evening. Sunday’s concerts would be the usual Morning Musume Premium and Angerme/Juice=Juice Premium that we get at Hina Fes most years. It wasn’t easy getting the tickets, but, with considerable help, I did. I also tried for an Angerme concert the following weekend, but had no luck with that one, so I opted for a ticket to Airi Suzuki’s solo concert two nights before I was scheduled to leave. Thanks to meeting up with a friend while in Tokyo, I also managed to attend another J-pop event, a single release for a group I’d never heard of before, Erabareshi, that has some connection to Tsunku, the mastermind behind H!P. For this entry, I’ll focus on the Hina Fes concerts.
I’ve got so much material on Momoko Tsugunaga, who recently departed Hello! Project after 15 years to teach Kindergarten, that I’ve decided to break it up into different parts. This first will be devoted to pictures I took of her: in New Jersey, Paris and Yokohama. I had a press pass for the first two trips, but not the third. I was fortunate to be able to see her and photograph her with all three of her H!P groups, Berryz Kobo, Buono! and Country Girls.