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About jt_dano

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  1. Hey guys - I had a great first day of shooting and in addition to all of the practice photos we tweeted to the Japan Times Sports Twitter I recorded a great interview with @Cleaf: I hope to do several more of these videos throughout the weekend - tomorrow (3/20) I'll likely be hanging around outside the main entrance where the selfie-friendly display is from about 10:30 or 11 to 1pm, in case anyone is around and wants to chat!
  2. Here's a thread of photos I took from training - please follow our account for links to our liveblogs from tomorrow, because that's where most of our competition photos will go!
  3. Step 1: look for the foreign cameraman Step 2: the one with the beard Step 3: the one bewildered by the whole thing who doesn't know where he's supposed to go Can't be that many of us!
  4. If you can see an hour's train ride away into my apartment you have impressive vision, or we need to get new curtains, one of the two!
  5. And here I thought I was nuts for waking up this early and trying to beat some of the morning rush traffic with my giant bags of camera gear... looking forward to all of the Yuzu fans at the arena and getting dialed in for the rest of the week.
  6. I would suggest calming down a bit and remembering that one event with very limited capacity is not an entire country, and that any major sporting event in the world usually has similar circumstances. When international events take place anywhere, residents of the host nation always get priority - whether that's something like this, or the Olympics, or the World Cup. Obviously a World Cup is big enough that it can accomodate lots of fans from everywhere, so the scale is a bit different. As another point of comparison - at many soccer leagues across the world, home teams are only required to allocate between 5-10% of their seating to visiting supporters. This is usually the case for international matches as well. So yeah, the host nation gets an advantage of a friendly crowd. That's just how it goes! Japan generally does a great job of managing big events like this - issues like the ones I'm reading in this thread suck, but they are maybe a couple dozen people and I don't know how representative they are of the whole experience. This will likely run as smoothly as it can go, but the big test will be the Rugby World Cup in September as well as the Big Show, which of course is the Olympics next year.
  7. @Spiccine This sort of thing doesn't surprise me. To be able to run customer service and tech support for the Rest of the World, which has a tiny fraction of the overall ticket pool (it's been suggested to me that maaaybe 10% of the tickets will have gone to overseas fans, I have no experience on which to judge) they would probably need to double their staff to say nothing of hunting down people who can do all that in English. It sucks, but that's what happens when you get a smallish company doing your ticketing. I would absolutely be happy to talk to fans outside the arena about your ticket experiences, good or otherwise. This is an important storyline as Japan tries to step up in terms of its sports marketing and tourism.
  8. @SparkleSalad I can't say I'm familiar with the ticketing system they use but if it's tied to your SIM card that is, indeed, some next-level bullshit and you have my total sympathy. Then again, all of the major ticketing services did start to require that accounts be tied to phone numbers in the last year or so... which means that they could just be trying to ensure the same level of accountability. My gut feeling (absolutely positively not speaking in any official capacity) is that they are familiar with this sort of situation and will be prepared, to a certain extent, to look the other way, if for no other reason than nobody wants to deal with a herd of angry/sobbing foreigners at the entrance. One good thing in your favor is that if they're threatening people with random checks, it's more of a Cover Your Ass thing. If they were absolutely going to check everyone's ID they would have said it from the very start of ticket sales. If I had a nickel for every time I've said this about anything ticket-related in this country! If it makes you feel any better it's not just figure skating - baseball, soccer, pro wrestling (actually pro wrestling might be the best at dealing with foreign fans), rugby (see the World Cup ticketing issues in the last few months), concerts, it's incompetence all the way up and down.
  9. I appear to have been summoned - I'll let our figure skating writer (Jack Gallagher - you're probably familiar with his column) know that this is an issue so he can ask around, as I'm primarily the multimedia/digital guy for our tournament coverage. My primary beat is soccer, which has its own issues with scalpers/resellers/accessibility to foreign tourists - I've also dealt with this frequently during my work in the local music scene, so I am sympathetic to your plight even if a couple of the above complaints are a bit suspect (you don't need to roam to use the app, just get a data SIM. It's like $20 at the airport, and it's way easier to get them in Japan than it was 5 or even 3 years ago). Unfortunately for everyone, Japan is getting very tough on scalpers/resellers, especially in the lead-in to the 2020 Olympics. Promoters don't like it, sports associations don't like it, cops don't like it. Tougher laws have been instituted in the last year or so, more concerts and sporting events are starting to implement ID checks and even facial recognition tech, so it's very much a case of 'buyer beware' when it comes to buying resold tickets and there's nothing that can be done about it (especially since "resale not allowed" is printed on every single ticket sold for an event in this country). In the end Saitama Arena only fits about 18,000 and they can sell it out about 50x over domestically - it was always going to be an uphill battle for international fans and there's only so much the organizers can do. It does explicitly say on the EMTG website that "Only the winner of the ticket personally may attend the event. No other person may substitute as an attendee, even if the person who has ticket is unable to attend due to unavoidable circumstances nor can ticket charges be refunded in such case," but nothing really about passports... really hard to say what the situation will be like on the ground. May the odds be ever in your favor!
  10. Hopefully we can manage something on 3/19, before the men's SP on 3/21, or before the FS on 3/23 - any interviews would have to take place during the pairs/ice dancing event due to our coverage plans. In any case, looking forward to chatting with whoever makes it!
  11. Hello everyone, As part of The Japan Times' coverage of the 2019 World Championships (we'll be liveblogging the men's and women's singles competitions on all four days in addition to daily reports!) I'm hoping to conduct some video interviews (to be posted to our social media channels) with skating fans who are attending from overseas. Nothing's quite set because the schedules are still TBA, but I'm hoping to gather a group of Yuzu fans to chat outside the arena during Tuesday's (5/19) practice session - of course not when Yuzu is on the ice. I am also, for a separate feature, looking to interview any fans who have gotten into the sport through Yuri!!! On Ice. If you're interested, leave a reply or send a private message. Thanks in advance! -Dan
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