01 March 2012
[TAIWAN, HONG KONG] Kashiwagi Yuki Handshake Event Report
Kashiwagi Yuki visited Taiwan and Hong Kong from February 25th to 28th , to take photos for a new photobook (title not yet announced) and hosted two handshake events to meet fans. This trip was her first to both locations.
She arrived in Taiwan on the 25th and was greeted by more than 400 fans at the airport. After checking into the hotel, she went straight to Liao-Ning Street, which is famous for having many food stands that offer local flavors, and started shooting for the photobook. The handshake event started later in the day at the Wan-hua branch of Eslite Bookstore, where she shook hands with 1,300 fans.
For Taiwan photos, please see the Facebook page for AKB48 Official Shop Taiwan (photos are scattered among different albums)
During a brief interview, Kashiwagi talked about possibly starting an Idol-training school in the future and hiring Watanabe Mayu as a teacher; she also talked about her role in the upcoming animation AKB0048.
She left for Hong Kong the next morning (26th), and was again greeted by many fans at the airport. One fan in particular dressed up as Akimoto Yasushi to greet her at the airport. The handshake event started at 15:30 on the same day. According to the news there were over 2,500 fans that day, though only 1,500 were allowed to shake hands with her.
The rest of her trip in Hong Kong was spent taking more photos for her photobook, in locations like Harbour City, Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui. She returned to Japan on the 28th.
For Hong Kong photos, please see the Facebook page for AKB48 Official Shop Hong Kong
I was fortunate enough to get a ticket for the Hong Kong event, after standing in line for 9 hours on the 18th.
On the 26th I arrived at the Dragon Center at around 1PM and there were about 200 people ahead of me. The line started moving around 3PM as they led people into the shopping mall, and we were next to the stage by 3:45PM. After some brief comments by the organizer, Overture was played and she came out from behind the stage to greet everybody.
I waited for another 30 minutes in line before shaking her hand. Security was pretty heavy - there was one that had a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol, he made sure everyone had clean hands before going on stage. There was another one standing behind the person shaking her hand, so he can pull the person away when the time is up. There was at least one other on stage as well.
I got to shake her hands for 5 seconds, enough to thank her for coming to Hong Kong, before the security gave me the "this way please" gesture. It really is like what they say - she kept eye contact with me the entire time we were shaking hands. She looks just as good in person, though she also showed a bit of fatigue, probably because she's been rushing from one place to the next for 2 days already.