How to see NMB48 in Japan

How to get tickets for and attend a NMB48 show

23 March, 2012 by

In this second guide on how to get theater tickets for everything 48, we cover Osaka based sister group NMB48. NMB48’s ticketing system bears an uncanny resemblance to AKB48’s current online system so before anything, you’ll want to read up on How to see AKB48 in Japan first. This article will omit most of what has already been mentioned before, instead focusing on the differences when it comes to visiting the NMB48 Theater.

Ticketing Mechanics

Fans will need to register for a separate NMB48 ticketing account which is used to apply for the group’s tickets only. NMB48 offers most of the same ticketing options as AKB48 with the exception of Super Enpou/Super Long Distance and Couple/Family seats.

Instead, NMB48 has a dedicated sitting area and ticket type for Groups (グループ) that can be used by couples, families or friends alike. A minimum of 2 people are required when applying for/collecting Group tickets. Beyond this, there are just some slight (mostly positive) differences between how both sites work which is covered below.


First up, you will need to visit this site. Key in your email address and submit. You should receive an automated email to the specified address which contains a link to create a new account.

You will need to agree to a list of terms and conditions first, scroll all the way to the bottom and click on the right option (同意する). Next, fill up your details as follows.

User Information.

After clicking through, you will be ask to confirm. Click on the orange button to submit. You should get an email stating that your accounts has been created. The email will generate a password, like AKB48’s this password cannot be changed so you will want to keep a note of it somewhere.

Using the System

With the password, you can now return to the ticketing front page to log into the NMB48 ticketing system.

Personal Ticketing Page.

Once logged in, the NMB48 ticketing page is pretty similar to AKB48’s. The main difference is that the NMB48 system keeps track of all of your past ticket ballots which you can view at any time. You can also select an favorite member to mark as your “Oshimen” here, which is optional in this case.

Also unlike the AKB48 page, the Ticket Application option is always shown (it is hidden when there are no AKB48 shows to apply for). On the downside, you will need to click through one additional step to see the list.

List of available shows.

Unlike the AKB48 ticketing site, a list of performing members for the show is not shown within. Instead, you will need to check the main page for this information prior to logging into the system. When you have decided which stage to apply for go ahead and click the yellow selection button.

Application Page.

Here you will notice the biggest plus point for NMB48 ticketing. Unlike AKB48’s which restricts you to a specific time frame, you are able to apply for all the different ticket types as soon as they are put up (7 days before the show). For NMB48 shows, you are only able to apply for a maximum of 4 persons at the same time.

Unlike AKB48 shows, you will only be able to apply for 1 type of ticket. You cannot apply for both Enpou and General tickets. Even after submitting, you are allowed to modify your application at any time before the deadline but it will replace the existing bid.

Some important things to take note of. The deadline for all applications is 4 days before the show (until midnight). Results for all tickets are sent 3 days before the actual performance. Like with AKB48, NMB48’s own fanclub members get an extra draw the day before.

Should you win a show, you will get an email in your inbox that looks something like the one below. Another plus point for NMB48’s ticketing is that even if you do not get an email, you will be able to log onto the website on the day of the results to check the results as lost applications are reflected in the Ticketing History too. For AKB48 ballots, you are simply left guessing.

Example winning notification.

There is a chance that you will get a Cancel Machi (Cancel Waiting) opportunity in your email instead. Additionally, NMB48 allows you to apply for Cancel Machi from 8 PM on the day before a concert all the way until 8.59 AM on the day itself.

Cancel Machi applied for in this way are also given out at random and you will only be made known by 1 PM on the concert day. Needless to say, this is a pretty unreliable method of getting tickets. But in the case of NMB48, it seems that a lot more people do not turn up for shows (sometimes as many as nearly 50) and thus a lot more Cancel Machi are given out.

YES Namba.

Winning (and collecting) a Ticket

While the Donki building is one of Akihabara’s most prominent landmarks, the NMB48 theater is easily missed. It is located along a side street at Nanbasennichimae where the only indication of the theater is literally a hole in the ground.

View Larger Map

These days, NMB48 should be a lot more known in Osaka but back in February last year, the locals and even some working around the area could not point me in the right direction. That’s because YES Namba building which basement NMB48 rents to hold its theater shows is better known for its Junkudo Bookshop.

My best advice is to look out for the more prominent NGK Building. You’ll find the NMB48 Theater in a hole just opposite. Most of the time if you’re entering from the main entrance to the Nankaitori (南海通) area, you will just need to turn right at the first major junction.

The NMB48 Theater is sealed off to the public at most times. There will be a barrier and security staff next to the staircase leading down to the theater. You will need to flash your winning email to pass. Ticket collection is from 2 hours up until half an hour before the start of a show. Bring along identification (your passport) as well.

I am told by Michael that the NMB48 Theater now holds live streams outside of the theater. It seems viewing is normally restricted to those holding Cancel Machi only. To view, you will need to wait until everyone else has entered the performance hall and then ask the security for permission (and show your Cancel Machi email) to go down to the theater. You will be asked to leave before the hi-touch session.

Seating Arrangements

The hall in which NMB48 performs their stages in is more spacious that AKB48’s. It is also much better equipped. The stage is higher than AKB48’s. However, it holds a smaller number of customers, about 238 as opposed to AKB48’s maximum of 250.

Of this, 100 seats are given to General Tickets, another 90 to NMB48 Fanclub members and the remaining 48 spots are filled up by Enpou, Group, Women and Students. Note, these numbers differ for each show but as a rough guideline, the 6th to 9th rows are reserved for those with Group, Women and Students/Children tickets. Enpou seats are pretty far back and occupy the 10th and 11th rows of the theater (2nd and 3rd last rows).

General Tickets and Mobile Fanclub members get to occupy the first 5 rows. All tickets are numbered and you will be guided into the theater by the staff in order.

Those holding special tickets actually enter the hall first but sitting is limited to the restricted sections. If you arrive late and General entry has already started, you will have to settle for seats at the back.

Inside, all of AKB48’s theater rules apply. Such as not being allowed to stand up during the performance. It’s best to simply behave.

Finally, a note that quite a bit of the stuff mentioned here differs from that mentioned in our own NMB48 Live Impressions post. As some of the ticketing mechanics and sitting arrangements have changed from when theater shows first began last year.

Photos by Melkul.

Click here to search CDJapan for official AKB48 goods.

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Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.