I have been lucky enough to go to all of them at different occations... And for you who needs more info on how to get there and how to buy items inside... here is some info (^^)
My experience from 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2013 at different stores..see each individual for info..
I have posted more info about the Fukuoka one as I think more people have posted about the other three.
NON of the stores ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS..so bring CASH!
1. HARAJUKU. 原宿 (はらじゅく)
(However to get in, you need to be there maybe 8 am or smth to get a ticket if you go there on a weekend or holiday)
This is the shop where most people go to I'd say after all it's TOKYO.
it is always crowded on weekends and you have to wait for a very long time..for me when I visited the place the very first time in 2008...it took 3 hours to pay (and 20 min to choose) so total 3hours and 20 min!!!
To be able to even enter the store in Harajuku on a weekend or holiday you need to be there really early in the morning to get a ticket! otherwise you won't get it!
On the ticket there should be a number which says which hour you are able to enter.
In Harajuku there are two floors, they have changed it since of 2011. Before they had photos both up-and downstairs, like two shops. Now it's all located downstairs and you pay upstairs.
Remember.. this can take a whole day if you go on a weekend!
1. Be there early to get the entry ticket.
2. Entertain yourself for some hours and then return at the designated time (Check the ticket!!) IF you are lucky you might get in EARLIER..if NOT you might get in LATER.
IF YOU HAVE A TICKET and get in at 6.45 pm DON'T WORRY.. YOU'LL be able to buy the things they want!!
3. Choose your merchandise.
4. Line up and pay. ((Bring something to eat or drink (not a picknic though..haha) but this will take a while!!))
5. Come out happy and surprised to see the world again!! (I have to say the air ran out in the shop..so it made me dizzy)
As for weekdays, and non-holidays like summer vacation or national holidays... please read my experience further down.
First time I visited I had accompany who knew the shop and how to do it all so I just followed... but if you are not that lucky..
Go to Johnny's net and print out the map they have there!
(or here is a link Johnny's net - Harajuku map )
AND if you get lost, show someone the map...however Japanese maps and western maps are not the same so some people will maybe not be able to help.
However many people knows about Johnny's so if you are close...it should not be too much of a problem!
Easy way to get there.
Take the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (C-04),Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (G-02), Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line (Z-02) to Omotesandō Station (表参道駅) - Use Exit 3, OR the JR line (山手線 Yamanote line) to Harajuku station and use any exit, Omotesando Exit is a few hundred meters closer..
When you walk towards the exit at JR Harajuku Omotesando, there's usually also an add for Johnny's shop or other JE related stuff.
Cross the road and walk to the right, then you will see a small park...and a overpass.
Then on the left side there are a small street, which you should go into...and walk maybe 200 meters then you have Johnny's shop. You can't miss it! However the street is narrow so do not get scared that it is the wrong one!
Johnny-san obviously likes to be a bit secret!
In order to get a ticket you should stop at the park with the overpass, look for girls or guys with a shirt or parka with the Johnny's logo.
For you who doesnt know Japanese.. just say "Johnny's Ticket please" or just "Ticket" and they will understand!!
People line up before opening hours, so if you go there on a weekend..be on time because they give out the tickets quite fast!!
Harajuku JR Line exit
Ticket for JE shop
However there are loads to see around in Harajuku, shopping - clothes, various goods and both Official and NON officail Johnnys goods - photos, uchiwas etc., and also Shinjuku and Shibuya is closeby so if you feel like it you can visit Johnny's family club or go shopping in 109 or something.
The staff was VERY slow..and it took a LOOOONG time...
I wanted to leave about 1000 times...because there was no air left so I couldnt breath...
However I sticked by...
They also messed up some photos so I got some I didn't want (but I didn't notice until I got home and I couldnt go back since it was so late.. SO CHECK really quick while You PAY for be very careful when writing so that they don't mix up your numbers!!)
It took around 3,5 hours in total to be able to pay!! and a whole day to be able to get in.
(I went there on a public holiday so I guess that was why it was so crowded, normally schools has started so it should have been easier but...I guess I have myself to blame)
Went on a Saturday morning, got there around 9.30.. late I know, still I got a ticket for 10.00!!
Took about 1 hour something in total... got everything I wanted, this time all photos were correct!
Quick for Harajuku I suppose!
I also went back 1 before I left and bought some photos for some friends, came in the morning too.. and it took maybe 30 min, but then again I didnt buy much and didnt want to spend to much time inside.
I went to the UPSTAIRS shop both times.
Went there on a weekday.. I brought my mum along, since she hasnt been to Japan since 1986 and she didnt want to be left alone, since she neither speaks a word of Japanese or knew where she was, she just followed me ^^
Anyway, we got there quite early.. and got a ticket for 10.30
OMG..it was so many people inside!! They even pushed me into the wall of all the photos!!all people could see were probably my face touching the "photos"
Still they kept on pushing! 97% of all customer wanted Arashi photos, just like me, however the rest of the shop was quite empty :P
My mum had enough after 5 min, however the JE staff was very nice to her, well..she has Swedish looks and is a bit older so I suppose that was the reason why ^^ I mean she could walk in and out of the shop as she pleased!!! That doesnt apply to ASIAN buyers..or younger population I suppose.
I went to the UPSTAIRS shop.
I went passed when shopping in Harajuku, to my surprise I could walk straight in!
However they have totally changed it!
First when you come, you go down! First they have a purikura machine where you can take photos with your fave JE boys. Then photo selection, all JE bands. After doing that you walk upstairs to pay, Upstairs they also sell other stuff as pillow case, ic card case, photo album etc.
I went passed on a weekday (Friday afternoon). I could walk in and out. Just like last time, you choose ur photos downstairs, you can take purikura.. then buy some other goods and pay upstairs.
I went passed on a Monday, after Arashi's Tokyo Dome concert. On the weekend before, when we passed by it was filled of Arashi fans!
Anyway, Downstairs it was quite easy to choose pictures, however I wasn't too much of a fan that they had mixed the Arashi photos in two different sections. And the line to pay began downstairs and a JE staff sent us up 3-and-3. Upstairs too we had to wait for quite some time, upstairs they also sold the usual stuff, nothing related to Arashi however.
Passed by just to show my dad while visiting Tokyo. He's now also a JE fan however because of the holiday season I didn't feel like lining up. It was too crowded.
Passed by on a weekday, but it was during GOLDEN week. One of the busiest holidays in Japan.
Passed by to show my friend whom I brought with me to Japan! Her very first time. She couldn't believe the craze ^^ Anyway we did not enter because it was too crowded!
2. Nagoya 名古屋 (なごや)
Open: 10.30 am - 6.30 pm
2014-01-10 ACCORDING TO INFO.. THE NAGOYA SHOP HAS MOVED LOCATION!!
So this cannot be used as guidance
Edit 2014-04-19: NEW Address
Address: Nakatou Marunochi Building 1F, 3-17-6., Marunochi, Naka-Ku, Nagoya, 460-0002.
How to get there: Subway Meijiro or Sakura Dori Line, Get off at Hisaya-Odori Station.
It's a 4 min walk from exit 1, Otsu-dori (street)
Go here to get a MAP in English
From Nagoya station, by foot it takes around 40 min (However I'm a REALLY fast walker so it maybe takes 1 hour at least for others)
I asked at the information desk at the Central station how to get there..so either underground or walk...
If you dont feel like walking, then take the YELLOW - (鉄東山線 Higashiyama underground line) to Sakae Station (新栄町駅), which are 3 stops from Nagoya Station.
Then ask show them the map of Johnny's and they will probably direct you.
To walk is very easy too... it is straight all the way..almost! however the weather was bad so it wasnt too much fun, however I got to see a bit of Nagoya city.
The shop is on the second floor, once you enter turn left and walk up the stairs (it's not a beautiful buildning inside..haha but I promise..Johnny's shop is on the 2nd floor and you will probably hear some Johnny's music!)
Map for JE store (it's all in Japanese) http://www.johnnys-net.jp/j/jshop/map/nagoya.html
The stores location is a bit off..so to say!!
However I liked Nagoya, in and out in 5-10 min! They also showed all photos and asked if they were the right ones.. checked my paper back and forth, just to see if they had made any mistakes etc.
No ques and not so many people, maybe 5 more! which was GREAT!! However I was there maybe at 2pm on a weekday..so I guess people had classes etc!
When I paid they also asked if I wanted something else...such as photoalbums, concert goods(mainly uchiwas..but they might have some leftovers).. they also had the 2008-2009 calendars..with TxT, NEWS, KJ8 and Jr's
3. Osaka 大阪 (おおさか)
Open 10.30 am -6.30 (weekdays)
It is located in the city center, which is called Shinsaibashi.Take the underground line called Midosuji (鉄御堂筋線) to the Shinsaibashi station (心斎橋駅). use exit 8, it is the closest one. You should have the Nikko Hotel on your left and the Midosuji Blvd (the main traffic road) on your right. Walk straight until you see an intersection called Midosuji Unagidani. turn left when you see it. Walk down the street (which is kind of narrow)..around 2 blocks.
When you see a buildning called "DAIBI" then Johnny's shop should be to the left!
Map for Osaka http://www.johnnys-net.jp/j/jshop/map/osaka.html
As a end of my Johnny's travel in Osaka I went to the Okonomiyaki place KanJani8 went 2! It is located in Namba..!
The okonomiyaki was DAISEIKO!!!! Maximum umai!! (^__^)
There are always a lot of people there..so be there early!!!
They also have photos etc of KJ8!! (^__^)
A bit tricky to find but not impossible, but it wasn't located on the main street so to say!!
JE likes to hide..lol
Also the shop in Osaka was very quick.. they also showed all photos and asked if I wanted photoalbums etc. A nice experience.
We could walk straight in, the photos of Arashi were abit here and there, so I got confused, because they had same photos on different places, so I had to be careful with the numbers.
It was easy to pay and they checked the photos with me...Great service
Walked straight in, Wednesday afternoon, not so many people.. they didn't have a lot of other goods, They changed photoalbums to a JE one instead of the old ones (one per group).
I chose my photos quickly and paid. Seems like Kis-My-Ft2 was most popular ^^
4. Fukuoka 福岡 (ふくおか)Open 10.30am - 6.30pm
I took the 100yen bus from Hakata station to busstop "Tenjin Fukubiru Mae" then walked from there, it takes around 5-7 min to walk to Johnnys shop from there.
However you can also take the underground - Kuukou line (空港) to Tenjin station (天神駅) then walk. (use exit West 1,(西1出口) ) Follow the Tenjin Chika Machi (天神地下街) to the Showa Doori area (昭和通り)
If you take the bus..when go come off please walk backwards (the way the bus came from)
When you reach the intersection cross it and walk to the right.
You should have the road on the RIGHT and see this infront of you..When you see this huge shopping mall you are close..
Just walk up the stairs and enter the building.
Map to Fukuoka branch http://www.johnnys-net.jp/j/jshop/map/fukuoka.html
The shop was very easy to find!!
No waiting or lines at all..
It went very fast and the staff was very polite and asked if I wanted some uchiwas, concert goods, and also if the photos was the right ones etc.
They showed them in groups.. first all "Arashi" then all "KinKi" etc. very nice! they also check my form so I could see it was as many as I wanted.
I liked Fukuoka the best, however it's far away, but if you are heading for Kyushu..it's worth to visit!
The paper you have to fill in at the shop!
Click on them to get a better view.. there are also notes on them on how to fill them in etc
YOU need one for every group/event..
You do not need to write in Japanese, you can spell ARASHI..and they get it!
However every phot has a number and you write a number in the blank next to the number. 1 - if you want one. 2 - if you want two..etc you get what I'm saying right!?
There are one that says 1-800 and one that says 801~
PLEASE NOTE: sometimes 1-800 is enough..all groups doesnt have over 800 and some start on 800...so please look at the photos, also if possible take a look at all photos right after you come out..if they made a mistake it's easier to fix it on the spot..to fix it later will be impossible!! Time is money~~
The paper has two sides..
Please write as CLEAR as possible, otherwise you might end up with the wrong photos!!
Each photo cost 150 yen (1800 won, 1,5 USD, around 8,5 SEK (Swedish krona))
The name of the group is obvious. But there are some separate photos grouped according to concert/program venue, such as "Countdown", "Dream Boys". On the wall, by each group's/concert set of photos, you will see the title that should be copied.
For every topic... such was GROUP, Concerts, Musicals etc..
it says on the top which one they belong to..and write it corrct!!
Group: Arashi, NEWS, KAT-TUN, Tackey & Tsubasa, KinKi Kids, TOKIO, Kanjani8, HEY SAY JUMP, V6, Jr's, Kis-My-Ft2~
Concert, musical, other: Countdown, Shock, Dream boys
Here you fill in what you want, uchiwa, photoalbum etc.(HOWEVER you can also just tell them when you buy, everything is displayed and if they dont understand what you mean just point and say something simple... like. Matsumoto Jun Uchiwa one... and NOT I'd like a uchiwa with Matsujun, then they probably wont understand you... my advice keep it as simple as possible)
HAVE FUN going to Johnny's!! (^0^)