Ed Sheeran Charms Osaka, Tokyo in Sold-Out Japan Tour

Teppei Kishida
Ed Sheeran

<a href="/music/Ed-Sheeran">Ed Sheeran</a> finished the Japan leg of his ÷ (Divide) World Tour, performing a show at Osaka-jo Hall last Wednesday (April 11) and two at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on Friday and Saturday (April 13 and 14).

Sheeran had originally been set to visit the country last year but had postponed the dates due to a biking accident, so local Sheerios were more than ready to welcome the world's biggest-selling artist of 2017 back to Japan. All the concerts were sold out, with 10,000 in attendance in Osaka and a total of 22,000 for the Tokyo engagement.

After opening the set with "Castle on the Hill" and showing off his loop station for "Eraser," he happily informed the crowd in Osaka that this was the biggest tour of Japan of his career.

"The first time I ever came to Japan was 6 years ago," he said. "It was 2012, and I came for the first time to promote this song that had become a hit in the U.K., and still remember performing it in a CD shop." He then launched into "The A-Team" from his album + (Plus) while the audience created a breathtaking sea of light with the flashlights on their smartphones.

During the Tokyo show, he told fans that he was aware of the legendary status of Nippon Budokan: "I'm honored to be standing on the stage. I'm having a great time!" He played 16 songs in the main set, a selection from all three of his albums, including a cover of Nina Simone leading into "I See Fire."

After closing the main set with "Sing" and leaving the stage briefly, Sheeran returned for the encore to a crowd that hadn't stopped singing. In the spirit of all of his shows during this tour, he came back wearing uniforms of local sports teams: Osaka's Hanshin Tigers and Tokyo's Yomiuri Giants baseball teams for the first two concerts, and the Japan national football team jersey for the final show.

At this point, fans awaited his record-breaking hit from 2017, and it only took the first few notes of "Shape of You" for the crowd to break into cheers and massive applause that escalated into the biggest singalong of the evening.

"Tokyo, thank you for inviting me to such a wonderful place," he told fans after the encore. "I hope we meet again next year." 

The next leg of the tour will resume May 4 in Cork, Ireland.


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