Cosplayers are the most desirable eventmaker in Japan. For cosplayers, aspiring cosplayers and cosplay enthusiasts of all kinds (whether in front or behind the camera), Japan presents an astonishing number of opportunities. Some events are designed specifically for cosplayers, whereas others are originally focused on commercial and fan-made creations in the fields of anime, manga, games, figures, garage kits or illustrations.
But they welcome and provide space and facilities for cosplaying as well. We’ve listed the five most popular events where you can cosplay in Japan.
Five Most Popular Events For Cosplaying
Nippombashi Street Festa, Osaka
The largest cosplay event in Japan, Nippombashi Street Festa brings anywhere between 250,000 and 300,000 people from all over Japan to the Nippombashi neighborhood of Osaka, the otaku hotspot of the city.
When: 3rd week of March
— 大阪観光局 (@Osaka_Tabilog) March 8, 2018
— NinNin@大阪町会議加州清光 (@NinNin7n) March 31, 2018
Thanks to the leading presence of the World Cosplay Summit, Nagoya has embraced cosplay culture like no other city in Japan. The Minami Outsu-douri Hokousha Tengoku Cosplay, or HOKOCOS for short, takes place on a day when the Outsu-douri, one of the main avenues of Nagoya’s most prosperous commercial area, Sakae, turns into a pedestrian-free zone. In addition to a cosplay parade, there is also a karaoke contest and other fun activities.
When: Spring and Fall (Next: Nov. 11th)
L:beatmaniaIIDX 菱宮津軽 (わたし)
R:pop’n music 鈴花 (めんもちゃん@nmomenmo )
— かみじょうひぴろ ホココス行く (@DOLL_KAMIJO) May 22, 2018
— tetsu (@scandal0093) May 21, 2017
World Cosplay Summit, Nagoya
Ever since 2003, the World Cosplay Summit has been held in Nagoya, and now consists of a week-long celebration including cosplay festivals at local attractions such as Nagoya Castle, Laguna and Meijimura, and parades in an underground shopping area as well as outside in the Osu commercial district, all leading up to the championship on the final day. Participants from around the world converge on Nagoya during the week, and also visit Kyoto, Tokyo and Sendai to promote cosplay culture.
When: Week ending in the first weekend of August
KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep
— pilaf25海ｱﾗｼﾞﾝ26陸ただのぴらふ (@HIDEpilaf) August 9, 2018
Comic Market, Tokyo
Although perhaps not the most popular event in Japan for cosplayers, Comic Market, held at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, is hands-down the most popular event for doujin comic creators and illustrators. Nevertheless, through its combination of ample space with multiple venues, including indoor, outdoor and lawn areas, and a robust support system with changing rooms and helpful staff, Comic Market is always mentioned as a favorite among cosplayers and photographers alike.
When: three days around Aug. 15 and the final three days of December
Comic City Fukuoka
Although there are multiple Comic City events in Tokyo and Osaka, Comic City Fukuoka, held at the Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome, is the only one in Kyushu and is very cosplayer-friendly. For that reason, it has emerged as one of the most popular events for cosplayers to attend, especially those who live in the more southern areas of Japan.
When: One day in Winter, Spring and Fall (Next: Nov. 28)
— まー太郎 (@karfbmasanobu) January 21, 2018
Niconico Chokaigi is an annual festival held by Japan’s largest social video website “Niconico,” with a concept of creating “a melting pot of Japan’s internet culture.” Cosplayers are warmly welcomed and they also enjoy communicating with other creators who congregate at the event.
When: Last weekend of April (Next: Apr. 27-28, 2019)
ニコニコ超会議 29日 2日目
一ノ瀬志希 (制服)コスプレ ！
— ひよ椿(ﾁｭﾝ)🐣池ハロ？ (@meow_1410) May 5, 2018
Events chosen based on most commonly recurring events in the top positions for the past three years!!