Comic World is one of the biggest Anime/ Manga related events in South Korea. The event is held monthly for 2 days in Busan and Seoul at different locations. The concept is based on the Comiket in Tokyo. During the 2 days you can buy Doujinshis and merchandise from Korean circles or companys, watch Cosplay-/ singingcompetitions or just stroll around in your Cosplay and meet friends.
Since I was in Japan and wanted to visit a country I have never been before, I decided to make a side trip to Seoul during the week where the Comic World would be held.
The Comic World Seoul is always held at 2 different locations (Setec and AT center). I visited the one held at the Yangjae Citizen´s Forest Station ATCenter. The location with 2 floors is split into a big entrance hall, a hall with a stage and huge artist alley and a big park.
Of course I also took the chance to Cosplay there. Like in Japan it is not allowed to come to the venue in Cosplay. The event provides changing rooms and a make up room for getting ready.
|Outside of the venue
Get in the venue:
But before entering the location you need to buy a ticket at the outside of the venue.
The entrance fee is about 4.000 Won per day, there are no weekend tickets. After getting the ticket you just go the entrance and exchange your ticket to a stamp.
After going through the entrance hall you arrive at the hall with the huge artist alley.
As I mentioned before it is not allowed to come in Cosplay to the venue. You have to change and register yourself as a Cosplayer.
The Cosplay registration system might be quite complicated and unusual for foreigners but I really like how efficient and thoughtful the event handles the process.
1. Fill out the form:
At first you go to the table and fill out the registration form for your Cosplay. You need to write drown your personal dates and also note, which Cosplay you are going to wear.
The registration is completely in Korean. Luckily a good Korean friend accompanied me and helped me in this matter.If you cannot speak or read Korean here a translated version of the form:
2. Register yourself:
|Wristband and entrance stamp
After filling out the form you go to the registration table. You give them your form, pay the 1.000 won fee and get a wristband with a number on it. The wristband shows your registration number. If anything might happen they can find your personal dates with this number.
3. Get changed:
After getting the number you go to the changing or the make up room. Because I already did my make up I went directly to the changing room. The make up room is just a huge room where you can sit on the floor and finish your make up. There are no tables, chairs, amenities or mirrors provided. I really got the Comiket feel there. XD
|Blue: changing room, pink: Make up room
But instead of a big room the changing room system is different than in Japan.
At the entrance of the changing room you show them your wristband and get a number.
This number is your changing room number.
|Number and changing cabin
You go to your own changing room cabin and change. At the entrance of the changing rooms is a big mirror where you can check if everything is in the right place.
Instead of changing in a big room with everyone together you get your own small changing space. After the Comiket I really started to appreciate this! The cabin wasn’t that big but much more space than you normally get in other events in Japan.
|Number for the baggage
4. Get ride of your baggage:
After changing you can use their baggage drop service. I really loved that service!
You go to the next counter, grab a big black bag and just put your stuff inside of this bag and close it tightly.
Afterwards you go to the next counter and give them this bag.
In exchange you get a small number, which you need to keep. If you want to get your stuff back, you just show them your number and get your stuff.
If I am right you can get your bag and store your bag as often as you want during the day.
5. Enjoy it:
After changing and getting ride of your baggage you can stroll around at the venue, go shopping or go outside and enjoy the other Cosplayers.
After enjoying yourself at the event, you take your baggage with your number and change back in the changing room.
As I mentioned before the venue is split into 3 different sections.
The entrance hall, the main hall (2 floors) and the park.
At the entrance hall you can find the escalators to the 2nd floor, a caterer where you can get some food and drinks, toilets and a lot of Cosplayers sitting and strolling around.
In the summer season Korea seems to be very hot. Inside it is very nice and comfortable due to aircondition.
The main hall at the first floor contains a very huge artist alley where circles are selling their self-made Doujinshis, artbooks or other merchandise at nearly 1.000 booths.
The prices are rather cheap. You can get nice items already starting with about 1.000 won.
In this hall you also can find the main stage. At Sunday the karaoke and Cosplay contests are held there.
There are no chairs but a carpet where you can just sit down on the floor.
The Cosplay contests are quite different than in other countries. At the group performance contests, the people participate with bought costumes, because the performance is more important than the Cosplay itself.
A performance can be about 10-20 minutes long because there seems to be no time limit.
I really enjoyed the show.
Next to the stage is the baggage storage and the changing room for the Cosplayers.
At the 2nd floor is another big artist alley. You also could find some commercial booths of bigger companies.
Behind the building is a huge park where you can find a lot of Cosplayer taking pictures, strolling around or just picnicking.
I got the feeling that buying is rather usual than making your costumes by yourself.
But I found some very very cute Love Live Cosplayers!!
|Outside of the venue
It is not allowed to take pictures without asking beforehand.
Normally Cosplayers are happy to pose for you especially when they notice that you are a foreigner.
For the artist alley taking pictures are generally prohibit. But if you still want a picture you can just ask them if it´s ok. But some might be not happy about this request.
I really liked the experience to Cosplay in Seoul and really like the service for the Cosplayers. They not only provide changing rooms with separated cabins and make up rooms but also a baggage drop. The feeling was very different compared to other events I visited before but I really liked it.
What you need to keep in mind is that it is forbidden to take pictures of Cosplayers without asking them before hand and that it is permitted to go or leave the venue in Cosplay.
You need to register yourself and change at the venue.
You also need to know, that nearly no one can speak English. Some of them can speak Japanese but most of them only speak Korean.
The registration process can be a bit difficult without being fluent in Korean, so I would recommend going with a friend who is fluent.
Foreigners are rather unique there so everyone was staring at me when I talked in English, German or Japanese to my friends. They are just surprised and don’t want to be impolite.
Mostly they are very excited and open to meet foreign Cosplayer and fans. I also had a small chat with some of them in Japanese and got the feeling that it is a very open and warm community.
If you have the chance and like Cosplay or Doujinshis, I definitely would recommend to visit this event once.
Operation hours: Saturday – 11 am to 5 pm/ Sunday 10:30 am to 5 pm
Entrance fee: 4.000 Won per day
Cosplay fee: 1.000 Won per day
Table at the artist alley: about 35.000 won per table and day
(Registration for a table at website directly after the event or at the event at the Artist Alley registration booth)
Location: AT Center or Setec in Seoul, Bexco in Busan
|Picture by Hazuki
The Cosplay studio crown is a studio located near to the Akihabara train station in the center of Tokyo. It is about 5 minutes walk from the station. The studio offers 6-7 different settings, which you can use to make pictures in your Cosplay. You also can rent goods, cameras or camera equipment there and also Cosplays, if you didn’t bring an own one. You are allowed to use the pictures for your personal promotion and Cosplay goods.
The operating times from the studio are 10 am to 10 pm. You pay for the entry once for a designated time and can use the location you like to, as long as they are not occupied by other Cosplayers.
The fees for the 3 hours time frame are quite cheap compared to other studios:
The Studio is located at the 5th floor of a grey building. If you don’t know the address or notice the small sign of this studio, you will most likely pass it. If you found the building, just go into the elevator and get to the 5th floor. Stepping out from the elevator the studio is located to your left.
If you go in you need to put out your shoes first and go to the counter. Just tell the counter which time frame you desire, pay and you will get a number. The staff keeps track of the time with this number. You need to give it back at the end of the rental in time. This means you need to change in this certain time frame.
As everywhere in Japan, it is not allowed to come in Cosplay to the location or the studio. You are required to bring the costume with you and change at the studio or the event. After paying and getting your number you go to the changing room and change into your costume.
The changing room:
The changing room has a lot of space, some mirrors, a cloth racket, dryer, tissues, cotton pads and Q tips. They also provide a comb or bobby pins for a small fee. There is also a board where you can put your belongings into. Sadly there are no lockers like in the Hacostadium. But because it is Japan, I doubt someone will steal your belongings as long there are no valuable things inside.
After changing I put my normal cloths into my back and put it into the board. If you want to use shoes, which you also wore outside once before, you are supposed to wipe them clean before stepping out to the locations. So I wiped my shoes and got my wallet and Smartphone and left the changing room.
The Studio Crown is compared to the other studios I ve seen so far quite small. But they still have some nice settings. You can choose between 6-7 different settings and also can rent some Cosplay items or camera equipment.
The most rental goods require a rental fee. Some goods can be rented for free. As far as I could see small ladders and reflectors are provided for free. If you want to rent something, take you number and go to the counter. Tell them what you want to rent and they give it to you. If you want to return it, show your number again. You pay when you check-out.
During the shooting you can take a break and get free tea or water.
I really like this service. You can sit down, check the pictures and rest.
I took some pictures of the different shooting locations:
Like at all the other studios, you have to bring your own photographer. But they also seems to offer an full experience course, where you can get make up, costume and also a photo shooting with a photographer provided by the studio. For this package you need to reserve beforehand.
You are allowed to use all locations to your liking and also to change between them.
Just be careful not to disturb other Cosplayers or to block for a too long time a location. Japanese Cosplayers don’t wait openly, but others might be interested in shooting at this location, even if you don’t recognize. Also be sure not to take pictures of other Cosplayers if you haven’t asked them for permission.
If you have problems or need assistance you can always ask the staff. Just keep in mind they only speak Japanese. (But if you book the package, I guess there will be some English speaking stuff, because the package is targeting foreigners and is only available at the English website.).
|Picture with the help of the staff by Hazuki
After the shooting:
When you finished with your shooting, keep in mind that the time frame also includes your changing time. So you need to change about 30 minutes before your time runs up. You just go back to the changing room, change back and return your card with the number to the counter. If everything is ok, they will thank you for using the studio. If you overstepped your time or rented things, they will charge you.
If you still have time try out to write into their guestbook. You can put some pictures inside, draw something or just write a message. I really liked to go through it, because a lot of foreigners seem to visit this studio and wrote very interesting and nice things.
What I really appreciate is the location and the easy system.
The studio is located in the center of Tokyo, just 5 minutes walk from the Akihabara JR station. You neither need to reserve, nor to get a membership. So even if you are a foreigner, it is super easy to use this studio. You don’t need to provide an ID card and also don’t need a Japanese address. Like everywhere the staff couldn’t speak English. But I saw that they are quite accustomed to foreigners, because I saw a lot of signs in English and Japanese. I also like the idea about the Cosplay experience package, where you can get Make up, a Cosplay and even pictures.
Compared to the other studios the 3 hours course for 1.700 Yen seems quite cheap. But it does not include a lot of free rental items and also don’t include amenities like bobby pins, brushes, wig sprays etc like the Hacostadium. I personally don’t need it, because I mostly bring my own things, but I saw that a lot of Cosplayers are making use of that service. They also only provide about 6-7 settings, this isn’t much if you compare it to Hacostadium. But you need to keep in mind, that space is very rare in Tokyo. Especially in Akihabara in the very center of this town.
|Picture by Hazuki
In my opinion it is a good choice for first timers, who want to experience the Japanese way of Cosplay and to try out a studio without the hassle of getting a member ship or getting through the language barrier. You don’t need to fight against the other Cosplayers for your space in the changing room and even have proper chairs and mirrors to get ready. Because of a limited number of settings you can concentrate more on one setting and get used to it. I also liked it, that you can go shopping and get some nice food with friends before or after the shooting. The location is a big plus!
Operating hours: 10 am – 10 pm (no closing days)
Free: 1.700 en -5.500 en
Address: 2 Chome-4-6 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-8111, Japan (5th floor)
Japan is the paradise for every Otaku and Cosplayer. And everyone dreams about visiting the wonderland of merchandise Akihabara once in his lifetime.
This time I want to blog about buying new and second hand Cosplays in Tokyo.
Last time I wrote about getting fabric and dry goods in Tokyo.
In Japan the majority of Cosplayers don’t have the time to craft their costumes by their selves. That’s why you will find a huge number of Cosplayer just buying their costumes.
This is also the reason why you can find several shops in every price range offering a huge choice of Cosplays. That’s why I will just name a few shops which can be found in Tokyo.
You will find the most shops in Akihabara and Ikebukuro, but some of them are scattered all over the city.
- New Cosplays
In Japan there are several shops offering new Cosplays and Cosplay related goods. The most famous shop is ACos.
ACos has several stores through Japan and can be found in Akihabara and Ikebukuro in the Animate stores. I also heard that there would be a store in Shinjuku.
ACos not only offers new Cosplays but also a variety of Cosplay goods like special make-up, swords, accessories and wigs. If you are looking for special colored bobby pins, of wig glue I would recommend going to ACos.
The ACos department in Ikebukuro offers a bigger choice of Cosplays and goods than the department in Akihabara.
Costumes from ACos have a very good quality but are quite expensive.
You might find yourself paying about 150 Euro for a costume.
Cosplay goods can be very affordable but also very expensive. It depends on the item you want to buy.
Sometimes ACos offers a bargain corner, if you are lucky you can get wigs or Cosplays cheaper, but they will be still quite pricy.
I am not sure if you are allowed to try the costumes. Because I haven’t seen any changing rooms, I guess trying is not allowed.
The ACos store in Ikebukuro also provides a Hacosta Cosplayer photostudio.
|Make up and wig goods for Cosplay (ACos)
Another store I like to visit is Cospa.
Cospa is also a chain like ACos, which can be found in the whole Japan.
Cospa mostly can be found as a department of Gee!Store (there is a big one in Akihabara). They offer only high quality wigs and Cosplays, as well as a big choice of Cosplay make-up and accessories, like props, wigs etc.
You will get the best quality there, but be prepared to pay for it. I got the feeling that Cospa is even more expensive than ACos.
Some friends told me they could try some Cosplays. I am not sure if that is possible, but I guess asking wont hurt.
So If you are looking for quality and don’t need to watch your money I would recommend going to Cospa.
If you are looking for cheap Cosplays/ wigs and accessories you can go for Bodyline (in Takeshita dori (Harajuku) 2nd floor).
Bodyline is a Gothic Lolita shop, which also offers wigs and a small choice of Cosplays. Although the choice is quite small, they still offer the most well-known costumes and a big variety of standard wigs in several colors.
The quality is quite decent, but the costume might lack some details or the design has been changed in order to produce it more easily.
The wigs are not high quality but still ok. I personally use a lot of Bodyline wigs and shoes, because I don’t like wigs with too much hair and you can style them easily. If you are taking care of the wigs they are very long lasting.
The shoes are very pretty and comfortable, although you are running around with 25 cm heels. They provide a lot of different types and colors, I really like the choice.
Bodyline offers Cosplays starting from 5 Euro. Most of them are sold for round about 20-40 Euro. You can get accessories like fake lashes for starting about 70 cents and shoes are starting from about 10-20 Euro.
Bodyline permits trying so if you want to buy something you should know your size before head. The staff is not very helpful, they wont know your size, but they can measure the Cosplay for you. I would recommend visiting the online shop (in English) www.bodyline.co.jp
before heading to the shop in order to check the size
|Maple wig shop
If you are looking for affordable high quality standard wigs in every color, I would recommend visiting mapel wigs. (Although for some purposes they just have too much hair oO).
Marple wigs have several stores in Japan and one in Ikebukuro and Nippori fabric town. The one in Ikebukuro also offers accessories, a small choice of Cosplays, weapons and shoes.
Both of them also have a small section with high quality facial hair.
Maple wigs offers 3-4 types of standard wigs, 2-3 different standard clips and several types of wig laces in every color you can imagine (they had 35 different black colors…). Laces are starting with about 4 Euro per piece and wigs with about 8 Euro.
They also have a small section with character wigs but are mainly focused on standard wigs in every color. You are allowed to try and touch the wigs (but always ask before head! The staff will help you).
The shop in Ikebukuro also offers a wig styling and cutting service starting with about 8 Euro.
EDIT: Seems like the one in Nippori closed down. In Tokyo there is just the one in Ikebukuro left. (03.01.2019)
2. Second hand (used Cosplays)
If you want to save money I would recommend going for used Cosplays.
Some Cosplayer are buying a Cosplay and just sell them after a shooting. Sometimes wigs and shoes are also included in the set.
Some Cosplayer are selling their self-made Cosplay after they don’t want it anymore.
Be carefull when you are buying very cheap Cosplays. Like everywhere in the world, self made Cosplays can have a very bad quality although they look great from the outside. If you want to be safe, go for used costumes which are professionally produces.
Generally wigs and Cosplays are always very well maintained. You are mostly not allowed to try or to open the sealed bag, so if you cannot read or speak Japanese you wont know the size, the character, the included items or the cut of the wig.
Sometimes you will just find a big basket with wigs in bags and are only able to see the color. At the bag you will find a label which describes the fringe, the length and the cut of the wig.
If you cannot speak or read Japanese, I would recommend going for the shops recommended above.
The most famous shop would be Mandarake.
Mandarake does not only offer second hand merchandise but also Cosplays. Not every Mandarake owns a Cosplay department, but you will find one in Akihabara, Ikebukuro and Nakano Broadway (Nakano Station).
Mandarake offers a huge variety of different second hand Cosplays and wigs, next to a small corner with accessories. It really depends on your luck if you can find your desired item in a good quality for a bargain.
The one I like to visit is Mitsubado.
|Second Hand Cosplay shop and new wigs/ shoes
Mitsubado is located at a side street in Akihabara at the 2nd floor.
They offer a really huge variety of used Cosplays in every price range and a lot of different sizes. I love their wig basket where you can get high quality wigs starting with 3 Euro.
The shop is very confusing because there is no system and everything is just put in bags. But if you can read Japanese and take your time you can make a great bargain. They offer some accessories but it is not worth to mention.
They mostly have a corner with reduced costumes, where you can buy a whole outfit starting with 3 Euro.
I am also a big fan of K-books Cosplay hall in Ikebukuro at the Otome road.
Next to a huge selection of affordable second hand Cosplays they also offer affordable wigs, accessories, some props and shoes.
Cosplays are more expensive than Mandarake and Mitsubado but they mostly sell quality Cosplays. But they are still selling self-made ones so just in case still be careful.
I really enjoy shopping in Japan and already bought a lot of Cosplay accessories, wigs and special make-up. If you love Cosplay, I would recommend to go there and to experience that Japanese cultur of Cosplay shopping.
It is a dream of every Cosplayer/ Anime fan to visit Japan once.
Next to a huge variety of shops stuffed with Anime/ Manga merchandise you can find a large sum of shops with Cosplay related goods or Cosplays itself.
Although Cosplay in general is not a reputable hobby in Japan, it is more acknowledged than in Europe.
Generally you will find in every city of Japan shops selling Cosplays and goods.
Because of that most of the Japanese Cosplayer are buying their costumes, of course there is still a notable number who like to craft their costumes by their own.
This time I want to write a shopping guide about getting goods for your self made Cosplays.
I will write a blog about buying Cosplays and wigs later.
I want to concentrate on Tokyo, because I think that everyone who will visit the first time Japan will start with Tokyo or at least stop over. Furthermore I am much more familiar with getting fabric and goods in Tokyo than in other cities, because I visited Tokyo several times already.
Getting fabric and dry goods:
Japanese fabrics and dry goods are quite affordable. Of course it is not cheap as in Taiwan and if you want some special goods be prepared to pay for it. But you can get 1 meter of your desired fabric for about 108 yen (75 Eurocents) if you are lucky. Japanese friends told me that the fabric prices in Germany are just crazy.
Generally spoken, Japanese fabrics are not only affordable they also have a good quality.
So you can make some good bargains and are still buying quality.
They also have a big variety of different fabric types. If you are looking for cute or typical Japanese prints you will find a large choice to choose from.
Gemstones can be cheap but you mostly will find yourself paying the same as in Germany.
Dry goods are in general cheaper than in Germany. They also offer a bigger choice and if you are lucky you can find reduced products and make a good deal.
If you want to buy cheap laces/ braids and gemstones, I would recommend buying them in Dubai.
The most of these stores are located near to the Nippori Station at the northeast of Tokyo.
This district is also well-known as “Nippori fabric town”.
At Nippori you will find one fabric store next to each other, offering dry goods, fabrics and more. You can enjoy fabric shopping the whole day.
Just be aware, that no one speaks English and you should be familiar with the goods you want to buy. Even the labeling is mostly in Japanese. So you should be able to read Japanese or know how a 100% cotton fabric looks and feels like. If not you might be lost or buy the wrong kind of fabric.
Like nearly everywhere in Japan most of the shops are only accepting cash payment. I haven’t seen an international ATM (or 7/11) in this district so withdrawal money before heading to this shopping paradise.
At Nippori the most famous shops are “Tomato”. You will recognize these shops very easily, because their company logo is a tomato.
Tomato owns several different stores at Nippori, which are offering different kind of fabrics.
You will also find a wide range of frequently reduced fabrics for 108 yen per meter. If you want to make a bargain I would recommend going to Tomato.
Station: Nippori (Yamanote Line/ Keisei Main Line/ Joban Line, Tohoku Main Line)
Exit: South east
Operating hours: Mostly 10 am – 6 pm (depending to the shop)
Map of the Nippori fabric town: