This summer we decided not only to visit Karatsu, but also to take some pictures in the Yukata Version of Yuri and Yurio in an tradtiiaonal Ryokan near to Karatsu Castle.
I wrote about my trip in Karatsu >>here<<
I also reported about my first photo shooting experience in a Ryokan >>here<<
The Ryokan we booked is called Yoyokaku.
The Ryokan is located a few meters away from the famous jogging course bridge of Yuri and the Castle. Sadly it takes about 2 Km to the station. Normally a distance you can walk, but not during the tremendous heat of 38 degrees and 90% humidity. ^^” Japanese summer can kill you….
We did not only chose this Ryokan, because of the location but also because of the beautiful interior and really good reviews.
Another important point were the Yukata´s they offer. They are exactly the same type of Yukata´s Yuri and Yuiro are wearing in the Yukata Collab button collection! (Yes, I am a nerd, shame on me!!)
As I mentioned before, Cosplaying in public is not very well received in Japan. Hotels are no exception. Even in the own private room!
Before booking the Ryokan I contacted them (in Japanese) and asked kindly for a permission to take pictures. They not only agreed kindly but also offered us to take pictures in their most beautiful room and lobby. We were really happy about it.
The Ryokan was not booked out and there were only a few customers. I am not sure if they always allow guests to take pictures or only do if their house is not full. So be sure always to ask beforehand if you are allowed to take pictures!
We also could take some very beautiful pictures in their garden and enjoyed later an full course meal with garden view.
Also the Onsen was amazing and we enjoyed the small pottery exhibition with some tea and coffee.
The breakfast in the dining hall was very tasty and the staff member took really really good care of us. She even took her time for some small talk (in Japanese, they tried but weren´t that fluent in English).
They also helped us with sightseeing spots and gave us some advices. It was great to stroll around in Yukata at the bridge and castle.
If you can spare the money and want to enjoy yourself (and drown in “Yuri On Ice” feels) I can really recommend this Ryokan.
We really enjoyed ourselves!
Pictures by Meermiau or Shiroku
Yuri by Shiroku/ Yurio by Chiko-chan
Type: Ryokan (traditional guest house)
Price range: 11.880 yen ~ 43.200 yen per room and night (might include breakfast/ dinner)
Adress: 2 Chome-4-40 Higashikaratsu, Karatsu, Saga Prefecture 847-0017, Japan
After my visit in Munich I decided to visit with Meermiau the photostudio “Dein Mietstudio” at Kircheim unter Teck (near Stuttgart).
The studio offers 6 different studios:
-> Studio 1
The 55 qm big studio offers a white seamless backdrop.
-> Studio 2
This studio offers 13 different basic settings as well as a small part for seamless backdrops (grey, white, black) at over 102 qm.
-> Studio 3
Is the smaller brother of studio 1 and offers a white seamless backdrop at 44qm.
-> Studio 4
This is with 180 qm the biggest studio they are offering. This studio has 7 different basic settings and also offers seamless backdrops in grey, white and black.
-> Studio 5
Is a 63 qm barock suit in light crème colors, with a big bed, tables, chairs etc.
-> Studio 6
You can rent the smallest studio (40 qm) as a black box studio with a seamless backdrop (white and black) or use it for water photo shootings.
The studio is located at the 2nd floor in an industrial building. Sadly there is no elevator. So if you have a lot of equipment be prepared for an extra sport lesson.
You can rent the studios for minimum an hour and have the exclusive usage of them for the rental time. You can rent the studio at their homepage.
All rooms are equipped with a music system, changing room with mirrors and amenities, a wardrobe, chairs, table, coffee machine (also latte Macchiato, Cappuccino etc) and drinks (for a small extra free). Every room has his own light/ flash equipment set which you can use freely (included in the rental).
Some studios are including a parking place in front of the studio (Studio 1 and 2). If your studio don’t have a parking place, you can park your car near to the studio for about 3 Euro a day.
The studio rooms are your private space until the renting hours are over. Unlike at other photo studios the owner wont interrupt you unless you call him with the phone, you can find in every studio.
If you rent a studio you are free to use the requisites to your liking. Just be sure to bring them back afterwards.
For the waiting time you are free to use the kitchen (fully equipped) free Wifi, the small library in the waiting room or the Pokestop directly at the Studio.
If it is your first visit you have to come a bit earlier, because you will get some instructions regarding the studio. They will show you around and explain you all the rules. Normally it takes about 30-15 minutes.
If you don’t need the instructions any more, you cant go earlier than booked to the Studio. If you insist going in earlier for preperations (and if the room is available) they will charge you.
Free prop rental:
The studio offers 3 rooms full of props of every kind. You are free to use which ever props your want during the rental hours.
They offer different furniture’s, colored fabrics, special items like umbrellas and more.
I really like the variety of props they offer. Sadly the props are mostly not compatible to each other.
You could feel that they were just bought randomly. I am used to rental props which are compatible to each other in several ways for several purposes.
But if you use them wisely and have the time I guess, you can build up a really good setting with all these props.
And they had a super cute penguin!!!
I wanted to take him home ToT
We rented Studio 2, 5 and 6.
Because the studios are closed for other people I didn’t had the chance to check them out. This is why I will only report about these 3 studios.
had different settings and some furniture’s. You could also rent a snow machine for this room.
You can rent this studio staring with 22 Euro per hour.
The settings were super basic and you only had 1 wall for every setting. Beside 1 corner, which had the same background.
It was super difficult to make pictures, cause you were only able to took pictures at an straight angle or from above. The walls weren’t really high and the owner didn’t paid attention to the upper parts and the ceiling of the studio. You couldn’t do any low angle shoots. It was really annoying, after you got used to cheap Japanese photo studios which always offers at least 1 corner with the same setting per setting/ room.
As you can see in the pictures, the settings are not furnished at all. You are more or less forced to use the props and build up your own settings, which wastes a lot of time.
I also was super unhappy, that you could only use the snow machine at 3 different settings.
The floor was a simple concrete floor and not very beautiful.
In the end we didn’t used the snow machine, although we paid for it. It was impossible to get good pictures with this ground.
We decided to built up our own small setting and ended up doing close up shoots.
Compared to German studios this studio is with 22 Euro per hour reasonable. You can try to share the studio with other people, because there is a lot of space.
If you are fine with close up pictures and really limited options due to their settings this studio is fine. Just be prepared that only straight shoots with limited options are possible.
You also need to consider in your rental time, that you need at least 1 hour to build up your setting and another 30 minutes to clean everything.
Compared to Japanese studios, Studio 2 is super expensive and very badly equipped. The options are too limited and you are actually better of just to rent a seamless backdrop or a small studio or space, where you can build up your own setting for a cheaper price.
was a fully furnished barock suit. This time you had an whole room as one setting.
In this room, the owner even payed attention to the ceiling.
The room offered a bed, a (fake) fireplace, a sofa, a chair and a table, a library and basic decoration.
Even the changing room is held in the same style as the room.
You can rent this room starting with 24 € per hour.
You are not allowed to eat or drink in this room (only in the changing room and technical room) and need to put of your shoes.
You can wear shoes inside, if they are part of your costume and clean.
Basically it’s a very nice idea and for German standards a very nice studio.
Sadly we experienced during the shooting, that we were very limited in our options.
While the walls in the downer parts were decorated nicely and some corners had a lot of details, some parts in the room were too plain.
Because everything was hold in light colors, but the walls didn’t had any details or beautiful wallpapers the room looked too plain.The balance was very difficult.
Of course if you are renting a room like this, you want to show the most beautiful parts of this room and not only a more or less plain background or risking an unbalanced picture.
This is why we started to rearrange the room and decorated it with a lot of different props.
Sadly this also took a lot of time and we were again really limited in our options and angles.
It was a bit better than in Studio 2 but still really unsatisfying.
If you compare it to the Studio jolite in Bochum, the ceiling was much higher and the settings were decorated so nicely and in a super balanced way. Of course we also needed pay attention to the balance in the picture, because even the wonderful wallpapers of this studio appeared plain compared to the settings. You still had a lot more options and didn’t wasted time to decorate the setting from zero by your own.
If you are ok with a plain looking Barock suit, because you want to make low key shootings or don’t want a too detailed background, I still would recommend this studio to you.
We booked Studio 6 for the Waterworld. You can also rent this studio without the waterset option for 17 Euro per hour. You pay an additional fee of 40 Euro for the water option.
Next to the 40 Euro you need to pay 2 hours extra for the preparation of the Waterworld and plan 1 hour for the cleaning of the room, which you have to do by yourself.
The Waterworld offers 3 different watertypes:
– different shower heads and tubing’s (just water from a tube)
With 5 different water connections
You can choose the temperature of the water exactly and we used this studio 8 hours non stop. And after 7 hours the boiler gave up.
It is actually a very good time, because we didn’t payed attention to the water usage at all… Unlike at the rain studio in Wuppertal.
The water is generally coming from above. If you want water from the side or from below, you can use the shower heads.
They also offer a bathtub with whirlpool functions.
The Studio 6 is a closed black room, which is why you are allowed to splash around however you like. You just need to be careful to a certain corner were the batteries and flashes are stored.
If you want to make splash shootings, this location is just perfect. Because even the ceiling is painted black, you could take pictures from a lot of different angles.
The drizzle option is super useful, cause the rain is super fine and it is more like a wet fog instead of rain. I really liked it because you are not getting wet immediately and still have the rain effect.
The bathtub was the highlight for me. Because we still had some spare time we decided to give it a try. The studio offers foam soap and we used the snow/ foam machine to create a nice background. It was really really fun and comfortable.
After the shooting you can use the towels of the studio or the bathrobe.
Sadly the changing room is not allowed to get wet (but you need to cross it if you want to change or go to toilet). So if you are trying to leave the studio room, you need to be super careful with your wet hair and cloths. It was sometimes really difficult to get yourself through this room without making the floor wet.
Compared to Wuppertal you had more options regarding the shooting angles in the Studio 6, because you have a completely black and closed room. I also really loved the drizzling effect and that you could do splash shootings without being afraid to drown everything.
What was lacking, was the “small” pool we had in Wuppertal.
The water was gone very quickly, this is why you couldn’t jump or move into the water in order to get a small splash effect.
While in Wuppertal you don’t really need to clean up everything by yourself, you really need minimum 1 hour to get everything clean in this studio.
Especially if you played around with the bathtub and foam.
|Uwe Lammer Studio in Wuppertal
In Wuppertal you could see the seams of the mats at the ground of the rain set. It is generally very difficult to photoshop rain pictures, so it was really difficult to get ride of this seams.
In the waterworld, the ground even and completely seamless.
|Dein Mietstudio in Stuttgart
If you are going to rent this studio you should bring at least 1 assistant.
Someone who is regulating the rain flow, making the splashing or holding the foam machine.
Actually if you can, try to bring 2 people and if you can come in swimwear. Cause it is very hot and you will get wet very fast.
The studio has a shower, so don’t be afraid to get wet during this shooting.
My opinion about “Dein Mietsudio”:
If you need a simple studio, reasonable priced with good light equipment this studio is the best choice you can take. The light equipment is included (high quality flashes) and if you share the rental fee with some friends it is super affordable.
I also loved the prop rooms were you could use everything you might need (for the shooting or the penguin for your own happiness!).
If you are fine with simple backgrounds and don’t expect anything special, this studio is the right choice for you. But if you want to make a photo shoot with special backgrounds and decorated rooms, this is not the right place for you. I would recommend the studio jolite in Bochum if you are looking for a barock style photo studio. They are priced similar and you have more freedom regarding the angles and a more balanced background in the studio jolite.
If you are looking for a rain photo shoot I would definitely recommend trying out the waterworld.
It was a really good experience and you have a lot of different possibilities to use the water effects during the photo shoot. The Studio in Wuppertal is good if you need a pool like setting with water from above.
But if you want to splash around or use a bathtub, I would definitely go for the waterworld in Stuttgart.
This review is based on my own opinion.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Name: Dein Mietstudio
Adress: Aleenstraße 18, 73230 Kircheim unter Teck
Because my World Cosplay Summit championship costume is very dear to me, I wanted to take pictures at a special location.
This is why I checked the internet and found the photostudio Jolite in Bochum (Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen).
About the studio:
The studio Jolite features 4 different barockstyle living room sets over 85 qm.
The sets are hold in light colors and are decorated with a lot small things.
They also have parking places and a changing room (and a Pokestop if you have some spare time ^_-).
They also offer drinks and a waiting lounge, were you can sit down and rest. They also have a small pool of props which you can use freely during the photoshoot.
You can rent the studio starting with 30 € per hour for minimum 3 hours.
They also offer a studio flash rental if you don’t have your own equipment.
Starting with 5 persons, you have to pay a additional fee (20%).
The studio itself is limited to 6 people (from 6 people, 2 can be photographers).
They also offer a day package starting with 200 € for 8 hours.
Starting from 5 people you have to pay a deposit (350 €).
|The resting place
If you want to rent this studio certain rules apply.
You are only allowed to drink or eat at the designated resting areas.
Shoes with a black profile are not allowed either.
The owner will also tell you to be careful with all cushioned furniture’s. Be careful not leave make up traces at the cushions.
With 85 qm and 4 sets with a lot of different furniture’s and decorations it can be pretty cramped. You still have enough space to build up your flashes. But there is no place for larger groups or larger light settings.
I guess 2 photographers with 2 models each might be possible, but actually I wouldn’t recommend 2 photographers working at one time.
If you don’t have much light equipment it might work, but not if both photographers want to use flashes.
Because the studio has big windows and the interior is mostly hold in light colors, it is pretty bright. But I would still recommend to work at least with 1 softbox to lighten up your model.
If you don’t have equipment I really would recommend to rent some.
The lamps are very dim and not very bright. They are also located directly above you. So if you want to take pictures without flash you are pretty bound to the daylight, which only comes from one direction.
The studio itself has an wonderful atmosphere. I am pretty used to visit studios which look good at pictures, but the sets are mostly build up in large dark storage halls.
This one was a completely different. The owner paid a lot of attention to the atmosphere, especially to the decoration. During our stay we could find so many different details which made this studio really unique.
What I also really liked was that the ceiling high is above 3 Meter. Even with a wide angle lens, we didn’t got any problems with parts of the studio which should not be in the picture.
If you are looking for a barockstyle location for your photoshoot I would definitely recommend to try out this studio. It has a very nice and special atmosphere. It was a really great experience for me.
The most important point was, that this studio offers sets, which are decorated with so many details, that the sets don’t look plain and boring at all.
I visited a lot of studios, where the furniture’s were beautiful. But you could feel that the pictures were taken at a studio, because everything looked so plain and artificial.
This studio is completely different.
A problem was, that black soles weren’t allowed. If I had knew this before it wouldn’t have been a problem. But due to this rules I couldn’t wear my first Adekan Cosplay completely, which was kind of sad.
Another point is that only 6 people are allowed. For me it wasn’t a problem, because I don’t mind spending money for a good location.
But a lot of Cosplayers can´t afford such a studio. Studio sharing is due to this rules nearly impossible.
In Germany it is very difficult to find theme studios with beautiful interior. So even if its not that big and cheap I still would use it again.
Name: Studio Jolite
Adress: Harpener Feld 11, 44805 Bochum
This weekend, I had my very first rain set shooting in my life.
I really love Japanese Cosplay studios and would love to take pictures in such a special location more often than once a year (when I am in Japan).
Sadly in Germany there aren’t many photostudios equipped with special furniture’s or special settings.
We still gave it a try and could find a few ones, which are offering furnitured or special locations for photoshootings.
Of course the standard in Germany is compared to Japan quite low but luckly there are still some, which are worth a visit.
About the studio:
This time we tried out the Uwe Lammer photostudio in Wuppertal.
Because I don’t mind traveling for a good photoshoot I decided to travel to my photographers place (Meermiau), who lives 4 hours apart from me.
(Normally he´s the one travelling, but this time it was my turn ^_-).
Uwe Lammer offers 2 different studios. Each studio has several different but unique settings.
We decided to book studio 1 which included:
|A living room setting
|A Lost place setting
|Black/ Grey/ White background setting
|A Rain setting
|Changing corner with a mirror
Also a fog machine was included. The studio also offers a light equipment rental.
But because Meermiau just bought two new flashes (now he has 5 including 2 umbrellas and colorfoils), we decided to go with our own equipment.
Unlike to Japanese studios you have a lot of place.
It is less cramped and you have enough room for your light setting. It is also a one costumer only studio. You don’t have to share your space and can take pictures without getting disturbed by other costumers.
The rain set:
We decided to book the rain set for an additional fee.
The rain set is approximally about 3 x 6 meter and features 3-4 different types of rain “shape”.
The most important thing: The room is heated and the water is warm or hot (depending on your personal preferences).
During the rain shoot, the owner Uwe will assist you and control the rain and fog machine (if you also want to use the fog machine). He can give you a lot of good advices and is a really nice guy.
You just tell him which water you need and if its too cold or too warm.
It was really helpful to have him, because we made pictures without an assistance and it was really comfortable to have someone around who controlled the water.
What you should know:
In this studio it is prohibit to step on the set ground with shoes without special mats.
It would be very slippery and shoes can damage the ground surface easily.
But the mats are quite big so it wasn’t a major problem.
The next thing is, you will get wet. Really really wet… down to your panties.
After only a few shots, I had a sea in my shoes and I was drowned in water.
If you go there, bring enough towels, changing cloths and shoes.
If you have parts or wig stylings which are not fit to get wet, don’t use them.
Its not like a slight rain, its like jumping into the sea and going diving for a while…
Also be careful and use water proof makeup, so it wont smudge during the shoot.
If you want to avoid looking shiny during the shoot, try to use a make up which has a good matt effect.
Uwe also told us, that the shoot is mostly over if you get water into your eyes. Because it would burn. It seems to be a bigger problem if you wear contacts.
I don’t have this problem, but my Cosplaypartners told me that’s a well known problem.
Although the water is warm, it can be a quite freezing experience.
Your whole body is wet, but during the shoot only a part of your body is under the warm water. This leads to the famous bathroom effect, that he other body parts are getting really cold.
We shooted about 1 hr per costume. Afterwards I got dry and changed.
I think this was a good timeframe. Because after 1 hour, you are not only reeeaaally wet but also really cold.
Warming up is quite important.
I also want to note, that it can be extremely exhausting.
I am pretty used to jump, run, holding difficult poses. But the water shooting was kind of level up. You have to be careful about the shape of your wig and if you want to do more poses than just standing or sitting around it takes more time than usual to get the perfect shot.
Next to your face and body it is important how you move. Because every movement causes a different shape of water.
It is also more slippery than usual and it gets cold very fast.
I can normally shoot about 15 hours a day with a break between every Cosplay for changing and a 1 hr food break.
I guess with a rain set, 8 hours are my limit.
An advice to the photographers:
Spitting around too much water is not allowed, because there are electronic devices, flashes and similar things around the rain set. But water still gets out of the designated wet area.
We used Meermiaus equipment and plastic bags to protect them.
Be prepared that you equipment might get wet.
Also plan your light setting beforehand. The faster you got your light and flash setting, the longer you can shoot. It is a run against the limited endurance time of your model.
Or the cloths and capes, which are getting heavier and heavier after every try.
I know that normally the photographers are making the light setting. When I am working with Meermiau, I make the setting and tell him what I want and need. I like to do this because due to that I have a great influence on the lightning of my pictures.
Maybe it is a good idea to talk to your model about the settings before making a water shoot.
Next time we will definitely bring an assistance.
We both work mostly without any assistant, because we don’t want to bother a third party.
But it is really handy.
If you want to throw capes, wigs or similar it wont fly as usual, because it got wet and heavy.
It is nearly impossible to get a nice flying effect without assistance.
It was a really great, unique and fun experience!
It was not cheap (but cheap compared to other German studios) but worth the money.
We didn’t really know if we could manage this shooting, but in the end it was really fun and we could take some nice pictures.
The owner was also a cutiepie and he assisted us even with our baggage and my very very wet costumes.
If you want to try out a rain shooting, I really would recommend to try it once in this studio.
Just be aware you will be very very wet!
Name: Uwe Lammer Mietstudio
Adresse: Scheffelstraße 33; 42327 Wuppertal
|Picture by Meermiau
I wrote an blog about Cosplay photo studios in Japan:
Some people asked me if I could write about specific Cosplay studios which I visited and would recommend to other Cosplayers.
If you can speak fluently Japanese and read/ fill out forms I would recommend the studios of Hacosta
. If you cannot speak Japanese you should bring a fluent speaking Japanese friend with you. If not you might be in trouble.
Although the staff is very kind, they don’t speak a single word English. They searched several times for me in order to explain things to my not Japanese speaking friends. The rules in the Hacosta studios are quite strict and you may get kicked out.
You also should not come dressed in your Cosplay. Always dress and change back at the studio itself. If you are coming dressed they might refuse your entry.
is a company which owns several studios in Japan:
Hacosta only owns share studios. You are paying an entry fee for a certain time frame (1.900 yen (5 hours)- 4.800 yen (10 hours)) and can use every photo setting which is not occupied freely. The time frame includes your changing and Make-up time.
You are allowed to use the pictures freely as long is it for your own promotion. Even making photo books/ print items and selling them is permissible.
The studios are offering lockers, changing rooms, a small restaurant, Cosplay goods, rental services and free Cosplay amenities. Hairspray, combs, bobby pins, cotton pads, scissors and more can be used for free.
The rooms are equipped with artificial day lights and can be turned off. You can find reflectors and ladders scattered all over at the studio. They are for free usage.
Hacosta only offers the studio settings. I haven’t seen any photographer service. So if you want to visit this studio always take a friend with you, who will make the pictures.
In Japan it is quite common just to go with a group of friends (all Cosplayer) and to take pictures of each other.
|Ticket counter (Picture by Hacostadium.com)
claims to be the biggest Cosplay photo studio of his kind and offers more than 40 different settings. This studio is the newest one of Hacosta and has been opened at the end of November in Funabashi.
You should be aware that traveling to Funabashi will take at least 1 hour or more from Tokyo Station. If you are looking for an easier accessible studio, go for Ikebukuro or the studios in Osaka.
We decided to go for Tokyo.one because we wanted to enjoy such a studio as much as possible. So why not trying out the biggest studio in the world?
I highly recommend buying a ticket before head. It will make things much easier and you can be sure to get an entry ticket. Hacostadium announces daily at twitter if tickets are still available. I noticed that you definitely should use the presale if you intend to go on Friday – Sunday, public holidays or event days.
On normal weekdays it shouldn’t be a problem. But you should try to be there at 9:30 am (opening time), to be sure to get a ticket.
|Staca (Picture by Hacostadium.com)
If you want to reserve you need to create a Staca account. Staca is the membership of Hacosta and you need this membership for everything you going to do in these studios.
After you created an online account you can just go to the calendar and buy your desired ticket. Be sure to fill out the forms correctly (the Google website translator don’t work on this side), it might cause trouble afterwards.
Be aware that you are booking the right studio/ day and time, because the tickets are not refundable. If you are going with friends everyone needs an own account. You can buy tickets for other people but need to pass the tickets to your friends online. So if they don’t have an account buying two tickets won’t help you because you cannot pass the ticket to your friend.
You will be named as ticketholder and the entry of your friend might be refused.
Also going to a Hacosta studio before head without a membership won’t help you, because you need a Japanese phone number for a presale ticket. If you already have a membership just going to the nearest Hacosta studio and buying a presale ticket works.
9:30-20:00 (10,5 hrs)
9:30-14:30 (5 hrs)
15:00-20:00 (5 hrs)
Weekend and public holiday
9:30-20:00 (10,5 hrs)
9:30-14:30 (5 hrs)
15:00-20:00 (5 hrs)
I already got an account on Staca but because my friends couldn’t manage to go through the Japanese page I didn’t bought a presale ticket online (because a refund is not possible).
So we checked if day tickets were still available and just went there.
The studio is located in a shopping mall. Hacostadium opens 30 minutes earlier than the mall so you have to wait at the main entrance (there is a Hacostadium flag). The staff will fetch you up and bring you to the ticket counter.
If it’s your first time you have to fill out some forms and than move to the ticket counter.
They will check your address and personal information’s. So be sure to bring an ID card which also contains your address. Because the staff couldn’t speak English she gave up asking my friend for an ID card with address…. So I am not sure if maybe a passport will just be enough.
In my cased they told me an ID card with address would be required.
I realized that the staff where panicking when they saw us and looked relieved after I started to translate. If you Japanese aren’t that fluent just give them a bit time. They have prepared English sheets for the ticket sale (but I guess only for the ticket sale…). They will do the registration silently while they are speaking to other costumer’s non stop.
After checking our personal information’s they will hand out your Staca card and give you a badge with a locker number.
From now on you are a Staca member and can earn Staca points. Which everything you are buying (even food and items) you can earn points and get a discount on the next ticket.
|Female changing room (Picture by Hacostadium.com)
You can use your locker freely the whole time frame. You can place your whole things there and don’t need to drag them around with you.
Next to the locker are private changing rooms. You can use them but normally you are using the big changing room. It is a big hall with some mirrors. You also find cotton pads, bobby pins etc there.
You just go there, sit down and make your make up and changing. It is quite common for Japanese to undress in front of others from the same gender. So don’t be bothered.
I would recommend to bring an own small mirror. We were lucky, because we were one of the first costumers there. But after a while the places with a mirror have been occupied.
Just try not to spread your things to much in order not to disturb others or to take too much space. Pictures are forbidden at the changing area. Also refrain from cutting your wig. Hacostadium provides an extra room for wig cutting which are equipped with scissors, combs and hairspray.
After changing you just put your things back to the locker and are ready for a shooting.
|Studio settings (Picture by me)
Hacostadium Tokyo provides over 40 settings which are greatly designed and maintained.
Be aware that some shooting locations are the hallway which everyone uses. Try not to disturb other Cosplayers. If you want to cross a room or a hallway while people are shooting, please ask politely.
If a room is occupied, don’t just go to another corner and make pictures there. Wait until they are finished, but try not to wait too obviously.
Before entering a setting there are wet tissues for your shoes. Please clean your shoes before entering the settings in order to keep them clean.
At some settings shoes are not allowed. You can recognize these places with a shoe shelf at the entry (of course there is also a sign in Japanese). Put your shoes into the shoe shelf and go in. Even if you are wearing clean “Cosplay shoes” please refrain from taking them in.
You are allowed to use everything in the room you can find and to change the setting to your liking, just be sure to put everything back to his place.
Generally drinking and eating at the shooting area is permitted. But you are allowed to drink and eat at the café settings. I saw a lot of Cosplayers bringing their McDonalds breakfast to the café setting and to make pictures while having breakfast.
As a Cosplayer:
Try not to wear Cosplays which are taking up too much space. Also wear shorts if you are wearing a short skirt.
As a photographer:
Regarding to flashes and photo equipment there are a lot of rules, because you may block the way while shooting at the hallway. You are only allowed to bring a limited number of flashes, soft boxes etc. Please inform yourself before head to avoid trouble.
Don’t just take pictures of other Cosplayer. Please ask politely if you want to make a picture.
|Free rental items (Picture by Hacostadium.com)
I really like, that you can rent Cosplay accessories for free. You can rent as much items you want, as long as you want and just return them after the shooting.
Next to the service counter you will find a wall with paper cards. Just take the paper cards which are showing the desired items, take them and go to the service counter.
The staff will gather your items, give you a bag for an easier transportation and scan your Staca card. When you are returning, they will check if you have returned everything and scan your Staca card again.
Afterwards you can rent new items for free.
You also have the possibility to rent a Nikon or Canon camera for free (2 hours) afterwards they will charge you 300 yen for the rest of the day.
They also provide flash, soft box, lens, SD card etc. renting service. A lot of items are free for the first 2 hours. You won’t pay more than 1000 yen for a rental (mostly about 500 yen). I think this is a good an affordable choice if you cannot bring your own equipment or just don’t have any space in your baggage left.
|ACos shop (Picture by Hacostadium.com)
Hacoplus is the restaurant and ACos area which you can find directly at the entrance,
The food is very affordable and tasty. You can also get the food and bring it to the café area setting to make pictures with it. The staff always tries to let the food look good. That’s why you can use it as a shooting accessories without hesitation. The restaurant also provides free water.
If you forgot some Cosplay items like wigs, contact lenses etc. you can buy them at Hacoplus. They only have a small corner with Cosplay goods but still enough to rescue yourself last minute.
I was a bit shocked how helpless the staff was regarding to my non Japanese speaking friends. My friends had a lot of trouble with communication and they were always searching for me. I was even surprised how much you need to communicate at such a studio (otherwise I would say; Ok just don’t communicate).
But all in one the staff was super polite and friendly, always gave their best to make it as comfortable as possible and were cleaning non stop. It was so clean…. Japanese toilets are great and clean but the most luxurious toilets I have seen in Japan were at Hacostadium and the Butler Café….
The settings are just amazing and very well maintained. The variety of free rental objects are great. The possibilities are just awesome and not even a bit comparable with the situation we have here in Germany.
The light was very good (although you really need a flash) and the other Cosplayers where always very considerate. Although we saw a lot of Cosplay groups it was always very silent and everyone tried their best not to disturb others, even if someone blocked the whole hallway. They just waited patiently.
|Picture by Meermiau
The food was very good and we really enjoyed the affordable flash rental service.
You could feel that the studio do his best to fulfill every need a Cosplayer might have during a shooting.
It was an amazing experience and I would recommend everyone to try it out once!
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.