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.
Japan is the country of Anime and Manga.
And of course of Cosplay!
One of the main purposes of my last trip was to go shopping for my World Cosplay Summit Cosplays for next year in Japan.
We not only visited several Cosplay related shops in Japan but also in Taipei and Dubai.
All countries have a large choice of fabrics, wigs and other small materials like laces or gemstones.
Part 1: Cosplay shopping in Taipei:
Taipei is well known for cheap and good quality fabrics. We visited the
Yongle Fabric Market and found a large choice of fabrics and dry goods such as laces or gemstones.
The most fabric shops are located directly in the market at the 2nd floor. If you are looking for dry goods you should leave the market and take a look in the side roads.
Be aware that nearly no one speaks English
and that they are making different prices for foreigners. If you can
speak Japanese you can be lucky. We communicated mostly in Japanese or
just pointed the fabrics we wanted
to buy (this only works if you don’t have any questions…). You can
bargain if you are buying a bigger amount of fabrics, because there are
no prices shown. Special fabrics, like embroidered ones or Chinese ones
where quite cheap. But if you want to buy normal
unicolor fabrics be aware that it could be more expensive than in Japan
Generally speaking: Fabrics in Taipei are more expensive than in Japan-
But if you are looking for high quality and special fabrics you can make a good deal.
The dry goods had all price tags. Bargain
wasn’t possible, but if you are buying a bigger amount they just give
you some free dry goods. We could found a lot of awesome stones and
special accessories for Cosplays for
a very good price. We weren’t satisfied with the choices of laces and
most of the shops sold the same items. Also be aware that high quality
stones and gold laces are easier to get in Dubai for a cheaper price.
We were very disappointed regarding to wigs in Taipei. We only found one shop who offered cosplay wigs for order.
Because we had only a limited time in Taipei we didn’t looked further for Cosplayshops.
But we got the advice that you can buy good Cosplay accessories in Ximending.
Yongle Market Taipei
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat 10-18 hr
Next MRT Station: Beiman Station