Japan is well known for being the capital of cosplay, and when you look around, it’s easy to see why. But, where should you go if you want to see the best of the best? The Kings and Queens of Cosplay have their own special days when they gather, so here is my guide to seeing the best that Japan has to offer.
Possibly the most famous cosplay event in Japan is the Nipponbashi Street Festival. This event is held every year over the March national holiday weekend. Thousands of people gather to witness the best cosplay in Kansai. This street in Osaka is littered with stores selling cosplay materials, manga and anime goods, and games of every genre. It really is an Otaku paradise during the festival.
Here, you will see some really top-grade costumes ranging from anime and manga characters to popular movie characters, and video game characters. The level of detail and care taken in creating these costumes is amazing, they actually look like the real thing. Many people set themselves up on a specific location, and swarms of photographers gather around them to capture the brilliance of their craftsmanship. They look like paparazzi gathering around celebrities!
The costumes you see on Halloween definitely have a much stronger ‘homemade’ feel than the ones you will see at the street festival above, but you will still see some crazy, amazing cosplay amongst the zombies, vampires and ghosts. Amemura is a triangular park in the heart of Osaka city, and every Halloween, it fills up with people showing off their costumes and drinking conbini beers together.
Just like the street festival, everyone is more than happy to pose for photographs, and if you have a good enough costume, you may get asked yourself! Once again, you will see a lot of movie, anime, manga, and game characters, but often with a macabre twist! This is also the one time of year that Japanese girls throw away the idea of looking ‘cute’ and often go full out scary with contact lenses, blood, and anything else they can think of to impress!
If you want to attend either of these events, get yourself down to Osaka! Amemura’s closest subway station is Namba. For the Nipponbashi Street Festival, check out their website.