Comiket is now the largest even in Japan dedicated to all things otaku, and can be quite a beast to manage. But fear not, SGCafe readers! Follow our tips and you’ll manage to get around with no problem! Probably.
Although it’s easy to find out what the major companies are planning to sell at Comiket, getting there and getting around can be difficult. Luckily, advice from some previous attendees can help you get around like a veteran.
(Keep up with all your Comiket news here on SGCafe!)
1. Getting to Tokyo Big Sight
As you may or may not know, the convention itself is held in Odaiba at Tokyo Big Sight. Getting to Odaiba itself can be a little difficult, and navigating it even more so. Luckily, the official site posts directions on how to get there. Going by train is the easiest, and usually the cheapest at 320 yen from Tokyo station. Simply hop on the JR Keiyo Line bound for Shin-Kiba and transfer to the Rinkai line, which will take you straight to Kokusai-Tenjijo station.
It’s also possible to get there by taking the Keihin Kyuukou to the Yamanote line before transfering to Rinkai. Either way will get you where you need to go. From there the center is in walking distance, and you will most likely just have to find the crowd to know you’re there.
2. Getting into Comiket
Unlike the Comic City events held around Japan the rest of the year which require you to buy the guide book as an entrance ticket, there is no fee to enter Comiket.
However, there are two options to get into the building itself: early or late. If you want to get in early as the con opens and snatch up some limited goods, you’ll want to get there as early as possible. That may mean heading out early as you’ll want to be there at around 6 AM, sometimes earlier, if you want an early spot in line.
The event itself opens at 10 AM and runs until 4 PM. If you don’t want to wait, though, you can show up at 12 PM and the lines will have cleared enough for you to usually walk right in.
3. Navigating Comiket
Here comes the tricky part, and usually one you want to plan pre-Comiket. While you don’t have to purchase the guide book, it’s usually a better idea to do so as it will let you know what fandoms have which day of the convention, which booths you might want to visit, and what members of industry are where.
The guide is split into the three days, with circles rotating each day. It will also let you know who is in the east building, and who is in the west, which as we all learned from Lucky Star, is about a one hour walk from one side to the other, so plan accordingly. A good way to do it is by going to the circles you really want to see first before heading to the industry booths and cosplay areas.
4. Cosplay at Comiket
Although originally starting off small, cosplay at Comiket has ballooned to include the parking lots outside the center.
There are certain rules and regulations, as well as etiquette you need to follow to ensure everyone remains happy. One way is to ask permission before you take a picture and then wait before snapping one. Often times a cosplayer will have a pose they prefer to be photographed in. If one cosplayer proves especially popular, the staff will set up a perimeter around them and begin a countdown.
After it ends, you are expected to disperse, though if the cosplayer moves to a new location it could start all over again. Overall: stay polite, and you won’t get in trouble.
If you plan on cosplaying at the event, keep in mind that it’s prohibited to appear and leave the market in cosplay. Instead you will have to make use of the changing rooms which have a usage fee of 500 yen for the entire weekend.
5. Final Advice
If the crowd gets to be too much, you can always head to Diver City, which is a short train ride back to Daiba station. There are concerts by idol groups every so often, and you can always check out the 1:1 Gundam there at Tokyo Gundam Front.
If you stay for the whole convention, be it winter or summer, make sure you stay hydrated. That is especially true during the summer Comiket, as it occurs during Tokyo’s hottest days of the year.
If you go during winter, keep in mind that trains will be running on a holiday schedule and to double check your train time tables. The website Hyperdia is especially helpful for keeping track of when trains are coming and when you can expect to get where you’re going. Like any convention, it’s also a good idea to take a look at the etiquette pamphlets before hand to prevent yourself from getting into any trouble.
If you ever make it to Comiket, let us know about your “spoils of war”.
And of course, you can join in the community discussions going on right now in the forums to discuss all your otaku needs until then.
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