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Comiket (Comic Market)

Step aside San Diego Comic Con! Japan’s bi-annual comic market is worth planning your trip around.

  • 2019 Dates: Friday, Aug. 9 to Monday, Aug. 12
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • From 2019, all attendees will be charged a ¥500 entry fee.
Comiket is the event — and an indescribable experience — for Japanese culture lovers.

Biannually, more than 500,000 attendees, many of them suited up in their favorite cosplay, gather at Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba to share their passion for anime, manga, and video games.

What to expect

Comiket, which is short for Comic Market, is the world’s largest fair for dojinshi (self-published manga). Because of their scarcity, goods found at Comiket are highly coveted by collectors. Corporate vendors do attend Comiket but the main allure is the 30,000 independent sellers.

Photo by: Mimi Dietderich The entrance to Tokyo Big Sight for Comiket.

You’ll find novels, manga, artwork, and more all produced by independent artist circles. Some are original, while others are based on original franchises. Content ranges from works for general audiences to those for *ahem* mature readers only.

The Comiket experience

For many, Comiket starts before dawn in an attempt to acquire rare treasures. The moment you enter the convention, panic emerges as you struggle to get your bearings. Countless tables stacked with a plethora of items exclusive to Comiket crowd the convention center.

Most vendors only accept cash, so make sure you bring a fully stocked wallet or you’ll be sorry.

There’s no guarantee that any circle will reprint older works and many tables sell out of their popular items or entire stock before noon! Therefore, any experienced Comiket goer will tell you if you see something you like, don’t hesitate.

Looking for another place to buy anime collectibles?

Every table is shared by two circles. Most will feature that year’s top series or all-time favorites, but you can find lesser-known franchises, as well. For convenience, circles are grouped by similar content. Some have an impressive following and will have long lines of dedicated fans, so be prepared.

Know before you go

Photo by: Puramyun31 Dojinshi booths at Comiket 84 in summer 2013.

Comiket lasts for three days in both August and December. Entry used to be free, but from 2019 a ¥500 fee will be charged. We highly recommend buying the Comiket Catalog for ¥2400 also.

The catalog contains a list of vendors, when they will attend, their table number, and an example of their work. The catalog also contains maps for navigating the huge event. Comiket rules, policies, history and how to use the catalog are printed in multiple languages but otherwise, the catalog is in Japanese.

Comiket Market in Odaiba Tokyo, Japan at Tokyo Big Sight.

Photo by: Raita Futo Cosplay is encouraged, but make sure you change after you arrive!

For Comiket first-timers, keep in mind that cosplay is welcome and encouraged! However, cosplayers must register (¥1,000 per day) and change inside the venue. Please don’t ride the train in your Sailor Scout uniform.

Most vendors only accept cash, so make sure you bring a fully stocked wallet or you’ll be sorry.

Japan’s bi-annual comic market is worth planning your trip around, so don’t miss out on your chance to browse thousands of original works.

Check out more anime and manga tourism in Japan.

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Trivia

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Off, Off, Off Broadway: Trinket-size collectibles for a huge pop culture fix.

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How To Get There

Address

3 Chome-10-1 Ariake, Kōtō-ku, Tōkyō-to 135-0063, Japan

By train

From Tokyo station take the JR Keiyo Line going towards Soga and exit Shin-Kiba Station (8 min, 2 stops). Enter the Tokyo Metro and take the Rinkai Line towards Osaki and exit at Kokusai-Tenjijo Station (4 min, 2 stops). Exit the station and walk 12 minutes to Tokyo Big Site. This route costs ¥440 and takes about 29 minutes.

By bus

From outside Tokyo Station go to the bus stop located at the Tokyo Station Maru no Uchi South Exit. Take bus number 05-2 going to Tokyo Big Site and get off 19 stops later (32 minutes). Walk 5 minutes to the Tokyo Big Site location. Bus fee is ¥210 and comes every 30 minutes.

 

Where To Stay

Tokyo Bay Ariake Washington Hotel
  • Ariake 3-7-11 Koto-Ku, Tokyo 135-0063
  • 7.7/10
  • 0.4 km
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Daiwa Roynet Hotel Tokyo Ariake
  • Ariake 3-7-3 Koto-Ku, Tokyo 135-0063
  • 9/10
  • 0.5 km
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Hotel Sunroute Ariake
  • Ariake 3-6-6 Koto-Ku, Tokyo 135-0063
  • 7.9/10
  • 0.8 km
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Hotel Trusty Tokyo Bayside
  • Ariake 3-1-15 Koto-Ku, Tokyo 135-0063
  • 8.1/10
  • 1.0 km
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