Everything Comiket

The Comic Market, or Comiket, as it is more affectionately referred to, is an event held twice a year at the Tokyo Big Site in seaside Odaiba, Tokyo. As one can derive from the name one of the main purposes of Comiket is the promotion and sale of indie comic books/novels or doujinshi (同人誌) .

Usually within a year two Comiket are held. Winter Comi (冬コミ) and Summer Comi (夏コミ). While the types of things you’ll see at the event do not differ between the two, it is a good idea given the choice to consider your preferred climate for experiencing Comiket.

So far in JMEJPN we have covered both of these events – if you haven’t seen them yet, check them out!

Summer Comiket
Winter Comiket

What is there to do at Comiket?

Doujinshi (同人誌)
Doujinshi are publications created by individuals or groups known in Japan as circles (サークル). These can be found for sale in the main halls of Comiket. Be it original or based off an existing popular franchise, doujinshi exist across every genre that can be imagined right down to the lewd & NSFW. Doujinshi in the modern age are much more than novels and comic books. Some Japanese indie game developers also now release their works at Comiket such as the cult hit Touhou Project, and there have been indie musicians whom have enjoyed success through Comiket such as Jin/Shizen-no-teki-P and his Kagerou Project.

Comiket also provides great exposure to these indie artists with many successful Anime/Manga creators having had their works picked up and serialized through the event.

Cosplay (コスプレ)
Don’t be fooled, these days Comiket is much more than a simple Comic Book fair – it is also one of Asia’s largest Cosplay events. Throughout numerous designated areas cosplayers (whom have registered) can set up and have their photo’s taken.

When taking photos of cosplayers it is important to follow proper etiquette – keep an eye out for a post soon where I go over some of this!

Recently the amount of foreign cosplayers has started to increase at the event. While we will not cover this in this blog there are plenty of good resources on the internet about how one may go about this!

Goods & Collectibles (グッズ)
If you’re into your collectibles, Comiket offers some real treats. Arguably one of the biggest reasons people are queuing outside the Big Site hours before the event begins is to have the chance to be the first to purchase official goods for their favorite official or indie franchise.

In the most upward hall at the top of the Big Site you will find the hall which is home to many well-known businesses. Ranging from popular Animation Companies such as Kyoto Animation & GAINAX, to software companies like Microsoft, in this hall you will find a large amount these companies selling limited edition, Comiket-exclusive merchandise. Goods sold at Comiket have been known to have been sold off at prices far above their original purchase price!

Travelling to Comiket

The Yurikamome is an un-manned monorail service that runs from Tokyo, through to Odaiba. Trains leave every ten minutes and can be caught from Shimbashi, Shiodome, Takeshiba, Hinode & Shibaura-futo before the line crosses the harbor. The stop for Tokyo Big Site on the Yurikamome is Kokusai-tenjijou-seimon.

Note: The Yurikamome trains only have a couple of small carriages as such they are the most prone to overcrowding which can make for an excruciating experience during summer commutes to Comiket. If this doesn’t sound like your jam consider an alternative route.

Water Bus
If you’re not in a rush to get to Comiket, my suggestion would be to spend a little bit of money on riding the Water Bus over to Odaiba. The Water Bus can be caught from numerous places in Central Tokyo originating in Asakusa. The ride can take from forty-five minutes to an hour and a half and provides a tour of Tokyo Harbor!

Rinkai Line
The Rinkai Line runs from Osaki to Shin-Kiba through Odaiba. Passengers can also embark upon the JR Saikyo Line from Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya & Ebisu which eventually becomes the Rinkai Line. The stop for the Tokyo Big Site on the Rinkai Line is Kokusai-tenjijou

Useful Tips for Comiket

  • The Early Bird – If you’re after a popular doujin or piece of merchandise consider getting to Comiket before the doors open, lest you find your doujin has been sold out in the rush!
  • Plan Ahead – Check prior to travelling to Comiket which days the circles/individuals you are after are present and which halls they will be present in. This changes from day to day.
  • Explore Odaiba – Consider waiting a few hours after the conclusion of Comiket and enjoying Odaiba City. Just as they are in the morning, the trains are jammed on the way back! There’s plenty to see & do in Odaiba so go for a wander!
  • Prepare to Bake – Be prepared for the heat, even in the middle of Winter – being jammed in a packed train car or hall within the event is an experience in just how much heat a group of humans can make, let alone in the summer! Bring plenty of water and beware of heat stroke.
  • Get in Line – If there is a line for something you are waiting for be it a cosplayer or doujinshi, get in that line! Pushing or causing a scene won’t do you any favors in Japan!
  • Be Respectful – This is general life advice but it goes double in Japan. Make sure you acknowledge the wishes of any staff and don’t get in the way of people. Remember that your actions will reflect on other foreigners as well.

Useful Words
Finally, here are some useful vocab and phrases that will be of use to anyone interested in Comiket

夏コミ natsukomi – Natsu Comiket
冬コミ fuyukomi – Winter Comiket
同人誌 doujinshi – Doujinshi, Indie Publications
コスプレ kosupure – Cosplay
グッズ guzzu – Goods, Promotional Items
お台場 Odaiba – Odaiba (City)
ゆりかもめ – yurikamome – Yurikamome Line
水上バス – suijoubasu – Water Bus

I hope this has been useful, comment below with your own Comiket or Con experience. I’ll see you all next time!

– Jonathan


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