After attending such a big event as Comiket, I thought that there are some things you should know before attending for the first time.
This guideline is divided into two parts:
What to do prior to the event
What to remember on the event day
There are two things you must do in advance prior to the event day.
What to do before the event Part 1: Buy an Official Catalog!
Every Comiket publishes an official catalog for the event.
The catalog includes all the information you’ll need, such as event summaries, a venue map, instructions and rules, a list of all the circles in attendance, and more.
If you don’t like carrying a heavy catalog like a dictionary with you, you can just cut out the pages you are interested in. You can also use the web catalog on the internet. It’s free to register and it’s very convenient.
Check out the circles you want to visit in the catalog in advance
The most important thing before attending Comiket is to choose the circles you want to visit in advance. If you don’t, you can easily get lost in the venue.
The catalog is mostly written in Japanese, but there are very helpful illustrations for those who are not proficient in the language. So, first check out the circles that are participating and make a list of the ones you like.
Read the instructions and rules in the catalog
The catalog has an “Information for Overseas Attendees” page with instructions and rules written in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean. Make sure you read them!
You can also read the instructions and rules in the PDF files below.
What to do prior to the event Part 2: What to Bring With You!
A map of the venue
This is a map of the Comiket 90 venue. Tokyo Big Sight is huge and you can easily get lost. It’s also very crowded and the routes in the venue are very complicated in order to prevent chaos. You will have to navigate your way while checking the map.
Tokyo Big Sight’s exhibition halls are divided into three major parts; East 1, 2, 3 districts, East 4, 5, 6 districts, and West 3, 4 districts. (The next Comiket will have a very different layout due to the huge scale expansion scheduled for the Tokyo Olympics.)
Additionally, each exhibition hall is so large and filled with a lot of small booths. It is very easy to get lost and you may not be able to reach the booths of your choice if you are aimlessly wondering about. Make sure to carry a guide map with you.
The prices of doujinshi vary from several hundred yen to a few thousand yen. If you want to always have the exact amount on you, it is recommended to bring hundred yen coins and thousand yen bills instead of ten thousand yen bills.
Bring an extra bag with you to put your purchased items. You may end up buying more than your bag can hold.
Something to drink
Summer Comiket is held during the hottest season in Japan. Sometimes the temperature can get above 30 degrees Celsius, and you could get heatstroked if you’re not careful. They sell beverages inside the venue too if you are in dire need. Make sure to carry something to drink with you. Water, water, water.
Cosplay Areas are located outdoors. If you plan to watch cosplay performances, bring a hat with you to cover your head from the sun.
Now let’s check out what to remember on the event day.
What to remember on the event day Part 1: Taking Photos
If you want to take a picture of a circle booth and/or cosplayers, please ask them for permission. This is very important and essential. Everyone has the right to enjoy the event and good manners go a long way.
What to remember on the event day Part 2: Throw Away Your Trash
There are several trashcans located inside the venue. There is no excuse to not properly throw away your trash. Think of your fellow attendees and keep the place clean and tidy.
What to remember on the event day Part 3: If you Have Questions, Ask the Staff Members
Most of the staff members are volunteer workers and probably fans, just like you!
If you have something to ask, find a staff member nearby and ask. They are friendly and very willing to help you.
What to remember on the event day Part 4: If you’re in Trouble, go to the International Desk.
Comiket has an International Desk section ready to assist foreign attendees in various languages including English, Chinese, Korean, German, Spanish.
In cases of trouble (if you get lost, lose items, or experience health problems) feel free to ask for help there!
Comiket events have been going on for more than 40 years. Its unique culture has taken a very different path from the other otaku events.
Everybody is a participant, from the staff members and the circles to the cosplayers and the general attendees. They all behave in a way that reflects their mutual respect. Because all the participants abide by the rules, the event can accommodate more than 500,000 people without them causing major chaos.
I attended Comiket for the first time this summer, but I’m already in love with it. It is now your turn to have a wonderful experience there. Let’s meet at the next Comiket!
The coming Comiket 91 is scheduled to be held in December 29-31, 2016.
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