[Top 10] Biggest Anime Conventions in Japan

Biggest Anime Conventions Japan, biggest anime events japan
Where anime meets reality

[Top 10] Biggest Anime Conventions in Japan

By Cat Fox

Straight from the homeland of anime

Japan is where most traditional anime and manga come from.  It's also the home of the first anime convention and the home of the largest.  Here is a list of some of the top ten largest Japanese anime conventions.

10. Comic-Con Okinawa

An advertisement for Comic Con Okinawa

Comic-Con Okinawa is a mixture of two worlds.  Founded by the U.S. Marines in 2011 as a way to bring a little slice of home to the troops stationed in Okinawa, Comic-Con is a celebration of all things geeky.

What's awesome about this event:

⦁ Past guests have included voice actors, artists, and representatives from the biggest organization of Star Wars cosplayers, the 501'st Legion

⦁ Video game and card game tournaments, including Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter,  Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh

⦁ Dozens of vendors and artists, all with cool stuff to buy

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/comicconokinawa/

9. Nagoya World Cosplay Summit

For all your epic cosplay needs

Do you want to see cosplay?  It's in the convention's title, isn't it?  The Summit has the World Cosplay Championship final, where professional cosplayers from all over the world meeting up to compete for prizes, honor, and glory.

What's awesome about this event:

⦁ The Summit isn't just about the cosplay contest; it also runs panels about cosplay, workshops for subjects like fabric dyeing, and trying out a Japanese rice wine called sake.  

⦁ Multiple contests, some with themes such as One Piece

⦁ In addition to the Summit, the con's organizers join in a clean-up event where they walk around in cosplay and pick up trash, doing their bit to keep the earth clean

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WorldCosplaySummit/

8. International Fan Festival Osaka

This isn't the Osaka festival, no, this is just a tribute from Toronto

A promotional counterpart to Canada's International Fan Festival in Toronto, the Osaka festival has had only one convention so far, but there might be more in the future.  

What's awesome about this event:

⦁ Get a chance to show your voice acting talents with the Live Recording event

⦁ Have your picture taken with the guests on the Photobooth Stage

⦁ Have a burning question for one of the many guests?  IFF has Q & A sessions with voice actors, musicians, and people who work on the anime industry

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/osakafanfes

7. Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair

More manga than you can read in one sitting

Taking place at the Kyoto International Manga Museum, KyoMAF was organized in 2012 to promote anime culture, to support local artists, and to take advantage of Kyoto's location and tourist industry.

What's awesome about this event:

⦁ Learn about the anime and manga industry from the creators themselves

⦁ Premieres and screenings of anime movies and shows

⦁ Hundreds of items of merchandise

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kyomaf/

6. Nipponbashi Street Festa

A great big cosplay party

Held in the Nipponbashi neighborhood of Osaka, the Nipponbashi (Also spelled "Nihonbashi") Street Festa is Japan's largest cosplay event.  If crowds and more crowds of cosplayers parading down the street are what you want, this is the event for you.

What's awesome about this event:

⦁ If you get tired of walking in the parades, Nipponbashi has many Maid cafes

⦁ Nipponbashi is famous for its fan, or "Otaku" culture.  The Festa has many fans looking to buy or trade merchandise, as well as stores selling anime-related merchandise

⦁  Don't have a costume?  You can rent one!

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/nippombashistreetfesta/

5. Toyako Manga Anime Festa

A real-life hot springs episode

The Toyako Manga Anime Festa, or TMAF for short, is held on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido.  What is unusual about TMAF is that it's not only held outdoors, but in a hot spring resort, or “onsen”.

What's awesome about this event:

⦁ While most anime conventions in Japan restrict the cosplaying to a few areas, at TMAF there are no restrictions on where cosplay can be done

⦁ An exhibition of Itasha, or cars that are decorated with pictures of anime characters

⦁ Cosplay isn't limited to people attending the convention, even the people who work at local stores and restaurants get dressed up

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ToyakoMangaAnimeFesta/

4. C3 Anime Festival Asia Tokyo

Come and play with them!

In addition to its Tokyo show, the C3AFA also happens in other countries, most notably Singapore.  C3AFA comes from the 2017 merger of two conventions, C3 and Anime Festival Asia.

What's awesome about this event:

⦁ The I Love Anisong concert runs every day of the convention, bringing dozens of anime-themed Japanese pop groups

⦁ Video game tournaments, including Smash Bros. and Tetris Effect.  C3AFA also offers gaming sessions with guest cosplayers

⦁ Special guest appearances by popular voice actors and celebrity cosplayers.  Past appearances have included Ayahi Takagaki, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, and Satomi Arai

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/animefestivalasia/

3. Anime Japan

Some excellent cosplays

While it's more of a consumer show than the anime conventions in the U.S., Anime Japan is dedicated to putting anime front and center.

What's awesome about this event:

⦁ Want the latest in anime merchandise?  Anime Japan has TONS of merchandise for anime both old and new

⦁ Anime-themed food, from Gintama churros to Love Live flavored drinks

⦁ Charity auctions.  Past items have included a Sword Art Online Les Paul guitar and a hand-drawn picture of yourself with your favorite anime character

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/animejapan.aj/

2. Niconico Chokaigi

The power of the anime and memes is OVER NINE THOUSAND!!!!

Niconico Chokaigi is a celebration of internet culture held starting in 2012 by the Japanese social media and live-streaming site Niconico.  Because Niconico is based around social media, audience participation is encouraged.

What's awesome about this event:

⦁ Niconico Chokaigi comes with a haunted house based on a different theme every year.  The house has its own live stream, where Niconico users can participate in the scary shenanigans

⦁ Live music, not just from popular music groups, but any fan with an instrument can join in the fun

⦁ Kabuki theater performances, which have featured digital stars such as Hatsune Miku

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/chokaigi/

1. Comiket

The biggest anime convention has lots of cosplay

Comiket is short for "comic market."  It's the largest anime/manga convention in the world, and a huge market for Japanese manga, both commercially published and self-published works, also known as "doujinshi".  It attracts over half a million fans twice a year.

What's awesome about this event:

⦁ Comiket has been going on since 1975, meaning it's catered to multiple generations of fans

⦁ It has 35,000 self-publishing groups, or circles, with even more applying

⦁ The list of works available for sale at Comiket is big enough that the printed version is hundreds of pages thick

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ComicMarketOfficial/

And that's my list.  I hope you enjoyed reading this.

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