How to participate in Comic Market?


※Updated on Aug 10th, 2016

The biggest anime/doujinshi/cosplay convention in Japan, Comic Market, so-called Comiket is coming this weekend, from Aug 12th to 14th!

I got several questions about how to participate in comiket from my friends oversea, so I made a quick memo for those who want to participate in this fantastic event for the first time. I’ve been to comiket for about 20 times since my junior high school day!


(To read all info, please see the Official PDF Guide.
It’s a quite long document written in small font, so you might not want to read all of it. That’s why I wrote this memo below! Excuse my poor English, though!)

Quick tips for participants in Comiket 88!

1. What is Comic market?

Comic market is the largest anime convention in Japan. It’s a three-day biannual event, and about 60,0000 people visit participate every time.
The contents of comic market can be categorized into 3 activities.
Doujinshi (fanzines),
and Official merchandise.

Note: There is usually no guest event, no panel, no contests etc.

2. What day in three days is the best day to go?

– Each day of 3 comiket days has totally different atmosphere.
Each genre of anime/ manga is assigned a specific day.
So, for example, if you want to see and buy Kuroko no basket doujinshi, you have to go on the second day.

These genre assignment changes each time.
At C91, Winter Comiket 2016, it is

First day = Game/ cosplay
Second day = manga/ anime/ military/ travel/ train/ original works etc
Third day = Hentai/ Criticisms etc

As you can see, on the second day, There are far more female participants.
On the other hand, I guess 90% of the participants are male on the third day…!

To see the whole genre assignment, please visit this site or refer to the official catalogue.

3. Do we have to buy a booklet (catalogue) to enter the event?

– You don’t need to buy a booklet. You don’t have to buy anything to enter the venue of Comic market.
Comic market is a free admission event.
All you need to do is to go to Tokyo Big Site near Kokusai Tenjijo station on the event day and follow other participants!

4. Then, what is the booklet for?

Booklet (=official catalogue) contains a detailed info about comiket, a report of the last comiket, and all the info about circles (=amateur artists who sell their doujinshi fanszines at comiket), such as what circle is located where and what anime they deal with.
It is 2500yen in advance and 2000yen at the event venue.
You can but it beforehand at the large bookstores or anime related shops like animate around Japan.
We also have a DVD-ROM version of booklet, which you can browse with your PC.
(※DVD-ROM is only for windows! It’s not an option for mac users!)

The catalogue covers whole three days of comiket.
(FYI, in some other doujinshi event, they have different booklet for each day so you have to buy one for each day you attend).

If it is your first time to attend comiket, I recommend you to buy one, since you can gain a whole view of the event with the catalogue.

However, since the catalogue is really huge and heavy (3cm thick), there is also an option to buy DVD-ROM version or use free online version (the info contained in free online version is limited only to maps and circle info. If you become paid membership, you can browse all information).

Below are the screenshots of free online catalogue.

online catalogue online catalogue2

5. Till what time we have to arrive at the event venue?

Comiket is held between 10::00~16:00.
Some passionate fans begin waiting in line from 5 am or so (caution: overnight stay is strictly prohibited, though).

In general, if you arrive there on 10:00, you may enter the event around 11am.
If you arrive there on 12;00, you can enter without waiting in line.

If there is something you really really want to get, you’d better go to the venue by first train and wait in line. Otherwise, some popular goods/ doujinshi gonna be sold out instantly.
But if you just want to enjoy the event,
go there around 11am-12am.

Then you can avoid hard time of waiting under summer sunshine and save your energy.

(I myself has been a crazy fan who go to the venue by first train to buy doujinshi. When the gate is open for the event on 10:00, my energy is already running out in the notorious heat in summer in Japan…)

6. How we can do cosplay?

C88 コスプレエリアMAP※Sorry>< I advised that comiket is too hot to do cosplay below, however, somehow this year, it is super cool! Sorry!

(Official instruction page is here)
– One thing many cosplayers abroad will get surprised is that in Japan, you are not supposed to wear cosplay from your house nor outside of designated area.
There is a strict rule about where you can change your clothes or where you can wear your cosplay.

To do cosplay, you have to buy a cospay ticket at the event.
Please don’t change your clothes in a toilet and walk around without cosplay ticket.
You have to buy ticket first, and go to the designated dressing room.

Though the situation was improved a bit recently, you’d better keep in mind that the cosplay environment in comiket is not fantastic…

First, there are too many people so you can’t bring detailed prop otherwise it gonna be crushed among crowds.

Second, there is not enough space to change your clothes so you have to wait in line and dress your costume in a tiny space.

Third, the event venue is just way too hot. TOO HOT to do cosplay!!!
All your make up can be wiped out by your sweat…

Sorry I say only bad aspects of cosplay environment in comiket.
It is true that there are many cosplayers who are enjoying cosplay there and cosplay is one main attraction of comiket.

However, I am just thinking that if it is your first time to go to comiket, enjoying the event in your comfortable clothes is the best option.
It’s not for beginners, especially if you can’t understand Japanese instruction. There are many rules to do cosplay.

Once you get used to the environment of comiket, maybe on your second visit, you can try cosplaying ^^

7. Is there other thing to be careful?

– Please bring enough water.

Last time I went to summer comiket, I consumed more than 4 bottles even before entering the venue (As I said, I went there with first train and waited for about 5 hours). It is usually incredibly hot!

– Please, please, please behave well and respect cosplayers/ doujinshi artists/ comiket stuff/ other participants.

Please don’t take photos without their permission.
Don’t speak ill of them even if they cannot understand your languages.

I am really glad that many people overseas come to comiket and I know almost all of them are really nice fans, but I am also anxious that some tourists who don’t understand fan culture gave bad impression on other participants.
(Again, I know you are not one of these people since you took your time to search for this info ^^!)

– If you want to buy doujinshi, you’re encouraged to bring coins (100 yen/ 500 yen).
The price for doujinshi is basically 500yen~1000yen/ book.
Some doujinshi aritsts don’t prepare change, so if you pay with large bills, it can be a problem for them.

OK, then, practice makes perfect!
Enjoy your summer and have amazing time at Comiket ^^!!!!

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