Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest 2019 - Not Your Usual Creepy Parade

Halloween has become more and more popular in Japan in recent years. Most parades are surprisingly bloody considering that Japan is known for their kawaii (cute) culture. The colorful and cute parades are mainly reserved for children.

The Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest is celebrating Japanese cosplay during the Halloween time, making it a cute daytime event for adults and children alike. Let's have a look!
What is Cosplay?
Cosplay consists of the words costume and play. Cosplayers usually re-create their costume and makeup after characters in mangas, animes, and video games. Cosplay is not specific to Halloween but rather to anime and cosplay events. These events often have stage cosplay as well where the participants play small roles as their characters.

There are casual cosplayers who only cosplay at events but it is also known as subculture where people go out on the street in their costumes without any particular event to go to as well as have private photo shootings in them. You can even find professional cosplayers who earn their money by performing and doing photoshoots as certain characters.

Although Halloween costumes are often also known as cosplay in Japan, traditional cosplay characters tend to be rather cute, sexy, cool or handsome instead of bloody or creepy.
Cosplay Haven Ikebukuro
Picture courtesy of Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest

If you know Harajuku as cosplay haven you might be wondering why Ikebukuro was chosen for an event like this. Ikebukuro has risen in popularity in recent years and many people think it has become a mixture of Akihabara and Harajuku, which are both known for their cosplay culture.

Ikebukuro has become extremely popular for street fashion and cosplay on the weekends also due to the fact that it is easy to reach from the outskirts of Tokyo. Besides this Ikebukuro has a couple of popular manga and anime stores attracting especially female cosplayers.
Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest 2019 - The Event
Picture courtesy of Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest

The Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest has been held since 2014. Over the years it has attracted about 90.000 Halloween loving cosplayer and even last year when it rained, about 10.000 people still attended. This year, the Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest will be held on October 26th and 27th from 10:00 until 18:00. Participation is free.

As mentioned before this event is more focused on the cosplay aspect than on the spooky aspect of Halloween. However, this means it also offers a colorful and cheerful option between all the usual zombies and vampires.
Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest 2019 - Where to Go?
Picture courtesy of Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest
11:00-17:00 - The Main Stage at Higashi Ikebukuro Park
The opening event will be held on the main stage between 11:00 and 11:00. All throughout the day, different kinds of cosplay and fashion events will be held here. A great place to gather and marvel in the colorful world of Japanese cosplay and fashion. 

This is also the best place to snap photos of or with other cosplayers. Please remember to ask people before you take pictures of them or with them. 

You can ask: "Shashin wo totte  ii desu ka?" (May I take a picture?) or short: "Shashin ii desu ka?". If you want to take a picture together, please ask: "Isshou ni shashin wo totte ii desu ka?". "Isshou ni" means together.
Naka Ikebukuro Park
Here you can discover everything that goes into the art of cosplay. Rent a cosplay costume, join a cosplay makeup class, watch how costumes are made or use one of the many photo booths around the area. If you are new to the world of cosplay, it's the perfect place to start.

Only on Saturday, October 27th there will be a Halloween cosplay parade held between Higashi Ikebukuro Park and Naka Ikebukuro Park starting from 14:30. Feel free to Join!
Sunshine City
All day long participants will gather and meet in Sunshine City, a famous shopping and amusement mall in Ikebukuro. If you want to change into costume in Ikebukuro you can do that in Sunshine City (female only) as well.

In case you want to shoot some professional cosplay photos you can go to one of the professional cosplay photo spaces set up in Sunshine City. Don't worry, staff, signs and other cosplayers will guide you.
Paid Services - Locker Rooms and Changing Areas
You will be able to use the changing rooms and baggage area for a registration fee of 2000 yen (Cosplayer/Photographer Ticket). Men will have their changing areas in the Former Public Health Center will the female changing areas are located in Sunshine City.

If you are a professional cosplayer you might want to buy a 1 Day Premium Passport. This ticket costs 3500 yen and it will provide you with early access to the changing rooms, special makeup rooms with simple makeup items and free electricity usage, a VIP toilet only premium members can use and staff to help you with your costume.

The changing rooms and lockers will be available between 10:00 and 18:00 with the Cosplayer/Photographer Ticket and from 9:00 until 19:30 with the 1 Day Premium Passport.
Enjoy Ikebukuro's Colorful Halloween Event
Tokyo has many Halloween events to offer but the Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest stands out as being a cosplay fest on Halloween rather than a zombie-filled Halloween parade. Another great thing is that you can join this parade in the daytime and add some fake blood to your costume or choose a completely different costume in the afternoon to join one of the creepier Halloween parades.

Why not have the best of both worlds?

For more information please visit http://ikebukurocosplay.jp/en/

In cooperation with the Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest powered by niconico
Read also
The Kagurazaka Bakeneko Festival - Become A Cat And Join The Parade

Halloween In Kawasaki - Enjoy The Parade And Discover Local Culture

Drinking Ban! How To Make Shibuya Halloween 2019 Fun For Everyone