Ticktank’s English Guide to Comiket (コミケット) Part 4: Event & final notes

Guide Section Links: [Part 1] [Part 2A] [Part 2B] [Part 3] [Part 4]

As if there would be so little people...

Here’s the final part of my excessively long guide on the Comiket. In this section, I will touch on several issues that would be of relevance when you are actually at the event itself.





Event Issues

Spartans, tonight we dine in smell.
Your clothes will be wet, your hands greasy, you’ll be frequently rubbing shoulders and squeezing past people. You may be standing in a line under the hot sun for up to an hour, surrounded by sweaty men and women. For guys, they will learn that despite what their mothers have been teaching them, girls actually can sweat buckets, and really can stink too. I’m not trying to discourage you from attending, just giving you an idea of what to typically expect there during a Summer Comiket. I’ve seen crazy girls cosplaying in THICK costumes when its 36 degrees C. Right under the hot sun may I add. If they can endure that just to be ogled at, so can you. The key thing to remember is to keep yourself well hydrated, as mentioned in part 1 of this FAQ.

This attendee failed to hydrate herself sufficiently. Don’t make the same mistake.

Err…I see girls selling hentai thats meant for guys.
Well no shit Sherlock (or Sheryl, if you’re a girl). Welcome to Japan. This is one of the things about Japanese culture I really like – the openness of both genders towards sex and pornography, instead of trying to be pretentious about it like most other societies. Because in all honesty, sex shouldn’t be something to be embarassed or disgusted about, unless you were born from a test tube.

It might be quite unsettling for first timers, or prudes – to see a cute young Japanese girl behind a table, peddling and selling you doujinshis depicting hardcore tentacle action. But you’ll get used to it in no time. You know what you’re going to do with the hentai later, and she knows it too (and maybe some more), and she doesn’t care. The final shocker? Some hentai (not yaoi) doujinshis and drawn and produced by women! I love that country.

I realized that my guide didn’t mention much about the cosplaying scene at Comiket. To be honest, its simply because I’ve never paid much attention to them, and don’t want to pretend that I have good knowledge on this issue. What I do know however is that taking pictures of cosplayers without their consent is forbidden (ask for their permission first). This rule will be quite prominently repeated in the guidelines and catalog. Comiket staff would also be ‘patrolling’ around to enforce this rule, sometimes quite unpolitely.

Consumption & Disposal issues

Where to get lunch there? Should I even have lunch?
I do not recommend eating at any restaurants inside or near the convention center. The prices there are ridiculous and deliberately made so to exploit the weak-willed and ill-prepared. There’s a McDonalds within walking distance of the Big Sight, but its usually jam-packed with customers, and littered with trash.

If you’re an overweight pig/sow or close to being one, this is a excellent opportunity to shed some pounds and get a tan. Have a nice big breakfast in the morning before you start queuing, and let dinner be your next meal of the day. Or if you simply must have lunch, consider packing something light and non-messy into your bag. You can usually find an empty spot on the pavement outside the halls to sit down and eat, bearing in mind of course that time spent eating is time not spent browsing for goods. And you only have 6 hours a day. 😛

Zorndyke has flooded my ocean. I need to use the toilet.
Easier said than done I know, but I’ll still say it anyway – try not to use the toilet while you’re there. Toilets are plentiful, but hardly enough to meet the demands of the thousands of attendees. You will most likely have to line up to use the toilet, and it eats into your shopping time. The queues to the female toilets are even longer, and according to a female friend, can take up to 30 minutes to get in. Don’t expect the toilets to be clean either. I’ll leave this part for you to discover for yourself (lol).

Departure & Conclusion

Exit procedures – when should I leave and what should I take note of?
Unlike some wars fought in the 21st Century (usually in places with lots of sand), it is possible and advisable to have an exit strategy prepared in advance before you umm…invade the Comiket. First off, you shouldn’t force yourself to stay till 4PM. In fact, most attendees, including myself tend to leave around 3PM, to avoid transportation jams. If your shopping list is realistic, it is likely that you would have completed all your visiting/buying within 2 hours. The thick crowds and terrible heat inside can really wear you down quickly, and even casual browsing can get tiring after an hour. My advice is to head back when there’s really nothing productive left to do, or if your body is starting to feel unwell. Remember that you will have to transport all your loot back to the hotel, so make sure you have the energy to do that. I’ve seen people faint while queuing for a Taxi/Bus.

Be mentally prepared for more queuing when you leave. From as early as 12PM, the major transportation options would start to have queue lines, and these will be constantly growing until about 3PM, when the majority of attendees would be leaving. The shortest queues would be the Taxi queues, because not everyone can afford the fares. The Taxi stand at Kokusai-Tenjijo Station tends to have the shortest queues, but you will have to walk abit more to get there. Bus queues are very long, and there is no shelter (but the bus stand is within the Big Sight). Train queues are surprisingly quite smooth, UNLESS you didn’t buy your return tickets in advance (fool!). Oh, and expect to be crammed like sardines inside the trains.

Verg…do not take too many risks. We will be praying for your safety…
Being the largest comic convention in the world, the Comiket is one event all anime/comic fans should visit at least once in their lifetime, in my humble opinion. Because of the scale of the event, the limited opening hours and the sheer amount of attendees, preparation and planning is strongly advised. I hope this guide has been at least a little helpful to you. I appreciate comments and suggestions, as always. Goodluck, stay hydrated, and come back alive!


~ by ticktank on September 5, 2008.

16 Responses to “Ticktank’s English Guide to Comiket (コミケット) Part 4: Event & final notes”

  1. wow ^w^ I think this is one of the most authoritative posts about comiket 🙂 I’ll be attending 76 next week XD now I feel more prepared because of this .. Thanks alot XD !!

    • Hi Kyourin,

      I’m glad that my guide has been helpful to you, and I’m grateful that you took the time to say thanks 🙂 Gdluck and drink lots of water.

      You’re from Japan? Hell…you should be telling me what to do there hehe.

  2. This guide is GOLD! Thanks for the massive effort you’ve clearly put into it!

    If I’m still with my girl, a serious manga doujin (from Hull!), then I hope to surprise her for her 18th with a trip to Comiket 78.

  3. Ugh.. Now I’m feeling real intimidated by the thought of attending.. netherless. Would you recommend lugging a small scale suitcase on the day? Or at least something with wheels? Between my friend and I, we’re prepared to buy as much as we can so we’re not looking to lug around a huge bag of doujinshi in the crowd.

  4. Thank you for this enlighting guide to Comiket as I’m now looking towards my first time visit to the upcoming C77 with trepidation.
    Neverless, I know more than I did.


  5. Something I would suggest adding to this is possibly a hat, as you may be outside in a line for about an hour if you are planning to get a major release that is in the east hall. (was there for comiket 75, a number of major releases had the lines outside, most notably the touhou project games and the Umineko that was released in that one).

    also, something to remember about lining up is that waiting for the line to start moving for a few hours is far nicer than being in a slow moving line for an hour. (as you can take a small nap if you arrive early)

    • Thanks very much for the advice Adam. I’ll add them into the guide 🙂 Fortunately (or unfortunately) I’ve never bought into the Touhou craze, so I am spared from joining long queue lines in succession.

      C75 eh? It was nice and chilly. Summer ones can be hell.

  6. Very instructive, I have learned a lot!

  7. thanks for all the tips, i’ll be going to a winter one (well summer for me cos im an aussie lol) once i save up some money and ‘convince’ a couple of friends to come lol

  8. Thanks a lot for your guide! I know it was meant for hentai fans, but you gave this extremely anxious and fearful of large crowds yaoi fangirl enough knowledge that I was able to go and not panic. I even had a lot of fun, so thanks again!

  9. Thank you very much for the guides on Comiket (I will bookmark this site to refer back to ^_^ ) and as the above had said, now I feel I know a little bit more than I did. Though I’m planning on going to winter Comiket 2011 cos of horror stories of Summer ques, I actually went one step ahead and booked at the hotel next to the Big site, lol! (Transport down, just queing to go ;p )And looking forward to lots of Yaoi and Hentai goodies (yes, I’m a female but there’s no question to artistic licence) plus other figurine merchs. Other website has mentioned that going in groups and buying as a team saves time, which is a great idea. I just don’t know where to start looking for fellow comrades! Oh well, that’s another challenge. But yes, thank you very much your insightful advise! Wish me luck!

  10. 11 Responses? Are you fucking kidding me? You deserve more praise!

    Really, thanks. I haven’t planned to attend it yet but I’m part of the guys that sort out Comiket material online so in that sense, I’m involved. Regardless, this has been a really interesting and thorough read and I thank you for it. Good man!

  11. Your 4 Part series has plenty of good advice. Much appreciated.

  12. Thank you so so so much for this guide!! I’m busy trying to tackle C82 and this was just a godsend.

  13. Brilliant guide, mate. I’ll be attending my first convention this summer and there were so many questions that I had that have now been cleared. Hopefully it all goes smoothly as I’m still a novice in terms of my Japanese. Also, in regards to transportation, is there anything special that should be noted? Will there be a way to buy tickets using an English interface or would it be wise to brush up on my vocabulary?

  14. It sounds pretty exciting despite all the things you have to go through to get there. Hopefully I’ll go there at least once in my life.

    It was a nice read.

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