Cosplay at Haco Stadium Tokyo

Raina's Japan Travel Journal
by Raina, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2015/10/18 - Cosplay at Haco Stadium Tokyo

In prison

Today, I took a break from autumn color reporting to check out Haco Stadium Tokyo, which opened earlier this year. Aimed at cosplayers who want to take pictures in different settings, the Haco Stadium offers over 30 booths of various designs, from traditional Japanese to gothic interiors and futuristic sets. Note that there is an entrance fee, and only those above 13 years old can enter. I could see hanging out at Haco Stadium being a full-day event with like-minded friends, dressing up and taking pictures. I mean, I had fun photographing my model for the day and looking at other outfits; imagine how much more fun it'd be if we were both cosplaying and taking photos.

I had the privilege of photographing cosplayer Ruuta, and it was very interesting to learn more about the world of cosplay and the amount of work that goes into dressing up. He won second place for his depiction of an original anthropomorphic character at the World Cosplay Summit 2014 in Nagoya. You can see Ruuta at his element at various cosplay events during the year.

Starting the morning - before

Ending the day - after

We arrived at Haco Stadium a little before it opened, and there was already a sizable crowd in line outside the mall waiting to enter. Almost everyone, both photographers and cosplayers, had suitcases filled with their stuff for the day. First-time visitors will have to fill out paperwork and must register for a membership card. Unfortunately, all the forms were only in Japanese and may be difficult navigate for non-Japanese speakers. Ticket prices are split into five-hour blocks or whole day, and we opted for the morning five-hour block from 9:30 till 14:30. Cameras and camera accessories, as well as stage accessories can be borrowed for free or for a small fee. Staff are also on hand to help with photography for those who require it. Sadly, there are no cosplay outfits available for rent, but there is a shop selling cosplay outfits and accessories for those who are interested.

At the entrance of Haco Stadium Tokyo

Accessories you could borrow for free

Halloween decoration

Locker keys were provided upon entry for visitors to store their belongings. The women's changing area was way bigger than the men's changing area - it was just a huge room with lots of mirrors, while the men had a couple of changing booths. I mentioned the disparity to Ruuta, and he told me that about eighty percent of cosplayers are female, and males made up the rest. You can say that Ruuta and I were challenging gender roles today with him being the cosplayer and me as the photographer (virtually all the photographers there were men, except for one other woman).

Best thing about the place was, while it is aimed at cosplayers, any one could dress up, go and take pictures in the different booths. I saw girls dressed in school girl uniforms, gothic outfits, popular anime/manga/cartoon characters, and original matching outfits. It was amazing to see the girls enter the changing area in regular clothes and emerge looking like a different person!

Lockers for your belongings

Waiting area, cafe and shop with purikura machines in the background

The booths are all shared public space, and there are rules asking visitors not to hog booths. It got crowded enough that we were constantly sharing booths, and there were lines outside the more popular ones. None of the cosplayers I saw seemed affected by the number of people around them and were posing as if there was no one around, which was very impressive to me. I was just distracted by the number of awesome outfits around me. According to Ruuta, it usually gets more crowded and we came on a good day as there were lots of other cosplay events in the city.

Oriental design

On stone steps

School gym/locker room design

A church scene

In a classroom. You could rearrange the furniture, but be sure to return them to their original position

Touching up mid way in the make up/setting area

Persian design

Playing cards in wonderland

Taking a short break

There was a ghost giving out halloween candy

Lots of white in this room

Gothic books can be a little tough to read

I can't really tell which is up or down

Haco Stadium Tokyo is located in the Vivit Minami-Funabashi shopping mall in Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture, just outside Tokyo. It can be reached in a 10 minute walk from Minami Funabashi Station along the JR Keiyo Line (25 minutes, 470 yen one way from Tokyo Station).

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List of Posts:
2016/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2016
2016/12/19 - Winter Illuminations in Tokyo
2016/10/24 - The way of old on the Kunisaki Peninsula
2016/10/11 - Following the Tadami Line in Oku Aizu
2016/08/27 - Fool's Dance at Koenji Awa Odori
2016/06/20 - Train travel into the Ise-Shima region
2016/04/03 - Setouchi Triennale 2016
2016/03/08 - The hunt for Namahage on the Oga Peninsula
2016/03/02 - Sake Sangria
2016/02/20 - Tokyo Plum Blossom Report
2016/01/26 - Tour de Reinan: Obama, Oi and Takahama
2016/01/25 - Tour de Reinan: Tsuruga, Mihama and Wakasa

2015/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2015
2015/12/10 - 48 hours in Tokushima
2015/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Kankakei
2015/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2015/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/10 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/09 - Autumn Color Report: Koyasan
2015/11/08 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2015/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Dazaifu
2015/10/28 - The 44th Tokyo Motor Show
2015/10/21 - Hirado, where East meets West
2015/10/20 - Kujukushima Islands and Winter Illumination at Huis Ten Bosch
2015/10/19 - Navigating the Christian sites in Nagasaki
2015/10/18 - Cosplay at Haco Stadium Tokyo
2015/10/15 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2015/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2015/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2015/09/24 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2015/09/16 - Nakanojo Biennale 2015
2015/08/19 - Traditional culture and hot springs of the Aizu Region
2015/08/17 - Nature and Hot Springs at Naruko Onsen
2015/08/04 - Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2015
2015/04/30 - Sapporo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/29 - Hakodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/23 - Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/22 - Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/21 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/16 - Sendai Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/09 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/08 - Fukushima Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/06 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/02 - Nara Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/01 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/31 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/27 - Fukuoka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/26 - Kumamoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/25 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report

2014/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2014
2014/12/15 - Seasonal Illumination: Sendai
2014/12/09 - Seasonal Illumination: Tokyo
2014/12/04 - Autumn Color Report: Kanazawa
2014/12/03 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Osaka
2014/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2014/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2014/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/11/04 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/10/31 - Autumn Color Report: Karuizawa
2014/10/21 - Autumn Color Report: Bandai
2014/10/20 - Autumn Color Report: Towada
2014/10/01 - Autumn Color Report: Oze National Park
2014/09/29 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2014/06/19 - Toranomon Hills opens in Tokyo
2014/04/24 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/23 - Morioka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/22 - Aizu-Wakamatsu Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/16 - Matsumoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/15 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/14 - Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/13 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/12 - Kanazawa Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/10 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/06 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/04 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/02 - Nagoya Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/31 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/26 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/04 - Early Tokyo Blossom Report

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