At last, I’ve made it to this year’s Japan holiday blog posts! It’s a very busy time at the moment, so expect these posts to come intermittently over the next few months, but at least I’ve managed to make a start…
Our first stop in Japan this year was Osaka, where our plane touched down and we met up with my sister Grace who’s been studying and working in Fukuoka since September last year. With the mum super jet-lagged, the two of us went straight to Denden Town – Osaka’s version of Akihabara. My goal was to ‘just look at the anime’, which went as well as you would expect.
We quickly noticed that not only were the streets and shops more packed than London’s Oxford Street but also that every other person was in cosplay. I relied on Grace’s superior language skills to ask all these Japanese people to pose for the camera, but after stumbling across an interview with the seiyuu (voice actor) cast of the K:Missing Kings anime series and an open air stage with people belting out anime opening tunes, we eventually realised that this wasn’t just your standard Sunday in Osaka.
It turns out that, every March, the streets of Denden Town are closed to traffic to make way for the Nipponbashi Street Festa. Imagine going to an anime convention – only literally every single person is dressed up, the costumes are all expert-levels of amazing (cosplay was born in Japan, after all) and entire streets are closed just for you! 2016’s event took place on 20 March, so if you’re planning a visit to Osaka next year you might want to time your visit.
I couldn’t find that much English language information on how Nipponbashi Street Festa started, or how you can properly plan your full day of panels, talks and events, but it’s probably best to just head on down to Denden Town and get lost in the crowds. I’ll just leave you with a bucket-load of amazing cosplay photos because I know that’s all you really want to see.