Step 1: Pick up a catalog if you're in Japan, or check the one online, here.
This catalog only comes in Japanese, but if you're a fan on a mission, you'll want to use it to the best of your ability. It comes in hard copies which you can pick up from manga shops around Japan (they throw a list up on the website ahead of time), or a web edition that you can access by just registering for free. The contents include a guide to every single circle
(group of creators) that will be present at the market, and floor maps to help you find them. If you know what you're looking for, check ahead of time!
Step 2: Get your wristband (buy a Comiket ticket).
Most Comiket pros will buy their Comiket tickets (they come as wristbands) in advance, along with the catalog, when you can get a whole 4-day bundle ticket for 2,750 yen
, or single-day tickets for 550 yen
. If you don't buy a ticket until the day-of, you can get them for 1,000 yen at Tokyo Big Sight each day, but we wouldn't advise it. Lines get long, and you wouldn't want to miss out on precious shopping time waiting to even enter! On the other hand, since crowds tend to peak in the morning, if you decide to drop in to see what's going on in the middle of the afternoon, you might not even be checked for a wristband.
Step 3: Decide which day or days are right for you.
Did you know that the booths and circles present vary by day
? The four days of Comiket generally offer different types of creators, so check the catalog and figure out which days look most like what you're interested in. Make sure you don't miss what you want to see most!
Step 4: Bring the right things.
Are you going to Winter Comiket or Summer Comiket
? This is actually pretty important, because you're likely to spend some time waiting outside before you make it into the convention halls. Don't freeze to death in winter, but even more importantly, don't be one of the many people who faint with heatstroke and dehydration every summer!! If it's hot outside, it'll be hot in line and still pretty warm inside the building. Bring water
, a towel to dry your sweaty face off (yes really), and a portable fan if you can! There are food court areas, vending machines, and convenience stores on the grounds, so you can buy drinks if you run out, but it's easiest to bring your own to stay hydrated.
If you're planning on buying lots of manga, bring plenty of cash in small bills, and something to carry the day's haul
! Not all sellers provide bags, and many of them only accept cash.
Step 5: Figure out when to arrive.
Again - think about why you're going. If you just want to appreciate the novelty of the huge event, you can show up later in the day. If there's something in particular you want to buy, especially a popular limited-edition something, get there early
. Take the first train if you can. Lines get long, and things sell out fast!
In the end, if you get to Comiket and end up lost and confused, don't worry
! There are tables of volunteers set up throughout the halls of the convention center, and these days you'll even find English-speaking volunteers
, there to help you find your way!