Comiket 88: the preparation

Hah! A few more months roll past before I actually update anything. Life is super busy right now, but also super repetitive. Won’t bore you with the details.

So, I just got back from Japan and Singapore. This time, my annual trip home coincides with Comiket plus there were some cheap flights. I decided to fulfil one of the things I heard so much about but haven’t gotten around to do. This will end up being an uber long post, so I will break this post up into multiple sections.

The reason why I am writing this, and breaking them up into sections, is that when I was searching for some information on Comiket, I feel that the information available were barely enough to support me through what I needed to know. Thanks to my friends and multiple websites, blogs and japanese bloggers and Twitter users, I managed to put together a good mental image to work with. That said, my physical body wasn’t ready for it and I am certainly still paying for it now lol. Some of the things I have listed here, I didn’t do it till last minute too, which I felt would have been better had I prepared earlier. Then again, cheap flights weren’t available earlier.

What is Comiket?

You have heard about it, read news about it and is still unsure, ok. I get it. Comiket is the biggest doujin event in Japan. Doujin is what we understand as “indie artists”, but they are also fan artists, so people who work on fandom a of their choice. I know some people automatically link doujin to porn, but seriously, the term is much malign. There are music doujin, goods doujin (things like badges, towels) and cosplayers also come under that banner.

It is held twice a year, once in winter, once in summer. I believe the summer one is a bigger event. These are held at Tokyo Big Sight, located on Odaiba, just a little off Tokyo main cbd area. But because it’s a island made for a specific purpose, there isn’t much on Odaiba and it’s a little awkward to get to.

Comiket is huge, even if I mention the numbers, it can be hard to put into perspective. There’s 35,000 stalls in all, but the number of doujinkas (doujin artists) far exceeds the amount of stalls, so they often ballot for a booth space. These couple of years, the attendees are around the 500,000 mark.

It is held over a 3 day period, during which the stalls change. The first day, it might be focused on game and movie fandoms, while the second day might be more focused on the anime fandom. The last day seems to be usually the hentai stuff. There are official companies in attendance too, but they usually attend all three days.

Entry is free, but there’s a very useful catalogue that comes with maps and all that they sell on site the day itself or outside from a week before.

This event is cash only! Make sure you have some on you!

If you’re not looking at buying anything but just going for the experience and atmosphere,you can just stop here right now. The basic advice given on Comiket website is good enough.


Before you think about flights and all, think about accomodation. There are some japanese accomodation that doesn’t require you to pay up front, so feel free to look around and book the moment you found the dates of Comiket. I didn’t think I had be going, so by the time I intended to book most nearby hotels were fully booked up.

Benefits of booking near big sight

To get in, there are queues which I will explain later on. But if you’re into the rushing, booking near the event allows you to join the queue early, get a “spot” which you can come back to later, and go back to your hotel. This is helpful so you don’t get frozen or burnt to death, depending on which one you go to, and conserve your energy for the rest of the day.

The draw back is transportation back to Odaiba is awkward later in the day and it’s often a changeover and a bit to get to and from other places.

Benefits of staying near CBD

So you can still be a tourist for the days before Comiket and easy access to cheap good food for the days after. After my own experience, I can safely say I feel like death after Comiket and wasn’t the best tourist, which I was rather sad about.

The drawback is a trip to Odaiba can be lengthy.

The catalogue (aka your bible) (if you actually intend to buy something, otherwise you can skip this)

Once I knew I was going, I bought this legendary catalogue from Tokyo Otaku Mode at a gaijin only price. Someone said I was over prepared (lol) but I actually think this helped allow me have more fun. There’s a few ways to utilise this catalogue, so I will tell you of the ways I used it.

Firstly, it’s divided into days. In each day, there are two sections, one with japanese alphabetical listings of each circle (fan groups) by their names, another section via a) their locations in b) their respective halls. These locations sections are also covered completely with graphical ads, so you can view them and pick someone to look at purely by the artistic vibe. Not all of these ads have a website though, so good luck guessing which one suits your preference. Tip: most fandoms are grouped together.

Knowing this was some of the battle done. Next is to know who you want to look at, who you might like to buy from. Considering the numbers listed above, the chances of you browsing can be quite difficult at times, if not overwhelming. To be honest, my entire time there, it was hard for me to browse also because queues sometimes extended into other artists’ booths. I have heard some mad stories from friends as well. So instead, I spent days looking for the artists I might be interested in, narrowing it down to a few, then following them on pixiv and Twitter. Before my catalogue arrived, following them was more out of needing to know what they were selling at the event, their booth numbers or even if they are going at all. Afterwards, I also started considering people whom they were following as well as finding out if they gave away freebies.

Some of my friends also asked me to buy stuff. Combined with my wants, I then used the maps provided by the catalogue to sketch out a “route”: which booths to start from, which to end with, and what’s the most efficient route.this is bearing in mind that queues can get quite long.

On the map, they also indicate which stalls are on the edge. Those are near shutters, meaning they are potentially quite popular. As such, most of those are my priority in queues.

So here’s my own little tidbit too. Coming from Singapore, I am not afraid of long queues. I probably enjoy them really. But what I would be upset about is if I didn’t get what I want at the end of the queue. Planning an effective route was to minimise my sad feels.

Look after yourself: sensible travel

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a foreigner and a first time Comiket hopeful. Summer in Tokyo isn’t a joke, it’s humid and awful. In the long queues in the sun and subsequent more queues wherever, there’s a chance for you to fall sick real quick. This also applies to winter Comiket. So.

  • Dress sensibly
  • (If your hotel isn’t near you) bring a good ration of water, energy drinks (or something to replace your electrolytes) and some light amounts of food.
  • Have things to cool you down like a mini fan, a paper fan and wet wipes. Wet wipes are good for various reasons, but cooling down yourself is also a good start.
  • Sunscreen
  • Your necessary meds.
  • Don’t forget your umbrella
  • Bring a mat as you would be sitting on the ground for hours

In my 3 days there, the first block of people I am in, at least one person fainted on each day. That’s how serious summer is.

Also, something few people think about: IC cards. I decided to use my icoca card (tokyo’s train uses suica) which cut down a lot of time wasted buying tickets. I just tapped and go. Was great. No fuss or anything.

Since this is a cash only event, and you’re likely to bring a lot, make sure they are stored safely. Japan is a rather safe place, but don’t start tempting people.

All right! This concludes this section for today!

it’s been quiet here

i haven’t written for a very long time. being busy does that to you, but so does many other things. I am glad for this space I have, the ability to express myself when i feel like it. it’s not going away, but my postings will be as sporadic as time would allow.

I am going away for my annual trip soon. this will mark the final time that i have to fulfil this particular obligation ritual wise. Nevertheless, I have also found this time away from life a very uplifting thing, even if i dislike many aspects of it. I will definitely continue to do this annually, although, perhaps, i will do shift it to a more convenient time of the year where I will have more time to visit people and enjoy local foods AND not worry about the extreme change in weather.

what hasn’t changed, though, is me missing dad. I am not surprised, to say the least, but sometimes there’s an awful, hollow feeling inside me and, recently, such days overwhelm me. I am more surprised by the intensity of it, perhaps like a delayed effect. I have taken to planning my days in a “professional” way. While I hate to manage people on a schedule, for now I will handle myself like that so I am doing things, keeping busy, keeping my footsteps forward.

Mum has been excluding me from all ritualistic activities, so I am not hopeful that she will even bother to do anything again this year. For someone who was so insistent on following all these rituals down to a T, down to particular dates so I technically miss out, mum has definitely not been following the rituals either. As usual, the stupid hypocrite. but this is my time with dad, so whether rituals are followed or not, i am still going to see him to “chat” with him.

I have been keeping busy otherwise, completely filled myself up with fun things to do, and some not so fun things. I am looking forward to the next 12 months :)

The last few months in a nutshell

Woah. It’s been about 8 months since I last posted. Oops. Life took over. It’s been fun, the ups and downs and the in between. Suddenly, we are midway through October and I am sort of staring at Christmas in the face. There will be better pictures and more detailed look at some stuff later on, but for now just a quick update.

Semester 1:
Sort of disastrous. I was very sick for most of the semester and had troubles keeping up with uni work. Frankly, home was a better zone. During these months, I didn’t do much besides work a lot, recuperating and then attempting to catch up with uni work.

Annual home visits:
Went home for about 10 days. Best days really. It was fun seeing family and friends again, although it felt rushed and some days I really didn’t want to go out at all.

A visit to dad’s niche reveals that time doesn’t really change anything or make things better. I can function really well, but there’s still a piece of me that’s missing and I can’t mend that.

Sis has graduated from her diploma in animation from Mages (yay!), I am so so proud of her! Her portfolio is small though and job hunt is, as any job hunt is in Singapore these days, difficult at best.

During the last few months though, she has discovered how to make amigurumi and is rather good at it. She has been selling to friends and such, but I might set up some sort of shop for her to do this a little more dedicatedly with. At the same time, I don’t want to stress her out, so this is currently in the works.

Personal projects
I have listed a few things to accomplish this year for myself. One of them was working through the recipe books I have got. Some of the outcomes looks, at best, like vomit or a pot of bracken water. But they are really nice lol! I am still trying to make the perfect fried chicken – but it’s been frustratingly bad so far. If you’re wondering why I am having so much troubles, it’s more because I want to combine a thousand flavours into that one chicken D:

The other was reading more books. Sadly, I haven’t done much in that direction, although I am getting started on a second run through with the Black Magician trilogy by Trudi Canavan. There’s been a new book since I last read the series, in it’s sequel series, so I thought its time to go through it again. Also need to re-read the southern vampire series.

Bought a number of Japanese books when I was in Osaka, and then more when I got back (mostly historical manga). Been trying to waddle through them, but I am easily distracted. Have touched some, but only a few pages each.

I was attempting to finish my ps3 games last year before the ps4 came out. Didn’t quite happen. Attempted to finish at least 5 from my pile of shame this year, only made it 3/4 through one. So terrible!

Enrolled myself in jlpt n3. As the date draws closer, I am starting to feel inept.


This has been a good year! SÃO, log horizon both on season twos!

I watched a lot this year and a number of what I liked surprised me. First started on old school gundam. That was nice in small doses. Then
Log horizon
No game no life
Akame ga kill
Sailormoon (old ones lol)
I have no friends
Strike the blood
Free season 1 and 2
Black bullet
Aldnoah zero
The world god only knows 1-3 (re watched the first two to remember where I was lol)
Dramatical murder
Brynhildr in the darkness
Hunter x hunter.

I really got into hxh hardcore. Happened to see someone watching it on the bus in osaka, thought it looked interesting then bam, got suckered into it.

Smash 2014

Went to smash for both days! It was great! And tried ippudo for the first time! Love them pork buns! Will definitely talk about this more later

Kabuki 2014

Yet another post will be up soon about this. We did Sukeroku this year and it’s been a blast. We were asked to perform at the National Gallery (omg such recognition) and so we had 2 weekends of performance instead of one. Did a lot of cooking this year, way more than last year.

P.S Kat suited the role to a T.

Destiny the game

So one night, I was flipping through flipboard. Saw a video before destiny’s release where a guy was going trigger happy. It looked so fun, I bought it on release.

I don’t think I saw the sun much after that.