Okay, so admittedly the lofty title of ‘Mt. Fuji Cosplay World Conference’ might not be giving you quite the correct first impression of this event. If you just pictured some massive event full of cosplayers from all over the world conferring somewhere around Mt. Fuji itself and doing whatever it is that particular group of people would do together, you’re not quite seeing the right image. But if you’re just picturing some local cosplayers that live in the Fuji area getting together to hang out for a weekend and eat food and take pictures – well, you’ve got it right there.

But I’m afraid I’m getting ahead of myself, so I’ll back up a bit here. Basically, the Mt. Fuji Cosplay World Conference was an event held this past weekend (8-9 November, 2014) in Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka-shi. The event was free admission and open to the public in a large covered shopping ginza a short walk from the Shimizu JR station, and attracted both cosplayers, anime fans, and the general curious public alike.  I was able to go on Sunday and I am definitely glad I did!

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Moon Princess (used with permission)

The event itself was small perhaps but the people there were definitely big hearted if you excuse the cliché. I felt immediately welcome despite being foreign and was able to meet and talk with a lot of really awesome fellow cosplayers and pose for dozens of pictures. The fact that my fellow foreigner and friend who I spent the day with was cosplaying Sailor Moon, one of the most iconic characters of all time, helped us gain quite a lot of attention – in fact, we even ended up on the main stage at one point to “represent America,” an event in which I managed to make a complete fool of myself (my apologies America) but my friend did a great job of saving face by being pretty awesome.

What may seem like quite a small detail but is actually quite significant for the cosplay world here in Japan was that all of the stores along the shopping ginza had given permission for cosplayers to be in and around their stores, taking photos. Throughout Japan it is a rule that you cannot take photos inside of most stores and malls no matter what you are doing, and generally cosplaying in public places is frowned upon on top of that. Thus, the opportunity to get some shots in and around actual stores was something that many cosplayers were taking advantage of while they were able to!

Aside from the cosplay, another big feature of the event were various musical performances by people on one of the smaller stages, singing idol songs and popular anime openings throughout the day, as well as a few live brass bands and other small musical groups.

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All along the ginza were itasha and itansha as well – cars and motorcycles with paint jobs and decorations from various animes, mostly featuring extra cute female characters. There were everything from small dirt bikes and little compact cars to Ferrari convertibles and other super cars, and everything in between, all with very colourful and intense paint jobs featuring the owners’ anime of choice. Love Live: School Idol Project seemed to be the most popular theme, followed closely and not surprisingly by VOCALOID. Aside from their crazy paint jobs, the cars were all blasting anime themes and heavily decorated on the interior by various models, plushes, pillowcases, and more, typically all coordinated to match the vehicle itself.

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Mt. Fuji Cosplay World Conference may have had a grander name than the event itself actually was, but it was a well put together local event that was a lot of fun, especially considering it was free. A staff member there told us that it had already grown since last year, and they are hoping it will continue to grow again next year! If I have anything to say about it I’ll more than likely be back again next year, cosplaying again and having a great time with all the local cosplayers from the Fuji area.

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About The Author

J-fashion is my scene. Gyaru-o, Visual Kei, and Host Kei mostly. I dabble in Aristocrat and Ouji Lolita from time to time. Cosplay is my hobby. Video games are my number one way to de-stress. Music is my life.