Inside Japan's Largest Cosplay Theme Park

At any geek event in Japan, you'll see them: cosplayers. Convention centres are not ideal backgrounds for the fantasy of fancy costumes. Amateur photographers who aren't happy with the shitty con setting even rent private spaces and hire cosplayers for more professional looking photos.

While cosplayers continue to favour real backgrounds like abandoned buildings, empty parking garages, or even love hotel rooms for shoots, cosplay studios are starting to catch on. By providing a controlled environment for picture taking, cosplay studios are creating a new cottage industry.

Recently opened in Niigata shopping complex Bandai City Billboard Palace, Gataket Cosplay Park bills itself as "Japan's first large scale cosplay photography speciality studio". Gataket isn't based in Tokyo's or Osaka's geek district, but in Niigata City.

The prices are so low that one cosplay blog wonders if they'll actually cause other studios to lower their prices.

While renting studio space in Tokyo can get real expensive real quick, Niigata's Gataket Cosplay Park offers studio space for the bargain basement price of ¥1,500 (US$18) per person—for the entire day! On the weekend or holidays, that price will buy you only four hours of studio time. Prices jump to ¥2000 (US$25) for non-cosplayers, but there is a student discount for those with valid school id.

Inside the cosplay park, there is a variety of sets: church backgrounds, faux gardens, a wine cellar, European sitting rooms, classical ruins, a Japanese room and even a prison cell. Gataket Cosplay Park is around 80 percent complete, and in the future, it will create new sets based on cosplayers' wants and needs.

But does Niigata City have enough of a cosplaying community to support the studio? At this prices, it should.

Check the gallery for more photos, courtesy of website Asagawo Blog.

Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond. (Top photo | アサガヲBlog)


    I'm all for "Culture Shock" but can WE PLEASE have an article that ISN'T ABOUT JAPAN OR COSPLAYING..

    Every single culture article on Kotaku Australia is about either Japan or Cosplaying or Cosplaying in Japan.

    That isn't culture shock, it's Japan shock!

      I see one cosplay article on 2 pages, what the hell are you whinging about?

      I'd like more cosplay.

      Can't get enough cosplay. If that's wrong... well sir, I don't want to be right.

      You're the same guy who was complaining about the Akihabara toy showcase article, correct? I'll say the same thing here as I said there: don't like it, don't read it. Pretty simple, really.

      Isn't it called Culture Shock because Brian Ashcraft is the writer of all of these articles and he lives in Japan? Therefore wouldn't it be expected to be about Japan?

    Keep the pics of the women coming, love that shit

    Moreover, Brian Ashcraft is one of the writers for Kotaku Japan, Japan's what he knows and loves. Personally I find all these recent articles about Japan really interesting and would love to see more. :)

    Hmm, i'm planning on heading up to Niigata in the summer, might check this place out!

    If possible can we get more of this kind of news instead of the boring stuff like PSN, although any news is more interesting than stuff about PSN.

    Loving the articles, very interesting good reads and I'd like to see more as Stephen already mentioned.

    I think there should be a specific category called "Weeaboo".

    I approve this article. :D I guess one of the destination in Japan next time.

    It's like some kind of.. cosplay Ikea...

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