Anime & Manga Events and Festivals In Tokyo For Winter Season

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For the serious Japanese anime and manga lovers, this article lists down the biggest festivals that take place around Tokyo during the winter season. The reason for just highlighting Tokyo is that it is easier for most Malaysians or Southeast Asians to travel to Tokyo versus other cities around Japan.

From Malaysia, there are numerous direct flights into Tokyo via Haneda and also Narita Airports, making it easy to get here and attend any of these anime and manga festivals or events. Most of the events take place between one to three days, hence you can plan your visits here in under five or six days.

Cosplayers at one of the events in Tokyo. Photo Blog LiveDoor.

Another reason for creating this list is that usually during the year end, more travelers and fans have more time to plan for their year end holidays. As a foreigner in Japan, you should take note of the language barrier when attending these events.

Some of the larger and more popular events cater to anime tourist, while other niche ones may be fully in Japanese. It is highly recommended that you go with someone who speaks a little Japanese, or you can take this as an experience of a lifetime.

Below are the list of Japanese anime and manga events that take place all over Tokyo during the winter season starting from October till February. And remember to travel prepared for the Japanese winter.

Characters at the Nerima Anime Carnival. Photo by Demiurgo. CC 2.0.

Nerima Animation Carnival 2018

The Nerima ward in Tokyo is known to be the birthplace of Japanese animation and this event caters purely to the anime fans. In the Nerima area here, there are over 90 studios and businesses that relate to anime, and is a fascinating area to explore.

The Nerima Animation Carnival is also now in its 12th year since starting back in 2006, and over 15,000 fan will be seen all over the Nerima Station, where the event will be held. You can expect works from renown Japanese anime like Dragonball, Lupin The Third, Maji-Kyun! Renaissance, Hakujoden, Astro Boy and many other anime series on display here.

Nerima Anime Carnival 2018

Where: Nerima Station North Exit, 1-17, Nerima, Nerima-ku, Tokyo

Date: 20 & 21 October

Tickets: Free Entrance


The official poster for AGF2018.

Animate Girls Festival 2018

The largest female otaku event in the world is known as the Animate Girls Festival, and this amazing event takes place in Ikebukuro at Sunshine City in Tokyo. Held for two days, the Fountain Plaza Stage area will be the main highlight of this event and the theme is ‘Dream’.

Animate Girls Festival started in 2010, and the last even in 2017 saw a total of 85,000 visitors. At the event, you can expect over 100 exhibition booths, otome games, anime, comics, the “boys love” (BL) genre, and of course the female cosplayers.

Participants at the last AGE2017 event at Sunshine City. Photo Animate Times.

This years event will see cast members from Ikemen Live Koi no Uta to Kimi, A 3!, Vazzrock, K 7 Stories, Sarazanmai, DREAM!ing, and On Air!. This event is also brought to you by Animate Ltd., which is Japan’s largest retailer of anime, games, and manga.

Animate Girls Festival 2018

Where: Ikebukuro Sunshine City, Toshima-ku, Tokyo

Date: 10 & 11, November

Tickets: ¥1000 to ¥2800


Anime characters at Tokyo Comic Con. Photo by Krystal Archive.

Tokyo Comic Con 2018

Probably the most interesting festival in this part of the world is the Tokyo Comic Con, which sees international participants and fans from all over the world attending. For this years event, guest stars include The Phelps Brothers (Harry Potter), John Cusack, Sebastian Stan (Captain America) and Peter Weller (Robo Cop), all from the United States.

This three day event will be the talk of Tokyo and the world, and over 50,000 people attend this event that takes place the Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall near Chiba. The Tokyo Comic Con will also be the third time it is taking place in Japan since the first one in 2016. Comic Con is a US brand that originally started in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, which was later rebranded as Comic Con.

Cosplayers at the Tokyo Comic Con. Photo by FunFinder.

In total, there will be over 150 exhibition booths, live shows, autograph sessions, discussions, previews, and Japanese cosplay, which is the most happening event that includes a Cosplay Fashion Show. If you have always wanted to visit Comic Con, here is your chance to do so at the Tokyo Comic Con, but take note that tickets sell out fast here.

Tokyo Comic Con 2018

Where: Makuhari Messe, International Exhibition Hall 9, 10, and 11, 2 Chome-1 Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba-ken 261-0023

Landmark: Near Makuhari Seaside Park

Date: 30 Nov, 1 & 2, Dec

Tickets: ¥2200 to ¥3500


This year’s Jump Festa in Tokyo.

Jump Festa 2018

Known as one of the must-attend anime and manga events in Tokyo, Jump Festa is one of the most popular in Japan. This event is brought to you by the creators of Jump, and has been running since 1999, making this event almost 20 years old.

Held for two days near Chiba, the Jump Festa event sees over 200,000 anime and manga fans attending. Fans will have opportunities to ask questions to popular anime and manga artist from the Jump series, and also get first hand information of upcoming anime and manga games, shows, comics or even toys.

A giant Luffy character at the exhibition. Photo by Shyvah Mittens. CC 2.0.

Other brands associated with this event include big names like Bandai, Square Enix and Capcom, which are some of the largest companies for anime and manga games in Japan and around the world. Popular anime and manga names include Food Wars!, My Hero Academia, Yu Yu Hakusho, Medabots, A Certain Magical Index, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, and everyone’s favorite character – Pokemon.

Jump Festa Tokyo

Where: Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall, 2 Chome-1 Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba-ken 261-0023

Landmark: Near Makuhari Seaside Park

Date: 22 & 23 December

Tickets: Free Entry


Comiket in the winter. Photo by Yasuyuki Hirata. CC 2.0.

Winter Comiket 2018

This one is a must-not-miss event for any Japanese comic lover as Comiket is probably the largest comic market event in the world, and held here in Tokyo. Comiket has two editions, one in the summer and this one, in the winter, and this unique comic event sees all kinds of comic artist from around the world, and often self published titles are some of the main stars here at Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba.

Comiket attracts a lot of cosplayers from all over Japan. Photo Wikipedia.

At the Tokyo Comiket, you can expect a crowd of over 600,000 people visiting, and is also one of the main cosplay venues in Tokyo. Comic books are called dojinshi in Japanese, hence you will see this name all over the event. The history of this unique event goes back to 1975, and is now running in the 43rd year with over 35,000 publishing titles available.

Cosplayers at Comiket in Tokyo. Photo Wikipedia.

If you are a huge Japanese anime or manga comic lover, this is probably the best event in the world to attend, and it is free. Plus it so huge, that there are a total of 8 exhibition halls, meaning you can be spending a full day just exploring this comic market. For international visitors, there is a special International Desk available at the East Hall 1, on the 2nd floor.

Comiket 2018 – Comic Market 93 or Winter Comiket

Where: Tokyo Big Sight, 3 Chome-11 Ariake, Kōtō-ku, Tōkyō-to 135-0063

Date: 29 to 31 Dec

Tickets: Free Entrance


Scene at Wonder Festival in Tokyo. Photo by Luca Mascaro. CC 2.0.

Wonder Festival 2019

This is more of a anime and manga toy festival where you can find all kinds of related products for your favourite characters. Wonder Festival is held twice a year, and the winter end one is held in mid February, near Chiba in Tokyo. This event is also known as the worlds biggest festivals for figures, which is often called ‘Garage Kits’.

The beauty about this festival is that you will find professional and also amateur made toys, materials to make toys like resin, mould, kits and many others for beginners. While highly sought after collectibles are also being sold, this event also attracts a lot of collectors from not only Japan, but from around the world.

Comic promoters at the Wonder Festival. Photo by Luca Mascaro. CC 2.0.

At Wonder Festival, you will find characters related to science fiction, mecha anime, and the most popular being the cute female Japanese characters. There is also a huge cosplay scene here, with hundreds of cosplayers taking part during the event. If you love all things figure toys, this is the event to visit.

Wonder Festival 2019

Where: Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall, 2 Chome-1 Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba-ken 261-0023

Landmark: Near Makuhari Seaside Park

Date: 18 Feb 2019

Tickets: ¥2500


Tokyo Big Sight, a popular event and exhibition space. Photo Wikipedia.

There are of course other smaller anime and manga events and festivals held all over Tokyo and Japan, but those are more targeted to the local Japanese. But if you know of any, you can always visit those events.

Here is a Japan Walker SEA Tip – Make sure you book your event tickets in advance as they tend to be priced more on the actual event day. You can visit the websites of these event to see how you can book advanced tickets. Also, make sure you book your accommodations near to the subway stations, as it will make your travels much easier. Other than that, just have fun at these events.


David Hogan Jr
David Hogan Jr
A multiple award-winning travel writer, blogger and social media enthusiast. He has been traveling to Japan since 1990 and all over the world for his work. His work has been featured on CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Lonely Planet and many other publications. David writes at: and is on social media platforms as @MalaysiaAsia

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