Dr. Chun
Nagoya, Japan

August, 2015


Nagoya is the center of Japan's third-largest metropolitan region.  When I arrived there, I did not know that World Cosplay Summit was being held at various places in the city.  Cosplay, a portmanteau of the words costume play, is a performance art in which participants wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character from comic books, cartoons, video games, films and television series.  Cosplayers were everywhere, and I felt like I was invited to a big Halloween party!

013After checked into the hotel near Nagoya railway station,  I took a subway to Sakae, and explored the downtown district. The Nagoya TV Tower reminds me of Eiffel Tower in Paris! I also saw a statue of a three-legged dog. 023I have seen some cosplayers on the street in Tokyo, but I ran into hundreds of them this time! Welcome to the World Cosplay Summit at the futuristic-looking Oasis 21 Complex in Sakae!

033The event is being held for cosplayers to meet, share, and learn about the art and craft of cosplay and costume making.  043I was busy classifying each cosplayer into one of the four groups: interesting, cute, ugly, and hot!  He is somewhat "ugly!"
053I guess they are from Star Wars? Their costumes are "interesting"!
063She is definitely "cute"!  (Click on the photo if you want to see "hot"!)  Most cosplayers graciously posed for photos, but I took pictures over other photographers' shoulders.  Sorry, guys!
073Oasis 21 is a multi-level park with the theme of "Spaceship Aqua". Various events are held on the "Milky Way Square", the public space below the building's intriguing "Water Spaceship" roof.  The roof also features a large pool of water. 083Next morning, I bought a Me-Guru card, which is a one-day sightseeing bus pass. The first stop was Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry. Toyota Group is best known today for its automobiles, but it started out as a manufacturing company of textile machinery in the late 19th century.
093This interesting museum, also known as Toyota Techno Museum, occupies the site of Toyota's original weaving plant.  Robots at the museum have learned to play the violin and the trumpet! 103The second stop of the sightseeing bus was Noritake Garden. Noritake is a leading company in the ceramics industry with a history of more than 100 years. The garden was built on the company's former factory grounds and introduces the company and its products, while providing a recreational space in the middle of Nagoya.
113Got off the Me-Guru tourist loop bus at Nagoya Castle. Looked around Nagoya Noh Theater, which is dedicated to traditional art performance such as Nor or Kyogen plays. Came across the statue of Kato Kiyomasa, a legendary samurai warlord. 123Walked towards the castle. Built in the beginning of the Edo Period, Nagoya Castle was one of the largest castles in the country, and the castle town around it ultimately grew to become Japan's fourth largest city.
133Most castle buildings were destroyed in the air raids during World War II, including the castle keep and the palace buildings. The current ferro-concrete reconstruction of the castle keep dates from 1959 and contains a modern museum with exhibits about the castle's history. 143A bus ride to Tokugawa Garden and Art Museum. Tokugawa Garden is a traditional Japanese garden with walkways winding around a central pond symbolizing the ocean. The waterfall and streams utilize the differences in elevation to create an enjoyable, dynamic landscape.
153Got off the bus at Sakae to take a subway to Atsuta Shrine. Cosplayers everywhere at Oasis 21 Complex!  I even saw a cosplay mom with her own baby! 163Located in a pleasant, wooded park in southern Nagoya, Atsuta Shrine is one of Shinto's most important shrines.  I was fascinated to witness a traditional Shinto wedding ceremony at the shrine!
173The shrine is dedicated to the Sun Goddess and stores the sacred sword, which is one of the three imperial regalia of Japan.  The treasury hall also houses national treasures and important cultural properties. 183Back to Sakae and enjoyed more costume plays. Looks like everybody is having a good time, dressing up and pretending to be a fictional character, usually a sci-fi, comic book, or anime character.
193My costume? I can pretend to be an absent-minded professor and win the cosplay competition! 203Took a bus to the Nagoya City Science Museum in the late afternoon. The museum features a huge silver globe, which houses one of the world's largest planetariums.
213Kept walking towards Osu Kannon Temple, which is a popular Buddhist temple in central Nagoya. I saw a rock concert on the temple ground!

223Just beside the temple is the entrance to the Osu Shopping Arcade, a network of aging but charming covered shopping streets with numerous shops and restaurants.
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