My first Cosplay and Japan Day 2015 – Part II
I didn’t think that it would take a whole year to write the second part of this post. Maybe one reason is that the weather was pretty bad on the actual day of the event and I had to put my thoughts together on how to write this.
We woke up pretty early on that day of course, because it would take some time to get ready and put make-up on. Those people who have been following my blog from the beginning now, know that my friend worked as a make-up artist in an amusement park in Germany. So she was the one who took care of our makeup. We also had to prepare some food, since the food they sell in the food trucks during the event are always pretty expensive. When our wigs were styled and the costumes put on, we were ready to go. The sky was grey and it was surprisingly cold and windy. We caught the tram to the center of Düsseldorf and got of at station next to the Immermannstrasse, where the Japanese stores are located. Every year, this part of the city is packed with people who travel from every corner of Germany to attend this event. I think I was too occupied with other things, but somehow I didn’t take any photos that day. I really regretted that later.
For the people who are interested in the Japanese culture or in Manga and Cosplay, Japan Day is one of the biggest yearly events. It should not be mistaken for a convention. It is rather an event to celebrate the relationship between the German and Japanese community in Düsseldorf. It just has evolved over the years, into one of the most visited events in Germany, at least for the Manga/Anime/Cosplay community. One of the reason is also, that it is free, you don’t have to pay anything to participate. Besides Japanese food, there are also stalls with people selling merchandise, teaching origami and Japanese calligraphy, where you can try on Kimonos and many other things. It seems that the number of visitors increases each year and the Rheinuferpromenade, where this event takes place, is so full of people, that it is hard to walk forward.
We went by foot to the Rheinuferpromenade through downtown Düsseldorf. We walked with a stream of Cosplayers who were hard to miss. It is always a spectacle with the colorful costumes and the sheer number of people walking through the city. Unfortunately, it began to rain right before we reached our destination, so we had to look for a place that would shelter us from the rain and the cold wind. The clothes we wore were certainly not suited for that kind of weather. We waited with a bunch of other people under a roof for the rain to stop. However it didn’t seem like that it would stop so soon. After quite some time, we decided to go on, holding our umbrellas to keep us dry. After a few steps, we were asked for the first photo, so we let him take it. Then we went for the stalls, to look at the things they were selling. Since all of the stalls are built up next to each other, it is always so crowded. It was difficult to even get near the stalls, let alone to look at the products. Soon after the rain had let up, it began to rain again, and again, we had to look for a shelter. That went on for the whole day. It rained, then the sky cleared up and then it rained again. I was looking for a certain stall that day, where a well-known artist sold his works. However I couldn’t find him and that kind of depressed me afterwards, because I really wanted to buy at least one of his works. The next shelter from the rain was under a bridge. We took the opportunity to take some photos there, but the light was pretty bad, because it was quite dark because we were under a bridge and the sky was clouded. As we took pictures of ourselves, other people, also some photographers, joined to take pictures of us. Some asked beforehand, some didn’t.
I was surprised that there were even people who wanted to take photos of our costumes, since it was our first time cosplaying. When the sky cleared up once again, we went to the stalls selling merchandise again, because I wanted to buy a Nemuneko plush toy. However, when I saw the price of one plush toy, I changed my mind. On our way, we were photographed quite a few times. I really didn’t expect that, but I was happy. The work my friends and I put into the costumes paid off. When we got exhausted, we found a bench to sit on to eat our sandwiches. The sky had cleared up and the sun had come out.
It was pleasantly warm. Soon, after some people had asked us for a photo, we were suddenly surrounded by a group of people taking pictures of us while we were eating our sandwiches. I mean, of course I was glad, that the people liked our cosplay, but I don’t think that you can get flattering or aesthetically pleasing photos if your models‘ mouths are in the middle of chewing their lunch. Well, I think it was a funny experience. My friends however seemed more exhausted by it, because they couldn’t eat in peace.
After eating our lunch we went on and every now and then we were stopped and asked for a photo. Soon, it got cloudy again and the first drops were falling. It didn’t take long for it to turn into a heavy rainfall and it got difficult to stay dry under the umbrellas. As it got colder and the wind stronger, we decided to call it a day. It was just not possible to stay out longer with that weather and my friends were pretty exhausted. So we went to the next station to take the tram home. The way home was amusing, since we had to change the tram once and we were in an area where there weren’t any cosplayers and we were quite an attraction. I might have imagined it, but I had the impression that someone took a photo of us from his window while we were waiting for the tram to come. Finally home, we changed out of our costumes and fell asleep. We intended to go out again to watch the fireworks at the Rheinpromenade, but decided that we were more in the mood to stay in. So I turned on my computer to watch the live streaming of the fireworks. It was really unfortunate that the weather was so bad that day. However it was still fun and I got to do a group cosplay with my friends, something I had wanted to do for a really long time.
Thanks to one photographer, Béèm, who contacted me a few days later, I received some photos of many that were taken that day, which you can see in this post. It is really difficult to get your hands on photos after an event, especially when the photographers didn’t leave any contact information. So I advise you to get a friend or an own photographer to accompany you, in case you want to get the photos after they were taken.