Experience Cosplaying at Tokyo’s Studio Crown

Tiffany

Ever wanted to try cosplaying, but didn’t know how to start? Actually, it’s really simple—just pick a character, dress up as the character, and pose/act in character for photos. But we understand that finding—let alone making—a costume, a good wig, and props, as well as getting the make-up right, can be difficult. Finding the confidence to try can be difficult, too. But the good news is that you can now indulge in your fantasies of being your favorite character for a few hours at Studio Crown, in the heart of the otaku mecca that is Akihabara.

Accessible both from Akihabara Station and Ochanomizu Station (it’s a short walk away from Kanda Myojin), Studio Crown was opened as a photo studio that cosplayers could rent for photo shoots. It still serves its original purpose, but in 2015, its owner, Hazuki, decided to take things one step further. Inspired by Kyoto’s maiko makeovers, she decided to offer cosplay experience packages to foreign tourists.

tokyo cosplay rental

Hazuki explains that, having lived and studied abroad, she wanted to open up her studio to be more foreigner-friendly. Additionally, she wanted to attract not only those with an existing interest in cosplay, but also those who were curious about cosplay but somehow never got to try.

Visiting Tokyo soon? Don’t leave without downloading our ebook!
20% off coupon code: TYO7382.

Studio Crown offers three plans:

1) Basic course (3,240 yen, 45 minutes)

This quick, easy, and simple plan is a great way to get things started. The costume selections for this plan aren’t associated with specific characters, so you can be a random ninja, maid, schoolgirl, ninja, or shrine maiden. You’ll get your picture taken for 5-10 minutes, and receive one digital copy of a photo of your choice, and one Polaroid photo. For an additional 2,000 yen, you can also walk around Akihabara in costume for three hours—an add-on that is available only for this plan.

Ninja Wifi is the biggest provider of rental pocket wifi devices to international visitors coming to Japan. They also have the most pick-up points. [caption click here for details
 Suggested Activity 

A note for the plus-sized: unfortunately, this isn’t Studio Crown’s fault, but it is quite difficult to get large-sized costumes, and Japanese sizes aren’t that large to begin with. Hence, the studio doesn’t have many large-sized costumes; most of the ones in bigger sizes are schoolgirl uniforms, so this might be the best plan for you. (Alternatively, you can get the 90-minute makeover course but pick one of the costumes from the basic course.) Rest assured that Studio Crown is doing its best, though, so we can most likely expect their selection of costumes to increase over time!

IMG_9908

2) Easy Anime Costume course (7,344 yen, 1 hour)

Availing of this plan lets you choose from a selection of anime characters’ costumes, as well as put on a wig. You are, however, responsible for your own make-up. You then get a 10- to 15-minute photo shoot, and get to keep one digital image and one Polaroid.

3) Perfect Anime Costume course (12,960 yen, 1.5 hours)

Go for a complete makeover with this course! Not only do you get to choose from the same range of costumes above and wear a wig, but you’ll also get your makeup done by experienced Japanese cosplayers with makeup skills that will make you look like a completely different person. After the 40- to 60-minute makeup session, it’s time to for a 20-minute photo shoot, after which you’ll receive six digital images and one Polaroid.



Add-ons

For all plans, further add-ons such as additional photos, or even requesting a specific character’s costume that’s not on the studio’s list (for 5,000-15,000 yen, depending on the character—this request must be made at least a week in advance, and keep in mind that some costumes might be near-impossible to be found), are also available.

IMG_9907

Transformation

Hazuki invited me to try the Perfect Costume course, and I did end up looking completely different! First, I picked a schoolgirl uniform and a blonde wig with ringlets.

This is what I look like on a regular day, without any makeup…



IMG_9100

…but the incredibly talented cosplayer Chamomile (Facebook page here), a versatile lady who can look like a dashing young man one moment and a beautiful girl the next, worked her magic to give me a more animesque look. She asked what kind of look I had in mind, and since I was dressed up as a schoolgirl, everyone agreed that a cute, girlish look was more suitable.

IMG_0762
Photo by Tooru

Chamomile clearly knew her makeup well; in addition, she also had several tricks up her sleeve, such as using facial tape to lift the face and make it look smaller.

IMG_9813
Photo by Tooru

After a while, the transformation was complete! Next, it was time to shoot. Hazuki snapped away. Posing isn’t your strong point? No worries; Hazuki and the cosplayers will be happy to guide you!

IMG_9879
Photo by Hazuki used under CC

Here’s one of the results of the shoot.

12394717_1665972147017676_1648153475_o
Photo by Hazuki used under CC

Sadly, like Cinderella, the magic had to end, and I got changed, but not before leaving a thank-you message in the studio’s guest book.

12375799_1665972143684343_1543527445_o
Photo by Hazuki used under CC

“I want to cosplay again!”

If the experience inspired you to cosplay more often, and you live in Japan (or the next time you’re in town), do join Hazuki’s meetup group, Tokyo Cosplay Meetup (they’re also on Facebook) to get the details on her events. She regularly holds parties at Studio Crown, where cosplayers and photographers can socialize and shoot in a relaxed setting. According to Hazuki, she missed the ease of making friends during her time in America and Europe, so she hopes that these parties can help cosplayers and photographers connect.

Tokyo Cosplay Meetup 2014 Party
Photo by Hazuki used under CC

Did the experience bring out the model in you? Then bring a shutterbug friend and rent Studio Crown. Prices start at 1,700 yen for 3 hours on weekdays (2,400 yen for the same duration on weekends). 6- and 9-hour plans are also available, and in case you have the energy to shoot all night, there’s an all-nighter plan from 11:00 pm-7:00 am for 4,600 yen. The studio has different sets for you to strike your best pose: a minimalist, white-walled area, a Gothic area, and a funky, futuristic area (which is also suitable for idol-type characters). There are also a few props available for rent.

Additionally, for more information about cosplaying in Japan—etiquette, where to buy costumes and materials, and more—check out Cosplay Tokyo, a Facebook page and YouTube channel run by Alex and Leona, a photographer-and-cosplayer couple that are friends with Hazuki. Good luck, and enjoy cosplaying!

(From left) Chamomile, Tooru (one of Studio Crown's staff), and Hazuki
(From left) Chamomile, Tooru (one of Studio Crown’s staff), and Hazuki
This is a sponsored post. The author received a free trial session in exchange for the review, however all opinions are her own.
Name: Studio Crown
Pricing info: Cosplay experience plans from 3,240 yen studio rental plans from 1,700 yen
Address: 5/F East Building B, Sasage Building, 2-4-6 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Location(s): Akihabara,
Access: Akihabara or Ochanomizu Station
Web: https://studio-crown.com/experience/
Phone: 03-5577-5995 03-5577-5995
Business hours: 10:00-22:00
Places Mentioned

Watch this next

New Video: Tokyo City Flea Market

Tokyo flea markets are a great for bargain-hunting, pick up a new kimono or snag a new book on a shoestring!




Latest Japan Jobs


Get our Tokyo Cheapo Hacks direct to your inbox




Recommended hotels located nearby



4 Responses to “Experience Cosplaying at Tokyo’s Studio Crown”

  1. This isn’t a “cheapo” relevant article at all.
    This is clearly a shameless plug of some gimmicky studio to get the owners, affiliated photographers, models and other associates more publicity and cash.

    This is supposed to be an informative page for cheap events and venues in the Tokyo area, not a promo space for people to make ¥3000-10000 an hour off of tourists.

    • If you were into cosplay I think you would see the avail of this article. I know from a friend how much struggle it can be to even find a venue and this one doesnt seem to expensive compared to other ones :3 in any case it sure is more comfortable reading this article than the disgusting one explaining how to get laid in Tokyo.

      • Hello article obvious author or author’s friend,

        I have to agree with Allon. This isn’t relevant to cheapo ideas, events, etc.
        As an animation and game fan myself, it doesn’t sit right with me that someone’s out there trying to make big money off of an otaku hobby. I mean we are talking ¥5000+ an hour to let someone choose from a stock costume selection and get some airbrushed photos of themselves.

        A two minute Google search got me information on a few cosplay retail places around Tokyo that will let you try on their stuff for free and wear it around in the shop. That is an example of a “cheapo” find. Moreover most people could permanently own a costume at one of those shops for not much more than the cost of this Crown place.

        Generally speaking, I don’t think this is the right place to be pitching an acquaintance’s glorified fashion photo studio.

        • Tiffany
          Tiffany

          Hi everyone. Sorry for the late reply, as I don’t get notified of comments and only saw these recently. (Mikan, I’m the author here, and I don’t know who Edia is. :D)

          I did make a mistake in not disclosing that I was invited to try the studio’s services for free, and I apologize for that. The disclaimer has been added. However, at Tokyo Cheapo, we only respond to invites to try out a product, service, restaurant, or whatever in exchange for a review only if we feel that it has something possibly relevant to our readers.

          In this case, we’ve featured touristy experiences like maiko/geisha makeover studios in the past, which is why we thought this was worth featuring. If you cosplay on your own – get your own costume, do your own makeup, etc. – it will (if it’s a simple costume) cost much less than the complete makeover experience, but there are some tourists who go for experiences like this. (And the basic cosplay experience in itself is not that pricey compared to other makeover experiences.) This studio also happens to be featured on websites like Voyagin, so I’d like to clarify that this article is not just about promoting an acquaintance’s studio.

          Btw, Mikan, if we’re talking about the same cosplay retail place, you can try on the costumes for free only if you’re going to buy them, as far as I know. Also, there is another cosplay studio called Cosmenia; like Studio Crown, it has cosplay makeover and rental services, and its costs are not drastically different from Crown’s. The difference is that Studio Crown is more foreigner-friendly, as, for one, the website is in English. And for photographers who are interested in renting a studio, Crown’s rates are not that pricey.


Questions or comments about this article? Start a thread on our community forum