Donnerstag, 29. September 2016

Cosplay Photo Studio Crown (Akihabara, Tokyo)




Picture by Hazuki
The Cosplay studio crown is a studio located near to the Akihabara train station in the center of Tokyo. It is about 5 minutes walk from the station. The studio offers 6-7 different settings, which you can use to make pictures in your Cosplay. You also can rent goods, cameras or camera equipment there and also Cosplays, if you didn’t bring an own one. You are allowed to use the pictures for your personal promotion and Cosplay goods.


The operating times from the studio are 10 am to 10 pm. You pay for the entry once for a designated time and can use the location you like to, as long as they are not occupied by other Cosplayers.

The fees for the 3 hours time frame are quite cheap compared to other studios:



Timeframe Working day Weekend/public holiday
3 hours 1.700 en 2.400 en
6 hours 2.980 en 3.980 en
9 hours 4.580 en 5.500 en


The beginning:
The Studio is located at the 5th floor of a grey building. If you don’t know the address or notice the small sign of this studio, you will most likely pass it.  If you found the building, just go into the elevator and get to the 5th floor. Stepping out from the elevator the studio is located to your left.
If you go in you need to put out your shoes first and go to the counter. Just tell the counter which time frame you desire, pay and you will get a number. The staff keeps track of the time with this number. You need to give it back at the end of the rental in time. This means you need to change in this certain time frame.
As everywhere in Japan, it is not allowed to come in Cosplay to the location or the studio. You are required to bring the costume with you and change at the studio or the event. After paying and getting your number you go to the changing room and change into your costume.
The counter
The changing room:

Changing room
The changing room has a lot of space, some mirrors, a cloth racket, dryer, tissues, cotton pads and Q tips. They also provide a comb or bobby pins for a small fee. There is also a board where you can put your belongings into. Sadly there are no lockers like in the Hacostadium. But because it is Japan, I doubt someone will steal your belongings as long there are no valuable things inside.
After changing I put my normal cloths into my back and put it into the board. If you want to use shoes, which you also wore outside once before, you are supposed to wipe them clean before stepping out to the locations. So I wiped my shoes and got my wallet and Smartphone and left the changing room.


Changing room
Shooting:
The Studio Crown is compared to the other studios I ve seen so far quite small. But they still have some nice settings. You can choose between 6-7 different settings and also can rent some Cosplay items or camera equipment.
The most rental goods require a rental fee. Some goods can be rented for free. As far as I could see small ladders and reflectors are provided for free. If you want to rent something, take you number and go to the counter. Tell them what you want to rent and they give it to you. If you want to return it, show your number again. You pay when you check-out.

During the shooting you can take a break and get free tea or water.
I really like this service. You can sit down, check the pictures and rest.
I took some pictures of the different shooting locations:

 

Like at all the other studios, you have to bring your own photographer. But they also seems to offer an full experience course, where you can get make up, costume and also a photo shooting with a photographer provided by the studio. For this package you need to reserve beforehand.

You are allowed to use all locations to your liking and also to change between them.
Just be careful not to disturb other Cosplayers or to block for a too long time a location. Japanese Cosplayers don’t wait openly, but others might be interested in shooting at this location, even if you don’t recognize. Also be sure not to take pictures of other Cosplayers if you haven’t asked them for permission.


Rental goods
If you have problems or need assistance you can always ask the staff. Just keep in mind they only speak Japanese. (But if you book the package, I guess there will be some English speaking stuff, because the package is targeting foreigners and is only available at the English website.).
Picture with the help of the staff by Hazuki
After the shooting:
When you finished with your shooting, keep in mind that the time frame also includes your changing time. So you need to change about 30 minutes before your time runs up. You just go back to the changing room, change back and return your card with the number to the counter. If everything is ok, they will thank you for using the studio. If you overstepped your time or rented things, they will charge you.
If you still have time try out to write into their guestbook.  You can put some pictures inside, draw something or just write a message. I really liked to go through it, because a lot of foreigners seem to visit this studio and wrote very interesting and nice things.
Guestbook
My opinion:
What I really appreciate is the location and the easy system.
The studio is located in the center of Tokyo, just 5 minutes walk from the Akihabara JR station. You neither need to reserve, nor to get a membership. So even if you are a foreigner, it is super easy to use this studio. You don’t need to provide an ID card and also don’t need a Japanese address. Like everywhere the staff couldn’t speak English. But I saw that they are quite accustomed to foreigners, because I saw a lot of signs in English and Japanese. I also like the idea about the Cosplay experience package, where you can get Make up, a Cosplay and even pictures.

Compared to the other studios the 3 hours course for 1.700 Yen seems quite cheap. But it does not include a lot of free rental items and also don’t include amenities like bobby pins, brushes, wig sprays etc like the Hacostadium. I personally don’t need it, because I mostly bring my own things, but I saw that a lot of Cosplayers are making use of that service. They also only provide about 6-7 settings, this isn’t much if you compare it to Hacostadium.  But you need to keep in mind, that space is very rare in Tokyo. Especially in Akihabara in the very center of this town.

Picture by Hazuki
In my opinion it is a good choice for first timers, who want to experience the Japanese way of Cosplay and to try out a studio without the hassle of getting a member ship or getting through the language barrier. You don’t need to fight against the other Cosplayers for your space in the changing room and even have proper chairs and mirrors to get ready. Because of a limited number of settings you can concentrate more on one setting and get used to it.  I also liked it, that you can go shopping and get some nice food with friends before or after the shooting. The location is a big plus!


Facts:
Operating hours: 10 am – 10 pm (no closing days)
Free: 1.700 en -5.500 en
Address: 2 Chome-4-6 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-8111, Japan (5th floor)

Map:

Google Maps Generator by RegioHelden

Dienstag, 27. September 2016

Connichi - 10 years Shiroku


Thanks everyone for visiting my concert at the Connichi 2016!
It was a very special concert for me and I am still so happy and overwhelmed how many people visited my concert.
Thank you so much for being with me, even it was so late!
Also thanks to the technic crew, who suprised me with this wonderful present! I am such a blessed girl to have people around me, who gives their best at every concert in order to make it a success!
We are working together since 10 years.
10 years ago I never though I would still sing and that people would still come to my concerts.


Thanks everyone so much! It was such an honor for me to give my 19th anniversary concert at the Connichi!!




Mittwoch, 7. September 2016

Concert at Connichi

I am so happy to announce that I will sing at the Connichi in 2 weeks in Kassel (Germany)!

My concert will be at

Saturday 20:45 in the main hall!

It will be one of my special anniversary concerts and I would be happy if you would have a look. :)



Hope to see you there. :)

Shiroku