The Nippombashi cosplay carnival, which is often termed the largest street cosplay event in Japan, is at a risk of being cancelled for the fourth consecutive year, as the organizers fear a possibility of COVID-19 outbreak during the event.
The official website of the cosplay carnival announced on Dec 5, 2022, that they had considered resuming the cosplay festival at full scale in March 2023, but decided to delay the event as the safety and security of the visitors could not be guaranteed.
The organizers are continuing to hold discussions with local residents and relevant government authorities regarding the resumption of the cosplay festival.
The Nippombashi cosplay event, titled the Nippombashi Street Festa, hasn’t taken place since 2020 due to concerns over COVID-19 outbreak. This year’s event was scheduled to take place in March as usual, but was eventually postponed.
Over 200,000 people attend the cosplay festival each year in the Den Den Town of Osaka, which is known for its otaku scene.
Thousands of cosplayers show up at the event, and parade through the Nippombashi street (near Sakaisuji) in Osaka. The streets are shut off to main traffic for around 3 hours, as visitors throng the place to get a glimpse of their favorite cosplayers.
Though it is a free-for-all festival, attendees can purchase a pass if they intend to take part in the cosplay parade, photo ops or other attractions on the street. Many of the participants are cosplayers who even qualify for the World Cosplay Summit.
Other than the parade, hordes of cosplayers find various spots on the streets and pose for visitors as they show off their costumes.
The thriving subculture makes Osaka’s Den Den Town similar to the otaku city of Akihabara.