Updated: Oct. 15, 2018

Ikebukuro: A Cosplay-Friendly Neighborhood

Home to numerous cosplay outfit, wig and accessory stores, cosplay photography and event studios, and host to frequent cosplay events and parties, Ikebukuro is known for being one of Tokyo's most cosplayer-friendly areas. The most famous event is perhaps the Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival, boasting a participation of 10,000 cosplayers and a total attendance of 80,000 people.

The Public Stand -- Ikebukuro West Exit Romance Street Branch

With their gorgeously decorated interiors created by professional designers, their all-you-can-drink plans which are unusual in the bar industry, not to mention reasonably priced drinks and no time limits, The Public Stand bars distinguish themselves from exclusive luxury bars, offering an easily-accessible public bar space open to everyone from students to company employees. Ever since opening their first branch in the Ebisu area of Tokyo in January, 2017, The Public Stand has opened locations throughout the Kanto area, and even expanded to Osaka and Niigata.

When it opens on October 26th, the Ikebukuro West Exit Romance Street location will be the thirteenth branch for The Public Stand.

With a capacity to accommodate 240 people and two separate floors, it will be the most spacious The Public Stand location thus far. According to the press release, the interior will look like this:

No-Holds Barred Drinking System

Here's the system at The Public Stand:

  • Style: All-You-Can-Drink (100+ drink menu)
  • Time: 6 PM to 5 AM (MAX 11 HOURS)
  • Freedom: Free exit/re-entry (follow LINE account to qualify)

Opening Commemorative Campaign: FREE FOR COSPLAYERS

To commemorate their opening in such a cosplay-friendly neighborhood, The Public Stand Ikebukuro West Exit Romance Street branch is offering this entirely free of charge to all customers who walk through the doors in a cosplay outfit (or change on arrival).

  • When: Between Oct. 26 and Nov. 25
  • Who: Only customers wearing a cosplay outfit
  • How: Show up / Reserve (Facebook account required)
  • Note: No changing room provided but you can change in the bathroom
  • Suggestions

    While you can visit at any time during the campaign, this sounds like the perfect deal for cosplayers attending the Ikebukuro Cosplay Festival on the weekend of October 27th and 28th. What's unusual about this deal is that you can leave and come back whenever you want. So, if you're attending the festival, you could drink a bit in the early evening from 6pm, have dinner, go to the observation deck, the aquarium, or even see a movie (you are allowed to enter all of these establishments in the Sunshine City complex during that weekend), then come back later in the evening for more drinks or even stay all night until the first train the following morning. (Note: You should check with these and other establishments in the Ikebukuro area on their cosplay policy if you intend visiting at other times.)

    Then, in November, you could try otaku bar and rental space Banana Bongo. A cosplay-friendly and foreigner-friendly establishment where you can enjoy anisong karaoke, they'll probably have anisong DJ or other events in November where cosplayers can party, so that could be another option for a night of cosplaying fun which would include a visit to The Public Stand.


    • Name: The Public Stand: Ikebukuro West Exit Romance Street branch
    • Address: 2-3F, Shinwa Bldg., 1-22-4 Nishi-Ikebukuro Toshima-Ku Tokyo
    • Access: 3 min. walk from JR Ikebukuro Sta.
    • Hours: 5 PM to 4 AM (5 AM until Nov. 25)
    • Tel: 03-5904-9500
    • Regular Price: Women→ 1,080 JPY Men→ Sundays and Weekdays: 3,240 JPY, Fri. Sat. and days before nat'l holidays: 3,780 JPY (tax inc.)
    • Website: The Public Stand: Ikebukuro West Exit Romance Street branch

    By - Ben K.