With photo booths, cosplaying staff, and costume rental for diners, this is one of the most unusual food courts you’ll find in Japan.
The word “yokocho”, or “alley” is often used in Japan to refer to a narrow side street lined with izakaya taverns and restaurants, all clustered together in a small space to create a lively atmosphere filled with the sound of happy diners.
Usually, the customers at these restaurants are dressed in everyday wear, with businessmen often stopping by after a long day at work to unwind before catching the last train home. For those who know where to look, though, there’s a very different kind of yokocho where office suits look entirely out of place, and it’s called Cosplay Yokocho.
▼ Cosplay Alley recently opened on 23 June in Uguisudani in Tokyo’s Taito Ward.
コスプレ横丁の新しい看板が出来ました！！ 目印にしてね(*^ω^*) #コスプレ #コスプレ横丁 #鶯谷 #鶯谷コスプレ横丁 https://t.co/9u74QIwlx2—
コスプレ横丁(鶯谷の居酒屋です) (@cosplay_yokocho) June 28, 2017
Here you’ll find up to 30 waitstaff dressed up as characters from some of the country’s most popular anime, manga and game franchises.
完全なる隠し撮り…(笑) かき氷はじめました～ コスプレ横丁本日も元気に出勤中 #コスプレ横丁 https://t.co/IiqF9LmcBo—
涙-RUI-@コスプレ横丁(金曜出勤) (@yasu81luisa) July 07, 2017
Customers can choose from a wide selection of various dishes, with teppanyaki restaurants, seafood specialists, cake sellers and wine and cheese stands all packed together in the undercover area, and while it looks more like a crazy food court, it has the same lively, laid-back ambience you’d find at a yokocho alley.
The staff will be appearing in different costumes each day, and customers can also join in the fun with a special rental service being offered for free to female diners.
Despite the restriction on males not being able to use the rental service, customers of any gender are welcome to visit and wine and dine amongst all the characters while dressed in their own cosplay outfits brought from home.
Everyone long time no see. Posted for the first time in a while. It is "Cosplay Yokocho" I have planned and managed in the previous article, but thanks to everyone, it is very exciting. "Jack magician" famous for "Jack Sparrow" cosplay came also, and from "Studio Ghibli animation" "Kurenai pig" came. Every day like events are going on at shops. A lot of foreign guests came, and on the way home they say "It was fun! It was awesome!" It is a big eatery place located 2 minutes on foot from Tokyo 's [Uguisudani] station, so we are waiting for you everyone! Please give me a message if you are interested. Thank you in the future! #cosplay #anime #manga #アニメ#コスプレ #漫画 #ジャックスパロウ #jacksparrow #johnnydepp #tokyo #japan #鶯谷 #uguisudani #followme #like4like #l4l #コスプレ横丁 #横丁 #ジブリ #disney #enjoy #food #shop #kawaii
And for those too shy to wear their cosplay outfits to the venue, there are changing rooms on site for customers to use so they can transform themselves into their favourite character in a fun and non-judgemental environment.
▼ If you’re as bold as Sailor Suit Old Man is with his cosplay,
you won’t need to use the changing rooms.
セーラー服おじさんが来店なう！ 鶯谷コスプレ横丁 #コスプレ横丁 https://t.co/4kPqWJMFwC—
マントフェチ時々たわしおじさん２号 (@BloodCape) June 16, 2017
To add to the fun atmosphere of the alley, a rental photography studio can also be found on the premises, offering the “lowest prices in the region” for both group and personal use.
うぐいす谷ｺｽﾌﾟﾚ横丁 本日からﾌﾟﾚｵｰﾌﾟﾝですよー!! なんとﾌﾟﾚｵｰﾌﾟﾝ中はﾄﾞﾘﾝｸもﾌｰﾄﾞも ALL500円🍻💕 神楽でお出迎えだよー！！ #ｺｽﾌﾟﾚ横丁 #拡散希望 東京都台東区根岸1-1-14 https://t.co/FDnuh0EjLM—
犬童とーり@鶯谷ｺｽﾌﾟﾚ横丁 (@toritan0229) June 16, 2017
And customers can also earn points for drinking and dining on the premises, which can be exchanged for discount coupons.
本日コスプレ横丁グランドオープン！ 生ビール¥100だよー！！ 早くきてねーヾ(*´▽｀*)ﾉ #コスプレ横丁 https://t.co/fKd72HDDp3—
つかさ🌱アニパフォありがとな🔥❄️ (@tsukasakuras) June 23, 2017
With so many deals and services on offer, along with the promise of tasty food and beverages, this cosplay haven won’t stay a secret for long. Be sure to check it out before everyone else crashes the party!
Cosplay Yokocho / コスプレ横丁
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Negishi 1-1-14, theatre alley (cosplay alley)
Hours: 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.