Best Locations for Cosplay Photoshoots in Aichi: Showcase the Beauty of Japan in your Cosplay Pictures!

As most cosplayers know, any place can be suitable for a photo shoot. I have taken pictures in abandoned buildings, streets, parks, and even in a pool; any area that fits my Cosplay. Why not take advantage of your trip to Japan to take some fantastic Cosplay pictures in and around Nagoya? 

As someone who has been cosplaying for over six years and taking pictures of Cosplayers for even longer, I would like to share the top locations I have found in Nagoya and Aichi Prefecture for Cosplay photoshoots.

What is Cosplay, Anyway?

Me in a Gantz costume in the Osu Parade in 2018

If you have found this article, it means that you probably know what Cosplay is. But just in case, let me explain. Cosplay combines “costume” and “role-play” and consists of dressing up as a character from an Anime, Manga, game, or any kind of fandom you might like.
If you want to know more about Cosplay in general and Nagoya in particular, read this article.

Traditional Locations for Samurai, Ninja, and other Historical Characters

When coming to Japan, I was so excited to finally find authentic places with traditional Japanese buildings for my Samurai Cosplays. Aichi Prefecture is the perfect destination for this as it was the center of the Sengoku Period (1467-1615), one of the most portrayed historical periods in the Anime world!

Nagoya Castle and Meijo Park

Nagoya Castle
Nagoya Castle during summer

Nagoya Castle is Nagoya’s most popular tourist spot due to the hard work the region has put into its reconstruction. And the keep, palace, and surrounding gardens and moats, walls, gates, and watchtowers showcase its rich history perfectly. 

As a photoshoot location, the castle has a lot to offer. You can take a picture with the castle or the palace as if it was your character’s home. 

Nearby Meijo Park also makes a great spot thanks to its beautiful lake and seasonal flower garden.

Nagoya Castle (名古屋城)
Entry Fee: Adults 500 yen; adults over 65 100 yen; children free
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 16:30
Address: 1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0031
Access: From Nagoya Station, it takes only 12 or 14 minutes to reach the castle by subway (including one transfer).
Website | Google Maps

Meijo Park (名城公園)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: 1 Meijo, Kita ward Nagoya, Aichi 460-0031
Access: Take the Meijo subway line and get off at Shiyakusho Station. It is a 3-minute walk from exit 7 to the East Gate of Nagoya Castle
Google Maps

Inuyama Castle and Jokamachi (Downtown Area)

Inuyama Castle

Inuyama Castle, considered one of the oldest castles remaining in Japan, is located in Inuyama city in the northern part of Aichi Prefecture, only 45 minutes from Nagoya Station. 

The best thing about this area is that you can take pictures of the castle and its Jokamachi, the streets surrounding the castle. The area is filled with traditional wooden buildings that go perfectly with Samurai or Kimono-wearing characters!

Inuyama Castle (犬山城)
Entry Fee: Adults 550 yen. Children under 14 years old 110 yen
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Address: Kitakoken-65-2 Inuyama, Aichi 484-0082
Access: Take the Meitetsu train line to Inuyama station. From there it is a 20-minute walk.
Website | Google Maps

Meiji Mura

Meiji Mura
The Imperial Hotel at Meiji Mura

The Meiji Mura Museum is an open-air museum with all kinds of Meiji Period (1868 to 1912) buildings. This period meant the introduction of occidental culture in Japan, which greatly influenced architecture. 

Here you will find plenty of traditional Japanese buildings and props to use for your photo shoot, in addition to some western-looking spots such as the train and church. 

Considering the great variety of sites available in Meiji Mura, I especially recommend this place for photoshoots that involve characters from different eras or series. 

Meiji Mura Museum (博物館明治村)
Entry Fee: Adults 2000 yen, elementary school children 700 yen
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Address: 1 Uchiyama, Inuyama, Aichi 484-0000
Access: Take the Meitetsu Inuyama line to Inuyama station. Outside the East Exit is a bus stop for the Meitetsu Bus to Meiji Mura.
Website  | Google Maps

Kiyosu Castle

Kiyosu Castle
Kiyosu Castle

This castle is another example of how rich the history of Aichi Prefecture is. Kiyosu Castle was the military base of the famous warlord Oda Nobunaga, and it currently exhibits artifacts related to the Nobunaga clan.

Being a little less known than Nagoya Castle, this castle allows for a more relaxed photo-taking session. You can take amazing pictures from the beautiful red bridge that connects to the entrance, having the castle tower in the background. The small sand garden located in front of the tower creates another chance for traditional Japanese picture taking!

Kiyosu Castle (清州城)
Entry Fee: Adults 300 yen, elementary school children 150 yen
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 14:30
Address: Shiroyashiki-1-1 Asahi, Kiyosu, Aichi 452-0932
Access: Take the JR Tokaido Line two stops north from Nagoya Station to JR Kiyosu Station (190 yen) or the Meitetsu Line eight stops to Shin Kiyosu Station on the Nagoya Main Line. Kiyosu Castle is a 15-20 minute walk from either station along the Gojyo River.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Inuyama Naritasan Temple

Narita Temple
Inuyama Naritasan Temple

Many temples are worth visiting in Aichi Prefecture; however, this one has a unique characteristic for a great picture. Naritasan Temple is located at the top of a hill, accessible by a long flight of stairs. It’s a bit of a climb, but worth it. Once you get to the main temple, you will have a spectacular view of the mountains surrounding the temple and Inuyama Castle. 

Do you want to take that picture of your character leaning towards a veranda with a fantastic mountain and castle view? This is your place! There are several spots in the temple that will make for an incredible photoshoot! 

Inuyama Naritasan Temple (犬山成田山寺)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: 5, Kitahakusanbira, Inuyama, Inuyama City, Aichi  484-0081
Access: From Nagoya Station take the Meitetsu Nagoya Line to Inuyamayuen Station. From there 10 min. walk.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Beautiful Japanese Gardens and Parks for Natural and Traditional Photoshoots

I have used Japanese gardens as Cosplay spots on several occasions. I find them especially useful for fantastic characters such as gods or spirits whose outfits are inspired by traditional Japanese clothing. The pictures of garden shots often turn out pretty incredible and visually striking!

Shirotori Garden

Shitori Garden
Shitori Garden

Shirotori Garden is one of the most beautiful gardens in Central Japan. Its 3.7 hectares offer plenty of photo opportunities with different backgrounds. Like most Japanese gardens, Shirotori is designed to showcase the four seasons. You will get a distinct impression of the garden depending on when you are traveling to Japan. 

This garden’s central tea rooms, waterfalls, and the lake will be an excellent spot for your fantasy characters!

Shirotori Garden (白鳥公園)
Entry Fee: Adults 300 yen, under 14 years old free
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (last admission) Closed on Mondays
Address: 2-5 Atsuta Nishimachi, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 456-0036
Access: From Nagoya Station, take the Subway Higashiyama Line to Sakae station. Transfer to the Meijo subway line to Jingu Nishi station and take exit 4. From there a 10-minute walk.
Website  | Google Maps


Tokugawa Garden

Tokugawa Garden
Tokugawa Garden

Located right next to the Tokugawa Art Museum, Tokugawaen is a peaceful natural area inside the bustling city of Nagoya. Its beautiful bridge and mooring are perfect spots to take era-inspired pictures with your Cosplay. 

If you are interested in Japanese culture I recommend a visit to the museum, its art collection is incredible! However, you won’t be able to take any pictures inside.

Tokugawa Garden (徳川園)
Entry Fee: General 300 yen
Opening Hours: 9:30 – 17:30
Address: 1001 Tokugawa, Higashi-Ku, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0023
Access: Take the Meijo subway line to Ozone Station and walk for 10 minutes (following the signposts). Or take a bus from Sakae Bus Station at Oasis 21 (Bay 3) to Hikiyama or Shiken-ya until Tokugawa-en Shindeki. Meitetsu buses from Nagoya Station also go to Tokugawa-en Shindeki.
Website  | Google Maps

Hisaya Odori Garden Flarie

Hisaya Odori Garden Flarie
Hisaya Odori Garden Flarie

Hisaya Odori Garden Flarie is a park, cafe, and restaurant area located in the center of Nagoya. The park is a small green area with some Japanese bridges and buildings that work very well for Cosplay pictures. 

The cafe just by the park offers a place to relax after a hard day of cosplaying and picture-taking. The cafe tarts and cakes are so famous that they sometimes get sold out before they close! I recommend an early photoshoot to be able to enjoy their fantastic desserts!

Hisaya Odori Garden Flarie (久屋大通庭園フラリエ)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:30
Address: 4-4-1 Osu, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011
Access: From Nagoya Station take the Meijo subway line to Yabacho Station. A 3-minute walk from exit 4.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

City Locations for the Present Time or Futuristic Shots!

After all the traditional photoshoots recommendations, I would like to share with you some modern locations that will be an excellent asset for characters that live in the present or the near future!

Oasis 21

Oasis 21
Oasis 21

You have a sci-fi Cosplay, and you don’t know where to go? Oasis 21 is your location! This futuristic spaceship of a mall gets illuminated in neon colors at night, becoming the perfect background for sci-fi or apocalyptic characters. You can take pictures on its top, where the water reflections and Nagoya’s skyline are the cherries on top for this location!

Oasis 21 (オアシス21)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00
Address: 1-11-1 Higashisakura, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0005
Access: From Nagoya Station take the Higashiyama Subway line to Sake Station. A 1-minute walk from exit 4.
Website | Google Maps

Osu Shopping District

Osu Shopping Street Nagoya
Osu Shopping Street

Osu Shopping District is Nagoya’s most popular shopping area, especially for Anime and Manga-related articles. This area is very similar to the classic shopping areas that often appear in Japanese animation. Because of that, it makes a great place to take pictures of characters wearing everyday clothing or those who inhabit the real world and might go shopping around in Japan.

Osu Shopping District (大須商店街)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours (shops close at different times)
Address: Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0000
Access: From Nagoya Station to the west side of Osu where the Osu Kannon is located, take the Higashiyama line to Fushimi station and then change to the Tsurumai line to Osu Kannon Station.
Website | Google Maps

Nayabashi

Nayabashi
Nayabashi

Nayabashi is a cute little area surrounding the Horikawa River. Its romantic bridges and riverside passages would be perfect for any kind of character. 

I can especially picture some romantic scenes or a high schooler looking at the sky thinking about that annoying co-protagonist.  

Nayabashi (納屋橋)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: 1-1 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008
Access: Take the Higashiyama Subway line to Fushimi Station. An 8-minute walk from exit 7. Take the  Sakura-dori subway line to Kokusai Center Station. An 8-minute walk from exit 3.
Google Maps

Nagoya Station Area

Nagoya Station Buildings
Nagoya Station Buildings

If you are looking to give a metropolitan look to your photos, Nagoya Station is surrounded by skyscrapers and offers many places where you can take amazing pictures. 

One of the best places is the actual station. Near the famous olden Clock meeting point, the northern area of the station is a great spot that has been portrayed in Anime before. 

If you are looking for a view of the whole city, Sky Promenade has a cool futuristic look, especially at night, that might come in handy!

Nagoya Station (名古屋駅)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: 1-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi
Google Maps

Bonus Location for One Piece Cosplayers

Laguna Ten Bosch

Laguna Ten Bosch
Laguna Ten Bosch

Laguna Ten Bosch is a marine-themed resort and park complex on the beautiful Mikawa Bay, just 1 hour from Nagoya Station. 

Laguna Ten Bosch has a to-scale Thousand Sunny, the ship from the famous Anime and Manga series One Piece. Here visitors can enter and take pictures as if they are one of Luffy’s crew. This is the perfect place for a One Piece Cosplay!

Laguna Ten Bosch  (ラグナ・テン・ボス)
Entry Fee: Adults 2250 Yen, 6-11 years-old children1300 yen, 6-11 years-old children 800 yen
Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00
Address: 2-3-1 Kaiyocho, Gamagori Aichi 443-0014
Access: From Nagoya station, pick the JR train to Gamagori station. From there, you can take the free shuttle bus to the theme park.
Website | Google Maps

Finally, these are my step-by-step instructions for any Cosplayer visiting Nagoya and Aichi: Put on a costume, grab a friend with a camera or a professional photographer, and have fun! 😉


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About the author

Laly came to Japan following her long time dream of visiting the birthplace of her favorite Mangas, games and castles. She stayed for the Matcha sweets, the Sakura lattes and the Taiyaki. This ex-Cosplayer has been living in Nagoya for more than 4 years and can’t believe she is still discovering new things about the city every day!

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