Every year, thousands of anime and cosplay lovers attend conventions around the globe. In Ontario alone there are 117 comic and anime conventions. Fans will dress up as their favourite characters to attend events and workshops. Usually there are photographers roaming around the venue to snap pictures of these cosplayers, but you can also book an appointment with a photographer to capture the essence of your costumes.
Choosing a location plays a big part in contributing to the overall story for the photograph, especially in cosplay photography. One of the most popular photo spots for cosplayers is Kariya Park, which is located at 3620 Kariya Drive in the city of Mississauga. Do not underestimate this seemingly ordinary park, Kariya Park has been the center of attention in Mississauga since 1992. Since 1981, Kariya Japan, a city in Aichi Prefecture, and the City of Mississauaga have been maintaining a friendship and cultural relationship for the purpose of reducing conflict after World War II.
After eleven years of a positive and healthy relationship, the City of Mississauga has opened Kariya Park in 1992 to honour the sister city partnership. Kariya has also opened a Mississauga Park in the center of its city. One of its main attractions is its annual cherry blossom trees. These trees spread across the park with their aesthetically pleasing pink petals. During the cherry blossom period, it is the perfect time to get some shots in. You might be asking yourself, which cosplays photograph best at this park? Here are three prime examples!
Vocaloid characters such as Hatsune Miku has one of the most brilliant character designs that one can truly appreciate. Hatsune Miku is a sixteen-year-old hologram character who can sing and dance. She is developed by Crypton Future Media with the concept of being the future of music, proven by her name. One of her most popular songs, Senbonzakura, has a combination design of traditional Japanese kimono and Harajuku style. It is perfect to do a photoshoot under the cherry blossom trees in April to May when they bloom. The trees stay bloom for around 2 weeks so take that opportunity and shoot away!
Another series that is perfect for shooting at Kariya Park, is Cardcaptor Sakura. Cardcaptor Sakura is about a ten years old girl named Sakura Kinomoto who releases a set of Clow Cards by accident. Clow Cards are magical cards that contain magical beings and powers. In order to retrieve all of the magical cards, Sakura is forced to go on a journey to collect all the cards from around Japan. In the anime, there are numerous scenes where Sakura Kinimoto and her friend Tomoyo are at school. Cosplayers and photographers could utilize the Japanese style building that is in the center of the park to recreate the school scenes. With the cherry blossom trees, it would look extra magical, just like the anime!
In the west side of the park there is a duck pond connected by a wooden bridge in the center of the park. The anime A Silent Voice is a coming of age series about a girl who has a hearing disability and a boy who used to be her bully. The anime’s setting is based on the autumn sky where many scenes occur on a bridge surrounded by water. From this location, photographers can direct the focus of their shoot using the bridge and get the perfect shot easily.
How do you get to the park?
You can get to Kariya Park by Bus or Train. If you are planning to drive there, you could find street parking on Kariya Drive. Bus routes: 103, 26, 3, 8. Train: MI
Do you need a permit?
If you are planning to do group photoshoots with the full cast of characters, you have to obtain a photography permit from the city of Mississauga. You have a 10 months in reservation if you are a Mississauga resident. You can find more information regarding a permit here.
Kariya Park is open to the public seven days a week, 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., through the entrance on Kariya Drive.