“I Think I’m Turning Japanese” in San Antonio

If you love the culture of Japan you should plan to attend the San Japan XII, the Japanese culture and anime convention held annually in San Antonio, Texas. San Japan has become the city’s largest Japanese culture-oriented convention. The three days of continuous events will take place at the Henry Gonzalez Convention Center from August 30 to September 1, 2019.

The San Japan 2019 Guidebook (to be released on August 25) will give details for this year’s convention and all its exhibits, events, and education centering on anime, pop culture, and related fandoms. Look out for that! But in the meantime, check out this guide for visiting San Japan and making a trip out of a journey to San Antonio

Cosplay Show

The San Japan Cosplay Show demonstrates excellence in costumes and cosplay. Participants find inspiration in live-action shows or movies, manga, webcomics, video games, web series, etc. Competitors are encouraged to bring costumes that have not previously won awards. Original designs having no published source material are not permitted. To keep things competitive, entrants are divided into two performance divisions and four competitive classes.

Cosplay Museum

Remarkable costumes from all over are displayed for the entire weekend at the San Japan Cosplay Museum. They represent all levels of craftsmanship and skillsets. These costumes and cosplay outfits are incredible works that show imagination and excellence in their sewing and costuming ingenuity. Texas-based Southern Cospitality Cosplay has more than 15 years of experience in cosplay shows, costuming, and cosplay judging along with a passion for the craft and for showing its potential as a form of self-expression.

Maid Cafe

Maid cafes are a subcategory of cosplay restaurants predominantly found in Japan. Waitresses dress in maid costumes, act as servants, and offer a calm and entertaining atmosphere which is away from the hustle and bustle of the convention floor. There is an assortment of cookies and refreshing hot teas served by adorable maids and handsome butlers, who engage in lively conversations and games with the honored guests and put on performances during this hour-long experience.

Where to Stay?

When you are considering hotels in north-central San Antonio, you should try to book at a hotel affiliated with San Japan. The Grand Hyatt San Antonio offers discount tickets to attendees. If that hotel is booked up or the discount ticket block is sold out, another great choice is the Hyatt Place San Antonio-Northwest/Medical Center. Just 15 minutes away, it’s still close by and offers great service and spacious rooms.

Nearby Attractions

In addition to the popular Alamo and River Walk, following are some other sightseeing suggestions while you are in San Antonio:

The Japanese Tea Garden reopened in March 2008 after infrastructure rehabilitation that cost over $1.5 million, funded by public and private sources. The restored garden features a spectacular year-round garden, a floral display, a 60-foot waterfall, stone bridges, shaded walkways, and ponds filled with Koi. In the early 20th century, the stone quarry there was shaped into an island with a Japanese pagoda, stone arch bridges, and walkways. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Texas Civil Engineering Landmark and a Registered Texas Historic Landmark.

Another great attraction, tours of the magical Natural Bridge Caverns go down approximately 180 feet underground into year-round cool temperatures and where you are plunged into moments of complete darkness. Excavation discoveries include artifacts, some prehistoric human and animal bones, and parts of a skull from an extinct black bear.