It may seem big when empty, but during comiket, there's barely even room to move.
I made some pretty careful plans before going in, but they didn't end up helping much. There are too many contingencies for any detailed planning to work.
Given the number of attendees, the only way to guarantee that you get what you want is to camp out overnight, either at the plaza outside Big Sight (for the west halls) or the car park (for the east halls).
Here's the main strip leading up to Big Sight at about 8pm on the day before Comiket opens. By this point, the first lines have already formed.
At around this time, the nearby JR station is completely plastered with otaku-targeted advertising.
A road not far from Big Sight at about 4am on day one. You're not supposed to arrive by taxi as it causes traffic problems, but plenty of people do it anyway.
The Big Sight plaza at about 6am on day one. As Big Sight itself is now entirely covered by lines, the attendants are getting people to form lines out here and in the eastern car park.
Once you get herded into a particular queue, you're free to move from your spot and walk around.
This hotel here is right on the Big Sight plaza. In theory, you could book a room and head down any time you wanted, but I hear this place gets booked out months in advance. Also, it's pretty expensive.
By the time dawn breaks, the queues cover the entire plaza, and the new lines have to be created down the road.
Most people passed the time by reading their catalogues or playing their PSPs.
Finally, the line begins to move, and the all-nighters from the plaza are ushered up to Big Sight itself.
As we entered in from the west side onto the roof, there were already massive lines in place for certain booths.
Once inside the exhibition hall, it's every man for himself.
Camping out on in the east car park is arguably worse than on the west plaza, as the car park is right next to the bay and subject to chilly winds.
As with the west plaza, you end up in your own little queue-block, although here, your block gets assigned a number. We were in C7, which put us at about 10,000th in line.
A survival blanket and a pack of chemical heaters. Both are useful for enduring the cold.
Once the event is open, you get herded through the east halls and back outside again.
This isn't as bad as it sounds, since most of the popular booths have lines that stretch all the way outside anyway.
Both Littlewitch and 0verflow had their salesgirls dress up in the appropriate school uniforms. Classy.
Key and Type Moon had the biggest booths, and by no coincidence, the longest lines.
The Type Moon line actually circled outside and all the way around the west hall.
For some reason, the minori and Nanoha movie booths were insanely popular, even though (or perhaps because?) they were only selling trinkets like bath towels.
Kyo-ani didn't have anything interesting at their booth other than Shiraishi Minoru.
On the right is Amagami, which appears to be the spiritual successor to Kimikiss. Love the character designs.
There were a whole bunch of people crowded around the Max Factory booth here, diligently ignoring the 'do not take photos' sign.
Left: Cut a Dash's booth. Could that be Mitsumi-sensei in the background?
Right : Itou Noizi's booth. Popular booths like hers are stationed near the wall and doors.
The walls allow them to put up big posters advertising their location, and the doors allow their lines to stretch outside indefinitely.
This guy had some unbelievable Touhou papercrafts on display.
People go in and out all day, but there's a real flood just after 4pm, when the booths close up.
Left: The now somewhat infamous Chaos;Head bus was parked outside the train station.
Right: As the consignments to the big doujinshi stores begin to filter in from the end of day one, you'll find people raiding Akiba as soon the first evening.