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Inazuma Festival 2015 Recap – Tokyo’s Denim Paradise

On the long list of things denimheads ought to experience at least once in their life, Inazuma Festival definitely ranks near the top. For this fan, it’s paradise on earth. Why? Imagine all your favorite brands at the same place with one goal: to liquidate all their overstock inventory at a discount.

Yes, imagine our Sales Compendium, multiply it by 1,000 and put it in the real world and boom: that’s Inazuma Festival. We had the opportunity to visit the event at the end of November, here is what we saw.

The History of Inazuma

Inazuma Festival is a gigantic open air event organized by Lightning Magazine. It’s composed of a flea market area, a brand area and some entertainment like music, sponsored shows and food booths. What it is, really, is a huge opportunity for brands to liquidate their inventory and for fans to meet industry influencers – who often work the booths; and buy at a discount. Oh, and of course to have a good time!

According to our source, the reason why Lightning started this event was to be able to see in real life who their readers were. By doing so, they could concretely see what they wore and talk to them to get better insights into what they liked to ultimately improve the quality of the magazine.

Who Attends?

As you’ve probably guessed by the number of hyperbolic adjectives we’ve used so far, Inazuma Festival is huge. This last event featured 250 booths and the highest number of attendees ever–around 26,000 people. Though we had seen some pretty long queues in Japan – where queuing is a national sport – this had to be the longest ever witnessed in human history.

Heddels Inazuma Festival 2015 Queue

The longest queue in the universe

So what did we see?

Dickies

They kept things straightforward with a large booth offering a wide range of styles at a discount as well as some newer products.

Inazuma Festival Dickies Booth

Inazuma Festival Dickies Booth

Canton Overalls

Those of you who have read our article about Canton Overalls know why it was important for us to swing-by. Canton Overalls is the first true American-jeans maker of Japan. Their booth featured discounted items and also a rack with newer styles.

Inazuma Festival Canton Overalls

Inazuma Festival Canton Overalls

The Flat Head

Impressive booth here, packed with people and tons of items. Thumbs up to the customized car outside the booth.

Heddels Inazuma Festival Flat Head

Iron Heart

It’s no surprise anymore: everywhere Iron Heart shows up, you know you’re not going to be disappointed. Mr. Haraki, Iron Heart’s big boss himself was working the booth, doing hemming live in front of his customers.

Heddels Inazuma Festival Iron Heart Haraki Hemming

Heddels Inazuma Festival Iron Heart Booth

Heddels Inazuma Festival Iron Heart Booth Jeans

Red Wing Shoes

Probably a favorite to a lot of our readers, Red Wing opened an outlet store where they were selling slightly imperfect items at a discount.

Heddels Inazuma Redwing

Heddels Inazuma Redwing

Heddels Inazuma Redwing

The Real McCoy’s

Military replica kings The Real McCoy’s were also present. They offered a pretty wide gamut of items, from sweatshirts and classic white tees to denim and leather jackets.

Heddels Inazuma Real McCoy's

Heddels Inazuma Real McCoy's

Heddels Inazuma Real McCoy's

If you want to attend Inazuma Festival one day, remember that it’s held twice a year: once in Tokyo in Fall and once in Osaka earlier in the year. The best thing you can do is (when possible), keep checking Lightning magazine as they heavily advertise the event when the schedule is set.