Japan’s Biggest Convention Venues

Although Japan is not a magnet for international trade shows Singapore in Asia and Frankfurt in Germany, the domestic market of 126 million people means there are enormous convention and trade show venues. Most have the name “international” somewhere in their name, but the reality is that most serve a primarily domestic market. Also, although convention type events are occasionally held at giant venues like Tokyo Dome and Saitama Super Arena, the following list is for dedicated convention venues only.

So, here they are from biggest to smallest.

1. Tokyo Big Sight

Location: Ariake, Tokyo
Floor area: 230,873 m² (2,485,097.0 ft²)

Tokyo Big Sight is the big daddy of convention centers in Japan and the only one that ranks right up there with the biggest convention centers in the world. In terms of large convention centers, it’s also very conveniently located – in the Odaiba area just across the Sumida River from central Tokyo.

Major events at Tokyo Big Sight include the Tokyo Motor Show in October/November,

The name is kind of silly, but that’s soon forgotten when you see the enormous scale.

More info on Tokyo Big Sight »

2. Makuhari Messe

Location: Makuhari, Chiba Prefecture
Floor area: 75,000 m² (818,057 ft²)

At not much short of 1 million square feet, Makuhari Messe in Chiba is Japan’s second largest dedicated convention/trade show venue. Perhaps because of the high ceilings, it feels a lot bigger than the numbers suggest.

Major events at Makuhari Messe include Foodex in March, the Tokyo Game Show in September, CEATEC in October and the Tokyo Motor Show in

Despite it’s seemingly convenient location near Narita Airport, it’s actually easier to get here from central Tokyo.

More info on Makuhari Messe »

3. Intex Osaka

Location: Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
Floor area: 72,968 m² (785,421 ft²)

Intex is west Japan’s largest convention center and the scene of Osaka’s largest expos. As the traditional home of Japan’s mercantile classes, Osaka still has the head offices of many large Japanese corporations including Panasonic, Sharp, Sanyo, Suntory, Kubota and Toray.

The largest events held each year at Intex include the Osaka Auto Messe, the Osaka Motor Show, the Pokémon Festa and Dōjinshi Sokubaikai.

More info on Intex »

4. Osaka International Convention Center (aka Grand Cube Osaka)

Location: Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
Floor area: 67,545 m² (727,048 ft²)

While Intex is a major venue for business events, large national jamborees and non-profit events (such as the All-Japan Band Competition) are often held at Grand Cube. As the name suggests, the building resemble a large square box.

5. Kyoto International Conference Center

Location: Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Floor area: 45,764 m² (492,600 ft²)

Abbreviated as ICC Kyoto, the venue’s major claim to fame is as the place where the Kyoto Protocol for protection of the environment was signed.

6. Miyako Messe

Location: Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Floor area: 38,524 m² (414,669 ft²)

Despite its considerable size, Miyako Messe is overshadowed for major events by both ICC Kyoto and Intex in neighboring Osaka. Although there’s a regular schedule of events, they tend to be quite small scale and local in focus.

More info on Miyako Messe »

7. Port Messe

Location: Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Floor area: 33,946 m² (365,392 ft²)

Port Messe in the central Japan city of Nagoya is one of the oldest surviving convention centers in Japan opening its doors in 1973. Despite its age, Port Messe is planning a major expansion. If construction commences, 100,000 square meters of space will be added to the center.

8. Fukuoka Convention Center

Location: Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture
Floor area: 24,872 m² (267,719 ft²)

The FCC is actually a collection of 3 major conference venues – the Fukuoka Kokusai Center (venue of an annual sumo tournament), Marine Messe Fukuoka and Fukuoka International Congress Center. The Fukuoka International Congress Center is also venue for the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize.

More info on Fukuoka Convention Center »

9. Sendai International Center

Location: Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture
Floor area: 22,968 m² (247,225 ft²)

Sendai is the largest city in the Tohoku region in the northern part of the island of Honshu. Consequently, the Sendai International Center is a major venue for regional and national conferences and conventions. Despite the name, international events are rare.

10. Tokyo International Forum

Location: Marunouchi, Tokyo
Floor space: 20,951 m² (225,514 ft²)

Tokyo International Forum is perhaps the most conveniently located venue on this list. Just 5 minutes walk from Tokyo Station, the Forum is an architectural marvel. Designed by Rafael Viñoly, the structure resembles the overturned hull of a ship.

Major events include Art Fair Tokyo and AdTech Tokyo. When the Tokyo Olympics come around, the Tokyo International Forum will host weightlifting events.

More info on Tokyo International Forum »

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