Halloween in Japan

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I’m sure that everyone is familiar with Halloween, but do you know how people get down in Japan? It is actually quite different than in North America. Now just as a disclaimer, I’m only speaking about what I know from what I’ve heard from people, and I know that everyone’s experience is different, so just bear with me, k?

So the celebration of Halloween in Japan is a fairly recent phenomenon. As you know, it is a western tradition, so from what I’ve been told, Halloween hasn’t really been that popular among Japanese people until about five to ten years ago. Crazy right? We had a Halloween party at my part-time job, and about 50% of the people who came didn’t dress up. That’s how new it is, people don’t dress up at a Halloween party. . . . . .sigh. But that’s alright, because afterwards, I got together with some friends, all dressed up, and we hit the town!!

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In the past two weeks we went to Shibuya, Yokohama, and Omotesando. Here, I’ll post some photos for your viewing pleasure.

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Once the sun sets, the ghouls, ghosts, and cos-players come out for a night of fun!! But unless you are making your own costume, since Halloween still isn’t really a big deal here, you may be confined to fewer options. For instance, I swear I saw about 89 Sailor Moons, 75 Luffys, 35 Colossal Titans, 24 Princess Jasmines, 1,000,000,000,000,000, cheetahs / bunnies / cats / nurses / cops /and doctors apiece. And each level of dress-up was different.

There was the guy who throws on a cape and calls himself a vampire, or the girl who puts on a headband with ears and she’s a cat, but for every lazy / last minute costume there was an amazing one to balance it out. There were a lot of Disney characters, anime characters, school girls, and celebrities ( Elvis, George Bush, Obama, and Michael Jackson all came out to play!)

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There was also a very interesting trend that I saw among a lot of the people out and about. It’s called the “Just Add Blood” syndrome. Basically, you can dress up however you like: as a bunny, sailor moon, princess Jasmine, Mario, but in order to finish the look you Must. Have. Blood. Or scratches, or bruises.

Of course there was the classic bloody doctor but there was also, bloody bride, bloody bunny, bloody Winnie the Pooh (I kid you not) bloody Hello Kitty, bloody Power Rangers, bloody  Jack Sparrow (who still looked really awesome) and the wonderful bloody Cup Noodle (I really regret not taking a photo of that when I had the chance.)

And everyone saw how awesome or creative everyone else’s costumes were, so people were standing in the middle of the street just taking photos. So imagine a giant mob of people throwing up piece signs, camera flashes coming from every which way, and every historical person, pop culture reference, Disney and anime character and a guy wearing cat ears in attendance. It was pretty crazy, but kind of fun too!

Another thing besides dressing up that I love about Halloween are the seasonal snacks and goodies. In all honesty, they should really be here all year round, but I guess they wouldn’t be as special if they were. Baskin Robins has some really amazing sundaes and Häagen-Daz has some tasty pumpkin and hazel nut flavors.

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A bakery near me is selling some amazing sweet potato pie, walnut taiyaki, and some pumpkin shaped and flavored goodies.

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Sorry if this is making you hungry, but I couldn’t help myself!! Welp!! That’s all for now, see you again next week!!

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