It’s officially October and for a lot of us, that means it’s spooky season! Halloween usually consists of things like dressing up, carving pumpkins and trick or treating, but it’s much different in Japan! Let’s kick off this month of creep with everything Halloween in Japan.
Halloween In Japan
Halloween, much like Valentine’s Day, Christmas and many others is an imported holiday, meaning it was brought to Japan from other countries, and was traditionally not celebrated there. Halloween actually didn’t catch on until the early 2010s, and was brought there by companies looking to make money off the company, a bit like how Valentine’s Day was. Another large part was played by expats, people from other countries living in Japan, bringing the holiday over in the forms of rowdy parties. So what is there to do in Japan during Halloween?
Trick or Treating and Pumpkin Carving
While lots of treats and Halloween gifts are available during October, trick or treating is actually not done in Japan! People in Japan don’t want to bother others and mainly for this reason, trick or treating probably isn’t going to catch on anytime soon. Pumpkin carving on the other hand, is something that is slowly catching on! It’s still not nearly as popular as in the US and other countries, but seeing as how Halloween has only really been mainstream in Japan for less than 10 years, it’s a good start!
Costumes, Cosplay and Partying
Halloween is always an excuse to cosplay and cosplayers in Japan are no different. Anime hot spots like Ikebukuro and Akihabara become crowded with cosplayers partying in the street! Non-cosplayers also dress up as per usual for Halloween, and lots of parties take place all over. In Tokyo, Shibuya Crossing is a party hot spot as well! The trains also get taken over, however, after many incidents involving disruptive expats and protesting commuters in the late 2000s, the trains have since moved to having regulated Halloween cars. Many train lines offer a themed train for kids and one for adults!
Theme Park Events
Just like other Disney parks, Both Tokyo DisneyLand and DisneySea have their own events. DisneyLand is very similar to other Disney parks and caters to children while DisneySea is a bit more mature, and works for both adults and kids. Other parks including Universal and Puroland (home of Hello Kitty and her friends) also have their own events on Halloween and throughout the month of October!
All in all, Halloween in Japan is a much different experience than other places, but still a lot of fun nonetheless. While the activities, especially the parties are oriented towards adults, there’s a lot of options for people of all ages to join in!