Halloween in Shibuya crossing
If it’s October then it means it’s Halloween time in Japan. You can feel the vibes in every signboard and cafe menu. Shopping mall’s interior decoration and other things are based on Halloween theme. I cross Shibuya crossing every day but it’s completely different during new year countdown and Halloween. People are just floating around the crossing on halloween on 30th and 31st October.
You can see many police vans everywhere someone is announcing in Japanese followed by English. They are using big loudspeaker and somehow well known as Dj police among local youngster.
Where to buy costume for Japanese Halloween
When you are thinking about this event then first thing comes to mind is the costume. You can choose either to buy or rent. For buying the costume, you can go Don Quijote for cheap and good. You can get everything easily available of your choice. There are many weird dresses with mask and sound toys. It’s scary even when you see someone just coming out from the trial room next to you. For renting costume there are many places around Shibuya and Shinjuku. You can rent a costume for a day, party basis or hourly basis.
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If you are thinking to buy some items for decoration, you can visit nearby supermarkets like Aeon or Ito Yokado. They have many items for home decoration like light items, pumpkin flower and other stuff for children. For small items, I have seen DAISO is also filled with Halloween garland, pumpkins and mask too. Especially a lot of variety for the kids.
Gossip about Japanese Halloween in Shibuya
What I heard from many of my friends that 3~5 years ago Halloween was not in fashion in Tokyo. It was just a part of clubbing and limited to only a few foreigners. Foreigner, who love theme parties but now it is growing like the big event in Shibuya. The peak time for Japanese Halloween in Shibuya is around 10:30 ~ 12:00 and the party are still on. Of Course, Party is always well behaved as it is in Japan.
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Many startup companies started to celebrate Halloween party due to international collaboration and offices in overseas. Usually depend on size of company, people book one restaurant or pub based on halloween theme and hold party. They do in salary man style like 19:00~22:00 with drinking cracking jokes and some competitions.
Insanity is accepted, and mind it more you are insane more you are accepted in halloween. If you love to dress up and cosplay then this festival is for you. Even if you may like, just come to see and be a part of mob, while clicking pics.
My personal experience
I personally feel, if you really want to enjoy halloween then just leave the house midnight 30 Oct. There are many halloween party going on around, Shibuya and Roppongi are the main. I am dam sure that you will not get disappoint for the same. I have been a part of Shibuya halloween mob last year stretching from Shibuya crossing to Dogenzaka, and then bending toward the main street.
Evening of Shibuya is crowded and you can see people clicking photos with different groups who are just in visit to Tokyo. They don’t like get involve in wearing costume. First thing I noticed that many people moving in the crowd are in small groups. People in different groups are with some theme costume or with character costumes like mac Donald staff, skeletons or pirates of Caribbeans. There were some party going on in red and orange bus followed by some neon light motorbikes in Omotesando. This was like hell people shouting and whistling and passing comments to each other for their costume.
Where you can find people
You can join some club activities in Roppongi or Shibuya to participate in costume competition. Check out the events, and register online to buy the ticket. Buy in advance as it’s difficult to get the ticket on the same day and due to out stock. Most of the clubs in Roppongi organize dress competition and live singing. You will get best Japanese halloween costume prize for the day. Each club has there own halloween day so just follow their line group, twitter account or FB page . Club keep posting updates there. People do bar hopping in Roppongi and slowly move to Shibuya in the evening.
Check also Shibuya city official website
Away from crowd just watch
If you are thinking to avoid joining a party with big mob, then just go in the mid of October. Go to some dance club street parade in Shinjuku, Omotesando, Kawasaki and Ikebukuro. Among these Kawasaki is oldest name in Japanese halloween. Most places hold halloween party in third weekend of October and it is less crowded than end of the month. Here is the news for Disney fans the Disney-sea also arrange halloween party throughout October. There are several events and night parade in halloween mood. Avoid weekend it’s crowded for each attraction and no space to see parade from near by place.
Halloween for kids
I just remember the October 2015 when I had been a part of volunteering team in english camp. When I asked few kids about halloween most of them knew about that. One thing was so common that everybody was curious to have photo shoot with best costume player. They did photo with their favourite character. Overall kids like halloween but not the part of Shibuya and surrounding.
Yes halloween is growing in Japan and as a foreigner. I am quite happy to be a part of it. Here insanity is on peak and work is on rest. I can say somehow Japanese Halloween has become fashion here.