The amazing-ness of Halloween in Japan

Having had the opportunity to travel to Japan this time one year ago, by coincidence it was during the eventful time of Halloween.

Japanese are known to pick up American trends, and Halloween is no different. Walk into any Don quijote variety store or along the main shopping districts in Osaka or Tokyo (and other main cities) and EVERYWHERE you will see jack-o-lantern motifs and the whole assortment of decorations. Let’s not forget Disneyland in Tokyo and Universal studios in Osaka, which is pretty much Halloween central – Packed full of fancy dress, themed rides and shows.

But behold, on the actual 31st of October the cities explode with colours, excitement and frenetic randomness of costumes that Japanese people pull of so well. I was in Osaka during this time and found myself wandering Dotonbori bridge (Very popular meeting place) amongst the choice fashions of the night. Suitably under dressed foreigners (case in point – myself) were mingling with the dressed up Japanese and were all too happy to pose for photos.

I’ll let the photos explain how it went down.

Osaka - Japan

Osaka - Japan

Osaka - Japan

I must say I had a laugh when the two Barbies turned up – box and all. The whole night was a carnival of mischief, spontaneity and unashamed levels of character, which left me around 11.30pm and running to the nearest metro train station before the last train left.

I dare say even though Halloween has turned into a commercialised means for retailers to make a whole wad of cash, I find myself lured and intrigued into the whole world of festivities.

If I though the Osaka Halloween events were intense, I soon found out there were also events held in Japan – like the Halloween Parade in Kawasaki and Halloween gathering at Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. The videos below aren’t by me, but show by EPIC the events are.

Halloween Parade in Kawasaki 2015

Halloween Gathering in Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo 2014

Halloween in Japan is ridiculously fun and intense, that I already look forward to booking a future trip to Japan during this eventful time – hopefully you will too!!

Tokyo Disneyland – Halloween 2014 – Own Video

I finally can start to publish some of my footage from my Asian trip to Japan and Singapore. And to start things off, any visitor to Tokyo will most likely be making their way to Disneyland and also neighbouring Disneysea. I must say it was pretty packed and from reports, the parks can be notorious for being overcrowded. Think long queues and time waiting around. So my thinking arriving after 5pm on Halloween, was that things would be more settled. But as you can guess, being Halloween it was chock-a-block. Being Japan, I didn’t mind and soon realised that any hope of going on one of the major rides was not going to happen. So wandering the park was pretty epic, to see the amazing Halloween sets and also even the stores, with their styling.

What I was fortunate enough to experience was the nighttime shows – the light parade where there were floats all in Disney characters in LED lighting, which went on for over 20 minutes. Followed by the Cinderella projection show on the main Disney castle – which is this video snippet. Being there for Halloween brought a new dimension to the already carnival like atmosphere to the park. Patrons were asked to dress up as their favourite Disney characters and I noticed a warning to guests (especially the female ones) for modest dressing. It would appear that the Japanese female youth like to dress with very high hemlined skirts and bordering risqué Disney attire – and of course Disney saw this coming. Apparently to maintain the ‘child friendliness of the park’ which is understandable. But anyway, with the little time I had there, it totally blew my mind into pieces and after the trip to Japan these pieces are still being put back together. A bit of Disney makes everything better it seems.

– Anth

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