How Do the Japanese Celebrate Halloween?

There are different types of events you can attend.

Halloween is a fall tradition that has taken a firm hold on the Japanese lifestyle. Once October comes, various Halloween events are held in different parts of the country. Despite each one of them being jam-packed, there still remain some people who have never attended a Halloween event in Japan. 

In this article, we take a look at the different categories that popular Japanese Halloween events fall under. We hope this helps you plan your itinerary when you visit the country this autumn

First Category: Halloween Vibe

Events such as the
Kawasaki Halloween 2019 (also deemed Japan’s largest Halloween event), Harajuku Omotesando Hello Halloween Pumpkin Parade 2019, and Kyoto Kitayama Halloween 2019 fall under this category. These are typically traditional in nature and have costume parades and performances done onstage and along the streets. 

Those who want to participate in these events may choose to wear handmade costumes or store-bought attires. First-timers won’t feel out of place since it’s very easy to blend in with the other locals and tourists. Take note that you don’t have to dress up to enjoy this event. Some families simply drop by to watch the shows and parades.  

Japan’s largest Halloween costume parade, Kawasaki Halloween 2019

Second Category: Cosplaying

Nowadays, cosplaying has been gaining a lot of attention in the Japanese pop culture scene as well as around the world. Events where participants cosplay as anime or game characters are also becoming popular in the country. The
Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival 2019 is the largest cosplay event in Japan during Halloween.

For costume inspiration, here are some of the participants in last year’s Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival:

For those who are interested in the subculture but don’t have the courage to attend big events like the Comic Market and Niconico Chokaigi, this is your chance to experience the world of cosplayers. If you’re planning on dressing up and participating in the event, you must register and buy tickets beforehand. 

Lots of Halloween events will also be held this year across the country. 
Photo taken at the Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival 2017

Aside from this, events where people dress up as movie characters also fall under this category.
Roppongi Hills Halloween Parade 2019 and Takarazuka Anime Fiesta 2019 x Halloween are examples of these. At the Roppongi event, you can enjoy different Halloween-themed dishes. You can satisfy your taste buds with these tempting limited edition food and sweets. 


Roppongi Hills Happy Halloween

Third Category: Halloween Party

Every year on October 31, the Center-gai area in Shibuya, Tokyo and Dotonbori area in Namba, Osaka are bustling with people wearing all kinds of costumes. In recent years, however, there have been some issues encountered during these events. We advise you to check their websites, take note of who the organizers are, and their contact information in case you get involved in some kind of trouble.

Furthermore, for those who enjoy partying at clubs, you can visit them around this period as some of them are holding costume contests with prizes.

All of these Halloween events are best enjoyed by wearing costumes or cosplaying. Other Halloween parties across the country, where food and drinks are served, are being celebrated for a limited time only. In addition to this, various theme parks are decorated with Halloween designs and aquariums give special offers to visitors around this time. For those who wish to celebrate Halloween in Japan, we recommend you look up events and parties online so you can make the most out of your trip!

Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Tokyo Walker™ (4 October 2019)

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