Halloween in Shibuya: A Night Like No Other
It’s October! Which means cooler weather and approaching beautiful falling leaves. But we won’t get through autumn without the fun-filled, exciting Halloween. It’s that time of the year again when you can dress as anything you want to, and get a little crazy!
Every year, Tokyo people couldn’t be more thrilled to dress up for Halloween. In Japan, Halloween is quite different from elsewhere in the world, but still very widely celebrated. Rather than being carried out like the traditional “trick-or-treat” in the west, Halloween in Japan can simply be put as “National Dress Up Day”. Children-friendly parades during daylight can be seen in many locations such as Kagurazaka, Omotesando and Disneyland, while costumes and inexpensive decorations can easily be found at shops everywhere from Harajuku's Takeshita Street to Daiso 100 yen shops (yes, some items really cost just less than a buck!).
If you are in Tokyo during the Halloween week and want to experience the unique way Japanese celebrate Halloween, then you MUST NOT miss out on the Halloween night at Shibuya. Shibuya itself is popular among tourists for the iconic crossing, Hachiko dog statue, and glorious shopping spots, but will transform into a party jungle on Halloween night (October 31st) and the weekend before Halloween where the place will quickly be filled up with Disney characters, spooky people, angels, T-rex and many, many other unimaginable characters.
Last year, over 1 million people dressed up as crazy characters roaming around the pedestrian street. The walkway near shops like Forever 21 and Zara will be nearly impossible to walk through as they are filled with those living dead. So if you plan to spend time shopping, it is best to do so during the day.
The most popular characters from last year were Piko Taro (The PPAP guy) and Harley Quinn/Joker from Suicide Squad, whereas the predicted popular trend for this year will be Wonder Woman, Pennywise from IT (you’ll see lots of creepy clowns), Rey from Star Wars, Game of Thrones characters (you know, winter is coming), Taylor Swift’s zombie character, Donald Trump and the list goes on.
If Halloween comes a little impromptu for you, then Japan is the right place to be in. Consider these options for last-minute costumes:
This place is the biggest discount store chain in Japan, and there, you can find pretty much everything, from fresh vegetables to electric scooters. During Halloween season, you can find all sorts of ready-made costumes such as onesies and some rather ordinarily spooky-enough costumes such as nurse, sexy policewoman, pirate, and vampire, which usually come in a price range of 3,000–6,000 yen. There are over 45 branches in Tokyo, and you can easily find one at main touristic spots such as Shibuya and Shinjuku.
Daiso (100 yen shop)
If you are a little buckled up with a budget, then you can also opt for really cheap options at Japanese shops where an item costs only 100 yen. Lucky for you, they usually sell quite a decent range of Halloween products. You can buy a mask and simply match with a black dress you have at home, and you are ready to go, which means only an investment of 100 yen. As for men, you can go for fake blood and scar stickers, which will total up to less than 1,000 yen. This pretty much requires DIY skills, and can be done very easily. 100 yen shops can be found almost everywhere you go in Tokyo.
At Loft, you can find prettier and higher quality costumes, but that also comes with higher prices. If you are willing to spend some money, then Loft is the place to go to. Not only does Loft sell costumes, but there are also many other trendy and cool products which might have you spending few hours shopping there. One of the biggest branches is located at Shibuya (5-minute walk from JR Shibuya station).
Costume Rental Shops
If you walk along Takeshita Street from one end to another at Harajuku (just right outside JR Harajuku station), you would have come across more than 5 different costume shops, where some shops also offer rental and photoshoot services. Some shops are pricier than others, but definitely worth exploring if you want to be in the spotlight on Halloween night. Named the “Cosplay paradise”, Takeshita Street will surely give you loads of inspiration in deciding what to be for Halloween.
To ensure the safety for the people and traffic congestion, police will be around to control the crossing.
Lastly, even if you don’t plan to celebrate Halloween, it is definitely worth checking Shibuya out. It won’t be just an ordinary night. Just beware of the crowd and be cautious with your belongings. Go have fun and make some new friends. Happy Halloween!