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Halloween in Tokyo: How and Where to Get Your Spook On

Halloween is a fairly recent import to Japan, but the American way of celebrating all things spooky has arrived and is definitely here to stay. Young Japanese people love dressing up (see cosplay, Harajuku fashion, visual kei etc.), so really it was only a matter of time before they jumped on this excuse to get costumed up.

If you’re in Tokyo during Autumn, there’s plenty of ways to get seasonally spooky.

Tokyo Activities for Halloween

1. Shibuya Street Party

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The biggest Halloween party in Tokyo is completely free to attend and doesn’t take place in a club. Scores of young people in costume descend on Shibuya and it's a chance to see some awesome outfits. Public drinking is permitted in Japan, so you can walk around drinking your own stash, making this a very cost effective (if not a very overcrowded) outing. This huge unofficial party is of course, a nightmare for local public authorities, so despite what you may see others doing, don’t litter or engage in any dangerous drunken antics!

2. Halloween Parades

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Sidestep the drunken debauchery altogether at these daytime family-friendly events. You can focus on the true meaning of Halloween... cool costumes! There should be a few different parades going on so keep an eye out as they're announced. In Ikebukuro there will be an event specifically for cosplaying characters rather than general Halloween costumes. You can get information about the cosplay parade and even find out how to apply to be part of the parade yourself on the Niconico Twitter.(Japanese only)

3. Theme Parks

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Amusement parks around Tokyo will also be getting into the spooky spirit of things as usual. Tokyo Disney will have some special events and certain rides even get a seasonal scary makeover. Another option is Sanrio Puroland, a theme park based around Sanrio characters such as Hello Kitty and Gudetama. Sounds cute, but get ready to run for your lives at their special Halloween events. Fuji Q Highland is a bit of a trek from Tokyo, but if you make it there you can brave the longest walk-through haunted house attraction in the world.

4. Ghost Houses

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Not just at theme parks, there are a few stand-alone haunted house attractions around the city. Some even have missions to be completed or escape room elements to add to the terror (Survive the Urban Legend is a horror themed English language escape game in Asakusa). Although some take cues from Hollywood horror movie style scares, many are based around traditional Japanese ghosts and legends, giving a cool insight into just what terrifies the local population.

5. Horror Themed Cafes

There are plenty of dark or spooky themed cafes in Tokyo that are open all year round, but Halloween just seems like the perfect time to pay them a visit. There’s a Yurei Izakaya in Kichijoji which is based around the Japanese afterlife and Christon Cafe in Shinjuku which has a gothic Christian church vibe. If bloodsuckers are your thing, you can grab a bite at the Vampire Cafe.

These are just some general ideas as all the parades and events for 2018 haven't been announced yet. Stay tuned for more information about Halloween in Tokyo this year!

By - Jess.