In anticipation of Halloween tomorrow, I thought the western hemisphere might like to know how this eastern country does Halloween! As you may have guessed, they DO celebrate it here. In fact, they celebrate it nearly to the same extent that we do in America, with pumpkin flavored foods, candy, and costumes. The biggest difference, of course, is they don’t do trick-or-treating at all. In fact, they don’t really wear costumes. I mean, a lot a kids will wear costumes at Disney, or with friends, and they are available in stores, but it’s a lot more rare.
The holiday is more about Halloween themed foods and decorations. Most stores carry pumpkin flavored candies, cakes, and puddings. You can find pumpkin decorations in many places and there is plenty of halloween product to go around. If you really want to wear that costume you bought, however, you’ll have to visit the clubs in Tokyo. Most of those clubs get a lot of foreign visitors, so they hold costume contests and the like. There are also some great, horror-themed restaurants that bump it up for Halloween.
Tokyo Disney also has special Halloween themed decorations, parades, and goods. (When I was at Tokyo Disney Sea, I picked up those awesome Stitch ears) Needless to say, the Japanese love Halloween, but it’s still seen as a Western holiday. At school, I’ve done special “Halloween presentations” about pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, and so on. Although, from what I hear, every year Halloween becomes more and more important in Japan.
Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I was so happy to see Halloween-themed goods start appearing in September but Starbucks didn’t get any pumpkin lattes here… it just wasn’t the same.
Of course, being westerners, we like to share our Halloween culture with all our Japanese friends. So, about two weeks ago, a bunch of us got together for a Halloween themed party, complete with (some) costumes, candy, and mini carved pumpkins! Oh yea, and the most important Halloween past-time: drinking.