Jan 2, 2016

First Halloween in Japan

*I know, I know, I'm terribly behind on posts. Hoping to catch up soon!*

Halloween back home is a pretty big deal. Just about everyone from children to adults do something for Halloween, even if its just something small. Children go trick or treating, parents and other adults might hand out candy, or go to a party. Parties aren't limited to Halloween night itself either. Halloween during my later high school and university years usually included anywhere from 2-5 parties/events spread out over about two weeks.

Halloween in 2010, Japanese Club at my University

In University I always went to the International Student Activity Program's (ISAP's) annual Halloween party, and I would usually organize a party for the Japanese club. Plus I would have sorority/fraternity parties, trick or eat (food bank fundraising) and any other miscellaneous events and parties. Needless to say it was a busy time.

Halloween in Japan is a bit different. Trick or Treating isn't really a thing (though some malls or neighborhoods might hold some sort of event), but parties definitely exist though only at clubs and bars, very rarely in homes. Also, from my experience, its typically only young adults who do the parting, where as in Canada and America its common for married and middle aged adults to also hold and attend various parties.

I wasn't as busy for Halloween this year as I usually am, though I did have quite an experience I'll never forget.

First up was Universal Studios Japan. In the month or so leading up to Halloween USJ turns Halloween themed, complete with horror movie attractions, and after 6pm the park turns into a "zombie apocalypse" zone. I went with a group of friends, though most ditched part way through the day as they mainly came for Harry Potter World.

We spend the rest of the day exploring, going on all kinds of attractions and eating yummy food and snacks. The zombie part after 6pm was amazing and probably my favorite.

I ended up being there from 9am until 9pm - a whole 12 hours. Have I mentioned I really love theme parks? If your ever in Osaka I highly recommend USJ, especially if you are there around October!

The night before Halloween some friends (a band made of Kobe JETs) had a Halloween themed gig at a local expat bar so I went to that which was really fun. Halloween itself was a Saturday and the plan was to spend all night in Osaka.

An Osaka all-nighter on a normal weekend is eventful, a Halloween Osaka all-nighter is madness.
Me and a friend were running late, so I met up with some Vancouver JETs in Osaka at a JET party, which to be honest was pretty lame. We stuck around though because the ticket was expensive and wanted to get as much out of it as we could.That ended at 930 and we headed to the next destination: triangle park...

This part was madness. There must have been thousands of people there. You couldn't move. It took like 40 minutes to get drinks at the combini, and everyone was just chilling in the streets, and even climbing on poles and buildings. 

We chilled there for a long time, I can't even remember how long. We just drank and chatted. People came and went. It was great to see the parade of costumes around you. Japan really doesn't stinge on the costumes. They've got to be some of the most creative, funny, cute, amazing and outlandish costumes I've ever seen on Halloween (or ever?).

*These aint even the cream of the crop, just ones I happen to have taken pictures of* 

A group of us eventually decided to wander, and see what we could find outside of triangle park. I can't remember exactly what we did. Mainly just walked around, we found food and had some more drinks, then wandered back to the park where the party was still going strong. By this time it was about 4am and we were getting pretty tired. We hit up ramen while we waited for first train, then headed home.

Ramen is already heavenly, but its 1000x more so at 4am when your drunk

Honestly, it wasn't the most crazy night and it could have been a lot more fun. Some friends ditched the all-nighter early on which sucked, and the JET party was a downer. After the park we couldn't agree on somewhere we all wanted to go, though wandering and chilling over drinks and food was fun too - just not a raging party like I was hoping the night to be. But, it was still amazing to see how crazy Japan got at Halloween. Everywhere we walked there were people in crazy costumes getting crazy drunk and going wild. Halloween also brought out all the nice cars too, which were lined up on the streets, backs open and music blasting providing a neat atmosphere outside.

I'm excited to see what next years Halloween brings!