I’ve been living in the Kansai area of Japan for a few years now and one of the yearly highlights for me has definitely always been Halloween! Back when I was living in England there’d usually be a few people out on the town dressed up and maybe the occasional party but nothing to compare to the celebrations in Japan!
I think one of the big reasons Halloween is so much fun in Japan is the sheer number of people you see out in costume. I’ve been to Halloween parties here on Halloween itself as well as the weekends on either side and every time nearly everyone has made the effort to don an outfit for the occasion. Another great thing on Halloween is that no one is shy about approaching each other and posing for pictures!
There’s parties organised in most of the bigger bars around Osaka and Kyoto but, for me, the best place to be at halloween by far is Triangle park (or Sankaku Koen) in Shinsaibashi, Osaka.
On the weekends surrounding Halloween, especially the Saturday closest to the 31st, the park and the streets around it fill up with hundreds of people out in full costume to celebrate! One of the extraordinary things is that there is no organisation or planning seemingly involved, at least I’ve never seen an announcement or poster advertising it, everyone just turns up!
There’re a few convenience stores by the park to keep everyone in beer so as well as being one of the biggest Halloween parties it’s also probably the cheapest!
The array of costumes on display is unbelievable! Popular anime and manga characters are a popular choice alongside the most traditional selection of monsters and ghouls for Halloween. Unsurprisingly in a country famous for its cosplaying some of the outfits are frighteningly realistic while others are simply great fun! Last year I saw the whole One piece crew, zombie brides and pieces of sushi all drinking together!
If you’re lucky enough to be in Kansai at Halloween time don’t miss all the fun! Get yourself down to triangle park for a great night!