The Savvy Guide To Halloween 2016
Where to Party, Shop & Eat
All hell breaks loose when Jack-O-Lantern meets Hachiko.
More than the sweet potatoes, the persimmons and the grilled sanma, autumn in Japan is really all about the #Jack-O-Lantern. Yes, it’s that time of the year again. So whether you’re planning on hitting the Tokyo streets on the last weekend of October, partying like there’s no tomorrow, or just looking for some awesome photo opps, celebrate the season in style with our guide to Halloween in the city!
Events: Dress To Impress & Parade In Style
Roppongi Hills Halloween Parade
Anyone wearing a costume can join this famous annual parade but make sure you show up in something that comes close to a movie hero (you know, anything but Tom Cruise). This year’s theme is Cinema in-line with the ongoing Tokyo International Film Festival in Roppongi.
When: Sat, October 29, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: Roppongi Hills Arena area. Register upon arrival between 9:45 a.m. to 1:00p.m.
Kawasaki Halloween Parade
One of THE biggest Halloween parades in Japan, this one has 2,500 participants wearing the freakiest and most creative costumes walking for approximately 1.5 km along the streets of Kawasaki to a backtrack of live DJ music.
When: Sun, October 30, 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: JR Kawasaki station, east exit
Cost: ¥1,000. Register between 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival
No area in Tokyo can perform better than Ikebukuro when it comes to cosplaying, so it makes perfect sense that one of the largest Halloween festivals is held here. This event features everything from face paint for the kids, a chance to walk a runway along with fellow cosplayers, cafes, photo booths and even a free costume-mending stall in case (parts of) your shoulders fall off. A great chance to boost your #Halloween.
When: Sat, October 29 and Sun, October 30, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: JR Ikebukuro station, east exit area
Ueno turns into a spooky highland with all shops and restaurants in the area celebrating the event with special promotions and treats. But the best part is held on Saturday, October 29th when hundreds of costume-clad Tokyoites will be parading all the way from Ueno Park to Okachimachi station competing for the best costume award. Show up on the day in your scariest self and beat the rest for a fabulous prize!
When: Sat, October 29
Where: Ueno Park Halloween Village (Register and Start), JR Okachimachi station south exit (Goal)
Cost: ¥2,500 (adults over 13 years old), ¥1,300 (kids under 12 years old) Register upon arrival between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Haunted Walking Tours
If costumes and tricks are not your thing, join these Haunted Tokyo Tours for a real goose-bump experience. Expert ghost busters are organizing two special tours taking you on a stroll around Tokyo’s haunted streets, passing through ghostly tunnels, a cemetery and other spooky locations. Book in advance and don’t be late on the day, because ghosts dislike a lack of punctuality.
Backstreets Tokyo Ghost Walk
When: Saturday 29 October 2016, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Where: Meet at Shinanomachi Station, on the JR Chuo-Sobu Line
Graveyard Mystery Tour
When: 30 October 2016, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Where: Meet at Nogizaka Station, Exit 1 on the Chiyoda line
Though there is no official public Halloween parade out in Shibuya per se, we all know that this is where all the Minions, zombies and nurses will gather on the last weekend of the month.
The real fun is here and it gets really wild with plenty of what-happens-in-Shibuya-stays-in-Shibuya kind of entertainment.
For indoors fun, head to some of the area’s best clubs, namely Womb, I2 (former T-2), Camelot and Vision, all of which will be throwing special Halloween parties on the last weekend of the month.© Photo by Hideya HAMANO
Shopping For Treats: Costumes, Home party Goods, Sweets & MakeUp
Famous for imported cute gadgets and snacks, here you’ll find all the treats you need to remind you of back home, including Haribo (Vampire flavor), DIY goods, cards, decorations and the perfect makeup for your Halloween look.
Head here if you’re looking for face paint and costume makeup because this wonderland has THE biggest collection for those purposes (in-between all other Halloween-related items). Costs vary between ¥800 to ¥1,700.
While you could argue that Don Quijote is a Halloween experience in itself, there’s no doubt you’ll find your costume somewhere in and among the decorations, sweets, games, electronics and bath soap. You can be whatever your heart desires at Don Quijote and it won’t break the bank — all costumes here are priced between ¥3,000 and ¥9,000.
National Azabu Supermarket
A heaven on earth for anyone looking for goods from abroad, here you’ll find everything you need if you’re organizing a Halloween celebration à la back-home. Pumpkins of four different sizes are also available if you’ll be carving the Jack yourself. Prices vary from ¥540 for the smallest size to ¥4,500 for the largest.
Special Treats: Halloween-themed Sweets & Cakes
Pablo’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts
Popular cheese cake shop Pablo offers several limited pumpkin-editions of its delicious sweets for ¥300 apiece. If you’re having a Halloween home party, bring those and you’ll be the star of the night. Guaranteed.
Max Brenner’s Jack-O-Lantern Crepe Pasta
The Aussie chocolaterie is on a mission here: test your sanity and satisfy your gastro desires. It looks like spaghetti and a marron pudding at the same time, it has an intriguing spider web around it and it comes with sauce in a tube. Presenting the Jack-O-Lantern Crepe Pasta (¥1,400).
Q-pot cafe’s Trick Or Treat Plate
One of our favorite cafe chains is offering a Halloween-limited dessert plate featuring lovely ghost berry sauce vanilla mousse, pumpkin macaroon, croissants, sesame mouse and pumpkin soup altogether for ¥2,060, including a drink. The perfect treat for an afternoon with your friends or family. Available in all stores, including Harajuku’s (3-7-11 Kitaaoyama, Minato-ku).
Conrad Tokyo’s Halloween Afternoon Tea Set
This stylish hotel in Tokyo’s Shiodome has created a unique Halloween-themed afternoon set (¥3,950), offering you 11 super cute bites, including a pumpkin salad sandwich, ghost macarons, chestnut and chocolate cakes and a mysterious blue drink that transforms once you add syrup. Served from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and national holidays, this special treat is available until October 31.
Seven Eleven’s Cutest Ever Halloween Cakes
We can’t spend a day without a stop by at Seven-Eleven and recently those sweet cakes and sacks have been seriously sabotaging our diet. Among the plenty of special treats for the season, we choose the Black Cat and Pumpkin Cakes (¥328 each). Halloween or not, take one home — it will make your day a better one.
May you all have a spooky Halloween!