Halloween is truly a 21st century holiday in Japan. Tokyo Disneyland first introduced the Happy Halloween Twilight Parade to the land of cosplay in 2000. Universal Studios got into the act in 2002 and the celebration took on a life of its own. These days Disney drags out the pumpkin and witch decorations in early September, and like everything else, Tokyo does Halloween better than anywhere in the world. Aside from simply joining the masses of costume-wearing people who converge in central Shibuya and Roppongi every year, here’s a rundown of our 10 recommended events full of tricks and treats. Click on the event name for the full event listing.
Outside of theme parks, this street festival in Kawasaki celebrating its 22nd year is recognized as the first Halloween party in Japan. Started in 1996 with a parade of 150 people and approximately 500 spectators, these days the festivities draw a crowd of well more than 100,000. Dubbed “kawahalloism,” this year’s event features dancers and avant garde hairstyles and makeup.
Ikebukuro is taken over by over 10,000 cosplayers from all over the world and another 90,000 visitors who come watch. The Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival is an annual event started in 2014 and is now one of the largest cosplay events in Japan.
On the two weeks leading up to Halloween, The Oak Door Bar at Grand Hyatt Tokyo will be crafting some very Instagram-worthy Halloween-themed cocktails. Pick your poison and sip on cocktails such as Love Potion, a unique Champagne-based cocktail guaranteed to make your handsome neighbor fall in love with you, or choose one of the colorful test tube “wisdom shots” made with Aperol, blue curaçao and melon liquor which are sure to give you some of that Frankensteinian savviness.
Take a walk down Tokyo’s darkened alleyways and hear tales of misery, heartache, and the forever damned. Learn about the angry Samurai spirits, go through a haunted tunnel, and drop by the home of Japan’s most famous ghost!
This three-day Halloween festival, headlined by alternative goth rocker Hyde, returns for the 11th year. Halloween Junky Orchestra and numerous other artists will perform in elaborate costume and lead this large-scale Halloween event. Don’t forget your costume!
Love it or hate it, Disney knows how to put on a show — and this year’s Halloween celebrations are no exception. With musical parades, themed merchandise and Halloween-themed foods, this theme park knows how to create a magical experience for everyone.
Satisfy your sweet and sour cravings with Hotel New Grand’s brand-new Halloween Afternoon Tea set, available all of October at the Yokohama institution’s La Terrasse lobby lounge. Putting a spooky spin on their ever-popular afternoon tea, the hotel’s Halloween version features autumn staples such as chestnut, pumpkin, pear, and persimmon desserts, as well as eyeball-shaped rum-chocolates. Yum!
The purrfect event for cat lovers, the Kagurazaka Bakeneko (Supernatural Cat) Festival brings cosplayers, cat fanciers, and Halloween-hungry people together for a one-of-a-kind parade and dance event in central Tokyo. Dress up as a cat and join in the parade, or better yet, the main Onyadori dance event. Have the time of your nine lives at what may litter-ally be the cat’s pajamas!
Sanrio Puroland, better known as Hello Kitty Land Tokyo, will open its doors with a new and gripping Halloween special. The limited event will be split between a kawaii day-time schedule and somewhat scary night-time schedule.
Make some magical fall memories with family and friends at one of the Tokyo’s best attractions! Throughout September, Tokyo Skytree takes on the theme of “Moon Viewing” before getting spooky during October in the run up to Halloween. Enjoy stunning city views and spectacular night scenes with some additional seasonal flair.