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A Complete Guide to the Main Halloween Events across Japan in 2017, Including Sweet Events and Spooky Events, and Fashionable Festive Make-ups and Costumes!(1/2)

Halloween of 2017 is on October 31 (Tuesday). Although it is not a national holiday, such recreational facilities as amusement parks and aquariums across Japan have already vied to initiate various Halloween campaigns. Festive commodities are everywhere from department stores to 100-yen stores. The traditional festival from the western world has turned into a great occasion in Japan in fall. The following is a summary of the information on Halloween events in Japan.

Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween!

Contents

Halloween in Japan

Halloween, the eve of All Saints’ Day that is a festival originating from the Western world, is traditionally believed to be the time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest, so the festival sounds like the Bon Festival in Japan. But because that Halloween is closely associated with jack-o’-lanterns made from pumpkin, lovely scarecrows and role-playing & costume parade deriving from children’s trick or treating, these activities soon gained in popularity with young Japanese and the festival has turned into a special fall occasion in Japan.

Jack-o’-lantern, a symbol of Halloween
Jack-o’-lantern, a symbol of Halloween

A Brief History of Halloween Events in Japan

Halloween is said to be introduced to Japan by Kiddy Land, a toy store at Harajuku, in the 1970s; that is to say, the relevant celebrations trace their history to that period, when only some symbolic commodities such as jack-o’-lanterns were sold during the Halloween period. In 1983, the toy store held a trick or treating parade mainly among children, which is believed to be the first formal introduction of Halloween activities to Japan.

In 1997, Tokyo Disneyland held “Disney Happy Halloween”, the first great celebration of Halloween in Japan. The celebration only on October 31 was such a massive hit that various recreation facilities started to follow suit one after another and there was a upsurge in celebration of Halloween across Japan.

On October 31, 2000, some young people dressed up like apparitions or cartoon characters, and staged a parade near the Shibuya Crossing, and some adults began to take great delight in the celebrations of Halloween once limited to family-friendly activities. Hence, Halloween became established as an annual fall event in Japan.

The following Halloween events taking place in Japan in 2017 are recommended to you. The video below can give you a glimpse of Halloween in Tokyo!

★Video on Halloween Celebrations at Shibuya ★

2017 Halloween Events Suitable for You (with Tips on Fashionable Festive Costumes in Japan)

During the Halloween period (early October to late October), the Japanese normally select an event creating an atmosphere they like, as 2017 sees a multitude of Halloween events across Japan, most of which are family-friendly & sweet or conventional & spooky. In light of this, we make the following recommendations.

Five Family-Friendly & Sweet Halloween Events

1. A Most Enjoyable Time with Your Family at Disney Resort on Halloween!

Both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea will hold Halloween events. This is the 20th year that “Dinsey’s Halloween” has been held at Tokyo Disney Resort, and both parks allow guests to dress up as Disney Characters on any day during the event period! All the following activities are conducted between September 8, 2017 and October 31, 2017.

The Halloween Pop’n LIVE, a Halloween music festival, is held in Tokyo Disneyland Park. Mickey Mouse and his Disney Friends, together with the ghosts and skeletons who are entertainment “stars”, come to give guests a fun time along the parade route. ♪

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Halloween Pop’n LIVE at Tokyo Disneyland Park

Venue
Parade route
Duration
About 45 minutes (performances: 2 daily)
Number of performers
95

“The Villains World”, an entertainment show, is staged at Tokyo DisneySea Park. A Halloween party is hosted by the Disney Villains at Mediterranean Harbor, while Mickey Mouse and his Disney friends are invited to attend the party in costumes themed to the Disney Villains to celebrate Halloween. ♫
Besides, Night High Halloween, a fireworks show, is staged at night. (about 5 minutes) ♡The Villain World ©Disney

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The Villain World at Tokyo DisneySea Park

Venue
Mediterranean Harbor
Duration
About 25 minutes (3 daily)
Number of performers
About 120

2. Super Sweet Puro Halloween Party in Sanrio Puroland!

Sanrio Puroland, also known as Hello Kitty Land Tokyo, is holding a special event called “Puro Halloween Party” from September 8 through October 31, which features parallel running daytime and nighttime events titled “Cosplay during the day! Scream at night!” that are completely different in atmosphere. Although the party is haunted by Pierrots at night, Kitty can help you to drive off them. ♡

Puro Halloween Party at Sanrio Puroland ♡
Puro Halloween Party at Sanrio Puroland ♡

Video on the Puro Halloween Party at Sanrio Puroland

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2017 Puro Halloween Party at Sanrio Puroland

Address
1-31, Ochiai, Tama, Tokyo[Map][MAP]
Phone
042-339-1111
Dates
September 8 to October 31
WEB
WebsiteOfficial website (in Japanese)
Transportation
Get off at Tama-Center Station Station on the Keio Line

3. Halloween Cats’ Parade at Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch ♪

At Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch, 2017 Halloween is celebrated with cats! (ΦωΦ) During the Cats’ Festival held between September 9 and October 31, Huis Ten Bosch is swarming with of “cats”! All participants wear cat ears to disguise themselves as “catmen” or “catwomen”, and parade with cat floats in all sizes at a cheerful and relaxed pace. ♪ The largest cat float is 7 m tall! But when night falls, some cats might change into “ghost cats”, and catch you off-guard!

Video on the Halloween Cats’ Parade at Huis Ten Bosch

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Halloween Cats’ Parade at Huis Ten Bosch

Dates
September 9 to October 31, 2017
Hours
13:40-14:20
Address
1-1, Huis Ten Bosch, Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture[Map][MAP]
WEB
Website Official website (in traditional Chinese)

4. Kichijoji Halloween Event Oriented to Moms and Kids Only ♡

Every year, the Japanese vote Tokyo’s Kichijoji the number 1 place where they would live. The Halloween event held there has an air of coziness and homelikeness. Besides a costume parade planned for children, a stroller parade is planned for mothers and babies. ♡

There are two types of festive activities: trick or treating (5 to 10 stores) and trick or treating plus costume parade. One-day tickets can be downloaded from the website of the host after booking and making payment. Then you can attend the event by producing the ticket for that day to the store. The 2017 Halloween event will be held on October 24 and October 25.

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2017 Halloween Event at Kichijoji

Address
2-3-1, Kichijoji Hommachi, Musashino, Tokyo[Map][MAP]
Venue
North Plaza of Tokyu Department Store Kichijoji Store
Dates
October 24 to October 25, 2017
Hours
14:45-16:45
WEB
Website Official website (in Japanese)

5. 2017 Yokohama Halloween in Utsukushigaoka Park

The Yokohama Halloween event held in Aoba-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture is the greatest Halloween event representative of Yokohama. The venue is near Utsukushigaoka Park beside Tama-Plaza Station on the Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line. Although seldom visited by tourists, this is a well-planned place that boasts many shopping centers attracting parents and children!

After attending the festive event, you may go shopping nearby, or take a streetcar on the Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line for Minami-Machida Station (four-station away), which is also recommended. Leaving the exit of Minami-Machida Station, you will be greeted with Grandberry Mall, and the whole neighbourhood is dotted with outlets.

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2017 Yokohama Halloween Event

Address
2-2-22, Utsukushigaoka, Aoba-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture[Map][MAP]
Venue
Utsukushigaoka Park
Dates
October 28, 2017
Hours
10:00-17:00
WEB
Website Official website (in Japanese)

Five Conventional & Spooky Halloween Events

1. Hair-Raising and Spine-Chilling Halloween Horror Night at Universal Studios!

Universal Studios Japan is the largest amusement park in western Japan, and thus a contributor to the skyrocketing prices of the land around the park. An annual big Halloween event is held there. This year, it takes place between September 8 and November 5. Besides “Festa de Parade” and “Happy Happy Trick or Treat”, the Halloween Horror Night is highly recommended!

During the Halloween Horror Night at night, you will see menacing ghost processions and brandishing zombies in the park, or you might be chased by ghouls. So timid people are advised to get prepared! (´・ω・`)
If you are uncomfortable with horror-themed content, or if you are accompanying children, please make your way to the Safety Area, where there is no undead creature.

※ The Safety Area includes the Minion Park, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Universal Wonderland.

Video on the Halloween Horror Night at Universal Studios

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2017 Halloween Event at Universal Studios Japan

Address
2-1-33, Sakurajima, Konohana-ku, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture[Map][MAP]
Venue
All over Universal Studios Japan
Dates
September 9 to November 5, 2017
Hours
18:00~closing time
WEB
Website Official website (in Japanese)

2. Shibuya Halloween Event, with Adults also Reveling

Shibuya is always inundated with activities on Halloween. During the Halloween period in 2016, several thousand of guisers were parading at Shibuya, and local policemen worked deep into night to relieve traffic congestion. (^_^;)

Participants wander around the Shibuya Crossing after dressing up to celebrate Halloween! It is expected that the event will take place between October 28 and October 31. It has three features:

  • Freedom! …… There is no organizer, but people seem to purposely head there!
  • Crowdedness! …… The streets are packed with weird people, aliens or non-human creatures ……
  • No restriction! …… There is no limit on role-playing! Every character, from lovely Alice, zombies, ghosts, nurses, vampires, cartoon characters, politicians, to even characters you can’t image, come into view. (*´ω`*)

Video on Halloween Celebrations at Shibuya

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Shibuya Halloween Event 2017

Venue
In front of the Shibuya Crossing, and between the Bunkamura and Dogenzaka
Dates
October 28 to October 31, 2017
Hours
18:00-22:00~

3. Tokai Halloween Party, the Greatest Event in the Tokai Region

The greatest Halloween event of the Tokai region is held at Mie Prefecture’s Nagashima Spa Land each year. From 5 pm, ferocious zombies begin to haunt the park, and they hide in various zones and wait for having visitors spooked, even DJs will change into undead creatures. You might have to flee for your life in terrifying music!

Video on Tokai Halloween Party

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2017 Tokai Halloween Party

Address
333, Nagashimacho Urayasu, Kuwana-shi, Mie[Map][MAP]
Venue
In Nagashima Spa Land
Dates
The 7th, 8th, 14th, 21st, 28th & 29th days of October 2017
Hours
17:30-20:00

4. Kawasaki Halloween Event, with Over 100,000 Participants

The Halloween parade staged in Kanagawa Prefecture’s Kawasaki is reputed to be the biggest parade in Japan. Each year, it draws more than 100,000 performers and visitors across the country. When the event takes place, traffic restraint will be imposed on the roads near Kawasaki Station. The large procession around Kawasaki Station feature most fabulous and fantastic costumes in Japan, so be sure to check it out! The winner of the post-parade costume contest can receive amazing travel tickets or a monetary award.

Video on Kawasaki Halloween Event

5. Fukuoka Kokura Halloween, the Greatest One in Western Japan!

The annual Halloween event held in Kokura, Fukuoka Prefecture, Northern Kyushu, is reputed to be greatest one in western Japan. The 2017 Halloween event will be held on October 15 (Sunday). Besides big parades in the downtown, there are small music festivals held elsewhere. The event features not only activities for common participants, but also interesting parades limited to the enterprises in Kyushu!

Video on the Kokura Halloween Event in Fukuoka

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2017 Kokura Halloween Event in Fukuoka

Venue
JAM Plaza, 3F, JR Kokura Station
Address
1-1-1, Asano, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture[Map][MAP]
Date
October 15, 2017
WEB
Website Official website (in Japanese)

The said are the family-friendly & sweet Halloween events and conventional & spooky Halloween events across Japan in 2017.

PS: Fashionable Halloween Costumes in Japan in 2017

The fashionable costumes for 2017’s Halloween in Japan can be grouped into two styles: conventional ones and fashionable ones. Conventional men dress up like pirates, and women like witches; kids can dress like pumpkin or ninja. Actually, the dressing in The Walking Dead, the most popular TV series in Japan, is most recommended! Season 8 of the series that will telecast for the first time on October 22, 2017, coincides with Halloween events!

Costume website (in Japanese)

※ Attention, How To Create a Zombie-Like Look?

If you want to dress up like a zombie, instead of a main character in the Walking Dead, some skills in making up might be required. Relevant video tutorials are necessarily available in your country, and here is a tutorial featured by some Japanese.