This weekend will be the first of two sporting Halloween events where mere mortals are encouraged to emulate ghouls, ghosts and goblins.
In actuality, the ominous aspect of Halloween hasn’t really caught on in Japan—it’s mostly kawaii creatures, barely bloody brides, iconic figures and sexy anythings. We’re not complaining though—Tokyo brews up some pretty boisterous events to celebrate the most chilling time of the year, rivaling our thirst for any sort of ghastly gratification.
Our pseudo-creepshow weekend begins with:
The highlight of the weekend is the Kawasaki Halloween Parade, Japan’s most famous Halloween parade, which comes highly recommended. It starts at 2:30 pm and parades 3,500 costumed participants around the Kawasaki Station area.
On the same day is the Omotesando-Harajuku Halloween Pumpkin Parade. This one exudes a more family friendly vibe, so head over if you have kids, or even if you want to stay in the more central area of Tokyo.
Another parade targeted at youngsters is the Tamagawa Halloween Festival with a Sesame Street tie-up.
The Roppongi Halloween Yokai Watch-themed parade is just short of a mile and gives you the chance to go trick or treating. For more info, see #7 on our events list.
(If you still haven’t figured out what you’re going to be, check out our guide to costume and accessory shops here)
With another weekend of Halloween festivities still to come, and for variety’s sake, here are alternative cheapo events for Oct 24-25:
The artfully minded should check out POW! WOW! JAPAN where you can witness the artistic process in action. Visit the Bond Street area in Shinagawa and watch artists create murals and other forms of art. Don’t miss a special exhibition at Wag Gallery and the Block Party finale on Oct 24.
A famous park, a former black market and a whole heap of museums—get to know Ueno:
For a touch of tradition, watch 3,000 dancers and performers at the Nihonbashi-Kyobashi Matsuri taking place on Sunday. Follow up the entertainment with chowing down at one of the 60 food stalls.
Kanda Used Book Festival is a dream come true for any of you word nerds out there. Sidewalks are strewn with bookshelves which themselves are strewn with used, rare and antique books.
Hungry? Try the many different local tastes of ramen at the Tokyo Ramen Show which is being held at the Komazawa Olympic Park.
Sunday is free admission day at Showa Kinen Park, which is perfect timing to see the Cosmos Flower Festival .
Eating on a budget? We checked out some of Tokyo's cheapest fast food options—and they didn't disappoint!
Recommended hotels located nearby
Shibuya, from ¥11,600
Tachikawa, from ¥5,100
Shinjuku, from ¥7,980
Ekoda, from ¥5,000