Halloween has become a massive hit for Tokyo in the last decade, and while taking on most of the Western traditions — trick-or-treat, parades, spooky costumes — there are some events that have a distinctive Japanese spin.

Festivities can happen in Tokyo way before October 31 — at least once every weekend of the month. There’s something for everyone, from the family-friendly to the I-probably-shouldn’t-show-my-child-this. Take a look below and you’ll see what we mean.

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Tokyo Disney Resort Halloween (Sep 15–Oct 31)

disneyland entrance halloween
Photo by iStock/Vera Tiknohova

The happiest place on earth has turned spooky. Expect parades, themed food and merchandise, as well as special decorations at both parks. What makes this seasonal event different from other times of the year is that you can finally dress up as your favorite Disney character. Usually a privilege reserved for those under 12, Tokyo Disney Resort allows all ages to don a princess dress and enjoy the thrills. There are some rules and regulations (it is Disney after all), so make sure to check our event listing below for details. Also, read our article on how to save money at Disney.

Kagurazaka Bake Neko Festival (Oct 16)

Photo by Tiffany Lim

Bake neko literally translates to “changed cat” — a perfect description of this parade. You won’t find any normal kitties here; everyone is human (sorry to spoil the magic). By blending Japanese folklore with Halloween, the organizers have created a spectacular event filled with unnatural feline features and humans transformed into cat ghosts, cat demons, and cat monsters.

It costs ¥500 to join the parade, but children below junior-high-school age can enter for free. To join, all you need to do is to dress up as a cat or simply have a costume with cat motifs, even something as simple as cat ears will do.

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Futako-Tamagawa Halloween Party (Oct 29–30)

Photo by Futako Tamagawa Rise

A family-oriented Halloween event, the Tamagawa Halloween Festival focuses on child-parent fun with craft workshops, a costume contest, a stamp rally, and of course, parades on both days.

Where: Various locations around Futako-Tamagawa Station:

  • Tamagawa Takashimaya SC, in front of the first floor of the main entrance
  • Futako-Tamagawa Rise Galleria’s Central Square and Hanamizuki Square
  • Itscom Studio and Hall

Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival (Oct 29–30)

Photo by Tiffany Lim

It’s a good time to be in cosplay in Ikebukuro during Halloween. However, you won’t find many monsters here — this event is more otaku (geek)-oriented than others. The heart of this Halloween festival is Sunshine City’s open-air space (as well as the nearby park), but during this weekend, you’ll see cosplayers all over East Ikebukuro’s main shopping area. There will also be plenty of other activities and attractions: a cosplay runway, stage events, gatherings for characters of similar series/themes, a parade, parties, and much more.

Regular cosplay entry starts at ¥2,500 per day and gets you changing room access. See the event listing for more details.

Omotesando Halloween Pumpkin Parade (Oct 27)

children in halloween costumes
Photo by iStock.com/Tatsushi Takada

This Halloween celebration that usually gets over a thousand participants each year is mainly for the kiddies. Pre-registration is required; you can start purchasing an entry badge at level B2 of Omotesando Hills from 11 am on October 14.

On the 27th, the parade will be from 1 pm until around 2:30. Only children aged 12 and under, as well as their guardians, can participate in the parade. As trick-or-treating is one of the activities at this parade, kids can get some treats afterwards, and some shops and restaurants around the area are known to give special discounts and services to costumed participants.

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The JR Pass is a 1 week pass that allows unlimited travel on Japan Rail lines throughout the country. This ticket is extraordinarily good value for long distance and inter-city travel. *Restrictions: Can only be purchased by temporary visitor visa holders not already in Japan. ...

Yokohama Yamate Seiyoukan Halloween Walk (Oct 30)

The Yamate area of Yokohama is known for its Western-style houses, remnants of the time when the area was an enclave for Westerners. On the 30th, from 10 am to 4 pm, there will be a stamp rally for costumed participants. Collect stamps from various locations in the Yamate area—including some houses and a park—and get prizes for being one of the fastest to complete them. Additionally, there will be a costume contest, food and merchandise, and a face-painting booth.

Where: Yamate Seiyoukan (Motomachi-Chukagai or Ishikawacho Station)

Kichijoji Halloween Festival (October 29–30)

Another very kid-orientated event, this weekday parade is advertised as one that is “by moms, for moms” (sorry, dads). The organizers are looking for mother-and-child participants, with the kids supposed to be aged six and under.

Shibuya Halloween (Oct 29–30)

Tokyo Halloween 2019
Shibuya Halloween crowd | Photo by David Ishikawa

Watched by millions, Halloween in Shibuya has become famous (or we could say, infamous) around the world. There is no organizer for the event; it is an unregulated meet-up of Halloween lovers across Tokyo (and Japan), so feast your eyes on an array of costumes from the disturbing to the hilarious.

Authorities have tried to cut down on the debauchery in recent years by banning street drinking, not allowing convenience stores in the area to sell alcohol, and keeping the roads closed to pedestrians — but this still didn’t stop the hordes from parading across Shibuya Crossing last year.

If your idea of Halloween involves haunted houses and scream-park attractions, you might want to head to Osaka for Universal Studios Japan‘s Halloween Horror Nights. But you don’t have to go that far — our guide to Tokyo’s top haunted house attractions might be of help.

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