Gather round, cheapo ghoulies and ghosties; the haunting season has arrived! Rehearse your most blood-curdling screams, pick up your cape from the dry cleaner, unearth your robes from the mothballs—it’s time to get ghastly for parties in Tokyo.
Go a little overboard with the sandwiches this summer? Attend one too many drinking parties? Is your favorite frightening frock bursting at the seams? Or just looking for something a little more this season? If money is no object and you can afford to splash out (we’re looking at you, vampires), Tokyu Hands has a good selection of dastardly duds. But for the rest of us, Don Quixote or Village Vanguard has a range of ready-to-wear starting around 1,000 yen. For crafty creatures with more time (and less money) on their hands, 100 yen shops like Daiso and Seria have a bunch of themed treats as well as spangles, sparkles, sequins, glue guns, and so on. Claire’s has a few bits and bobs (think pumpkin and witch motif accessories), and secondhand shops like Kinji and Hard-Off are good for ensemble elements if you feel like walking amongst the muggles.
What About Jack?
As for your jack-o-lantern needs, big orange pumpkins can be hard to come by and not at all inexpensive! If you simply cannot do without, florists are a likely bet, but a solid specimen will probably set you back at least 1-2,000 yen. Or you can do as the local loonies do, and try carving a kabocha squash or even a watermelon.
Of course, we recommend that you source your own eye-of-newt, toadstools, bat wings, virgin tears, etc. in the wild. The prepackaged stuff just isn’t the same.
On the Town
Once your fright night frippery is all in place, time to hobnob with your fellow freaks at one of these gatherings. Don’t forget your favorite familiar!
The week before Halloween is Japan’s most famous Halloween celebration: the Kawasaki Halloween Parade (only recently rivaled by the Shibuya and Roppongi street parties). You can march La Citadella’s outdoor arcade near Kawasaki Station with a few thousand of your best fiends. Or head over to the Omotesando Halloween Pumpkin Parade for all those mini monsters out there—this event is kid-friendly. And for a full list of parades and events in the city, we’ve got you covered with our Tokyo Cheapo Guide to Halloween 2016.
And in case you’re wondering about the Halloween Party Train, it hasn’t happened in the past 5 or 6 years, so it’s doubtful to happen this year. Plus, the street parties in Shibuya and Roppongi are gaining massive popularity, so you might just want to buy some conbini booze, post up somewhere central, people-watch with your friends and join in on the collective wickedness of the night.
In our pilot episode, we're joined by Alvin Cheung of ABC Coffee, Hapnick, and Tokyo Keyboards