With Halloween around the corner you might be wondering, “Is Halloween different in Japan?” and the answer is pretty simple, “Yes.” The truth is, mass Halloween celebrations in Japan are relatively new and have been increasing in popularity over the last 5 – 10 years. Just like Christmas, Japan has its own take on Halloween. Though there isn’t much to find in the way of Trick-or-Treating, there is plenty of fun to be had all around Akihabara and Tokyo. As we head into the season of spook, here’s what to do so you can make sure you have the best Halloween yet!
How to Finding Your Costume
Akihabara’s Don Quijote
First up is finding your costume! Don Quijote in Akihabara is well known for having anything you could ask for, and that includes a unique (and cheap) line-up of colored contacts, cosplay, candy, and decorations. The entire 5th floor is dedicated to cosplay, and this branch is known for stocking over 1400 costumes year round and upping the total during Halloween.
Don Quijote’s Address:
4-3-3 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
If you’re looking for more detailed costumes, then Cospa is your best option. Located on the third floor of the GEE! store, Cospa has everything you’ll need to build your own or buy. Inside, you’ll see a product range from dying tools, wigs, fabrics, SFX makeup, and wigs. If you’re more into purchasing out of the box, don’t worry, they have a wide range of cosplays from all your favorite movies and anime.
3F, GEE! STORE AKIBA, 3-15-5, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Where to Eat?
Japan is known for theme cafe’ and restaurants, Akihabara especially! Here, you’ll find a few creepy cute Maid Cafe’ that are must-visits during the Halloween season.
A devilishly charming place with sinful desserts and deliciously fun atmosphere! Not quite an izakaya and not quite a maid cafe, Little BSD advertises itself as a cosplay bar filled with cute and talented cosplayers. It’s aesthetic could be described as low red lighting and latex, because the theme is all centered around if Dante’s Inferno had a level entirely dedicated to the sin of being just too cute. The food follows suit, with things like black and white bat curry, lavender “poison” swamp hot cakes, devil shakers and worm rolls! They even have a variety of mixed drinks in bright, saturated colors, including one called, “devil’s prank.” During the season, they also host various theme nights! The atmosphere, combined with devilishly good treats, make for a great, ghoulish and geeky dining experience.
LittleBSD Cosplay Tavern’s Address
Yubinbango101-0021, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Soto-Kanda 3-7-12
Isamiya eighth building 4F
Events and Shopping
Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival
Once you have your costumes in order, it’s time to show it off! Japan has a few festivals and street parties going on at this time, but none quite so nerdy as the Ikebukuro Cosplay Festival. It started in 2014 and has had over 10k attendees with many more coming in just to see the fantastic cosplayers it draws in each year!
Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival Information
Time: October 28th (sat.) – 29th (sun.) 2017, 10:00 – 18:00
Free: Cosplayers who register for the event have to pay a 1,000 yen free.
Location: Ikebukuro Station East Exit Area
If you’re at a loss for what to do in the area, there is always SHOPPING! Stores around Akiba are littered with seasonal merchandise from UFO catchers, gatchas and stores themselves will carry special lines in honor of our great pumpkin god. This year, Kotobukiya has decided to re-release some of America’s scary movie classics as stunning figures.
Though Halloween is translated differently no matter where you go, Akihabara is one of those places that pulls out all the stops for a well-loved and internationally growing holiday! So while we explore Akiba in the weeks leading up to Halloween, keep your eyes peeled for spooks and ghouls lurking around our favorite collectible shops and don’t forget to pick up a few treats along the way (or even a trick or two).
Caitlin Macatee is a comedian, writer and convention host who specializes in geek and pop culture knowledge.