Though Japan has only caught onto the wicked excuse to party that is Halloween within the last decade, there’s no shortage of celebrations. In Tokyo, Shibuya is notorious for its street-drinking madness and Universal Studios Japan in Osaka gets overrun by zombies. Throw on your best sexy nun costume and check out these 10 ways to get your spook on this Halloween!
1. Shibuya Crossing Halloween Madness
The biggest unofficial Halloween hoopla in Japan is at Shibuya Crossing, so stock up on drinks at the convenience store and join over 1 million people at this insane street party. Shibuya encompasses the greatest things about Halloween: gore, drinking and groups of grown men dressed as schoolgirls. If you don’t want to drink outside, head to nearby nightclubs Womb, Legato Sky Lounge or Trump Room. They host Halloween parties the weekend before Halloween through the night of.
2. Tokyo Decadence Halloween
This is the party for people who love going all out with their costumes. The more extravagant your costume, the cheaper the entrance fee to Tokyo Decadence Halloween at XEX in Nihonbashi. There’s two floors of chaos including circus acts, stilt performers and international DJs. If you’re interested in partying with topless hostesses, there’s also a VIP experience.
Halloween Food in Japan
3. Creepy Restaurants and Dessert Buffets
Take part in your own funeral at Tokyo’s ghost bar Yurei Bar. Or enjoy test tube and blood bag cocktails and severed-hand-shaped appetizers at the prison-themed restaurant, The Lockup, which has locations around Japan. For further indulgence, check out the Halloween-themed dessert buffets at hotels like the Hilton Odaiba or the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, to name a few. Last, though you won’t be able to grab a Starbucks Japan version of the pumpkin spice drink (it ended on Oct. 17!), you can get a bit spooky with their limited-time Halloween “Witch Frappuccino” until Oct. 31.
Horror Nights at Amusement Parks
4. Universal Studios Japan Halloween Horror Nights
In addition to the usual street zombies, this year at USJ there’s a ghost ship and gothic vampire maze. Beloved frights like Sadako’s Cursed Attraction and Chucky’s Hospital Ward of Madness will terrorize park visitors once again.
5. Nagashima Spa Land Zombie Island
The zombies at Nagashima Spa Land in Mie Prefecture love dancing so don’t miss their performances, complete with zombie DJs. The highlight is the nighttime zombie dance party. Keep your eyes peeled for prison escapee zombies who are wreaking havoc over the park. Can you catch them all (with your camera) and help the zombie investigative team restore peace back to Nagashima?
Halloween Parades and Festivals
6. Kawasaki Halloween Parade
This is the original Halloween celebration in Japan and continues to grow with 2,500 participants last year. It even includes an LGBT pride section and a nighttime after party. If you aren’t skilled at makeup, get done up at one of the makeup booths.
7. Ikebukuro Cosplay Festival
It wouldn’t be Halloween in Japan without cosplay in the heart of Ikebukuro. Meet up with others cosplaying from the same anime as you for group photoshoots, buy props at the flea market and walk the red carpet fashion show.
Offbeat Halloween Events
8. Gothic Fetish Halloween party and Kinbaku Lounge
Come to the dark side: There’s candy and Japanese rope bondage. This small dungeon studio in Shin-Okubo (Tokyo’s Korea Town) will have dancing, drinks and a fetish play area so don’t be scared to show up in your shiniest latex gimp suit. (First-timers are welcome.)
9. Haunted Tokyo Ghost Walk Tour
Celebrate Halloween with some real ghosts. Explore a haunted tunnel or visit the site where star-crossed lovers committed double suicide in Tokyo’s red light district if you’re not too scared. Make sure to book your spot in advance.
10. Asakusa Deathfest
Japan’s biggest underground metal festival is on the weekend before Halloween at Asakusa Gold Sounds. This year’s ritual will host Finnish Death metallers Convulse alongside Japanese favorites like Unholy Graves. Not that metalheads need a special occasion for drinking and listening to “scary” music.