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Happy Halloween, Tokyo!

This year Halloween has gotten a big deal in Tokyo. Crowds of Japanese parents and kids, all dressed up, were walking from one shop/cafe to another to get some candies. Actually, as I’m writing this, I think they still are. It seems that all smart entrepreneurs in the city decided use Halloween as a bait to increase their sales today. It worked well.

Halloween

At least the cafe where I stayed today, was absolutely packed with little dragons, Aladdins, Snow Whites and witches. Not sure they were having actual fun, though. Also, there were no signs of dressed up foreigners on the streets (kids or adults). Even in Azabu-Juban!Halloween

The price of a pumpkin pie (or pumpkin tart, which means any variation that does not look like classic American pie) slice went sky-high long before Halloween. I’m not sure Japanese people are much into them. But all other Halloween shaped or themed pastry and cakes were selling like hotcakes recently.Halloween

Even the local authorities took Halloween seriously. Numerous subway posters could be seen here and there. This one is about keeping Tokyo clean while celebrating. Yesterday they were actually giving out the orange Jack O’Lantern bags.HalloweenThis event went off without a hitch. And without any special atmosphere as well. Japanese people don’t decorate their houses for Halloween, and they don’t really understand the reason behind it. They don’t pass out candies to trick-or-treaters. But they do like haunted houses and horror movies, and the young people enjoy dressing up for Halloween party. A party is also a good reason to drink pumpkin beer (actually, any alcoholic beverages will pass).HalloweenI guess that in 30 or 40 years Halloween will become an integral and very unique part of Japanese culture. Just as it was with Valentine’s Day.

Article by Olga Kaneda

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