Halloween season kicks off at theme parks, stores

posted on September 6, 2016

The Halloween season kicks off in Japan this week with the festivities beginning at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea where parades and other events will be held until Oct 31.

Disney's annual festival, which starts on Friday, includes Mickey Mouse and his friends joining ghost and skeleton "stars" in entertaining guests with a variety of amusing and exciting musical performances in "Halloween Pop'n LIVE," presented along the parade route. Along the streets of World Bazaar, cobwebs and jack-o'-lanterns and other Halloween decorations will be set up, raising the Halloween mood even more. Again this year, Westernland, Fantasyland and Toontown will be decorated with pumpkins, ghosts and more for a lively and cheerful atmosphere.

Universal Studios Japan in Osaka will also start its Halloween events from Friday and extend them until Nov 6. The all-new, chilling J-Horror Area has interactive mazes crawling with cold-blooded ghouls in pursuit of wandering guests. At night, the theme park will be converted into a zombie-infested city (there will be some "safe" areas) as a part of the Halloween Horror Nights event. During the day, there will be Halloween parties and parades.

Meanwhile, many retailers have already started selling Halloween merchandise, among them Toys 'R' Us, Tokyu Hands and Loft.

In recent years, Halloween has exploded in popularity (propelled by social media) and is now the second most popular "imported" festive season in Japan after Christmas which remains far ahead in terms of merchandising and consumption.

Besides confectionery makers rolling out Halloween-themed goodies, restaurants preparing Halloween-inspired menus, fashion outlets retailing Halloween-related costumes and accessories, and entertainment facilities going all out with Halloween events, Japanese people love getting dressed up to take part in Halloween parades which attract tens of thousands of fans in Kawasaki and Harajuku.

If you are on the streets of Tokyo's Roppongi or at the famous Shibuya scramble crossing on the night of Oct 31, you will be in for an eye-opening experience. Japanese in costumes mass on the streets, not going anywhere in particular. There is no trick or treating, either. The whole celebration is more like a big cosplay festival.

source by japantoday
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