Halloween might be an American holiday, but it’s been celebrated in Japan since 2000, when Tokyo Disney hosted a Halloween themed event that sparked the nation’s interest in the spooky holiday.
Though Japan imported many of America’s holiday traditions, they left out what many Americans consider to be the most important part - trick-or-treating!
Japan is actually a lot more comfortable with letting kids wander freely than America is, so you’d think it’d be a paradise for trick-or-treaters - but it’s not. The problem is that trick-or-treating involves imposing on the hospitality of others - not cool in Japanese culture.
The holiday still involves plenty of tasty treats, though. Halloween candies are often black, orange, green, or purple - and the purple ones sometimes taste like sweet potato!
Most Americans think of pumpkins as being orange - that’s because in America, they are. But in Japan, the native pumpkin species is actually purple. You can buy orange pumpkins to make your jack-o-lanterns, but you’ll see the import price in the cost. If you’re in Japan and looking to save a little money, you can make a purple jack-o-lantern instead.
One of the best things about Halloween in Japan is the cosplay. In America, people sometimes dress up like their favorite characters, but it's a lot more common to see spooky costumes like ghosts and vampires. In Japan, it's all about masquerading as characters from video games, anime, movies, books, and more - though cosplayers will often add a spooky twist. Events
Japan has a plethora of awesome holiday events for its residents to enjoy. Some of the most popular include a parade at Tokyo Disneyland, haunted houses at Universal Studios, and a highly publicized costume contest at the Shibuya Hikarie Retail Complex. Besides those massive events, smaller ones crop up all over the country - for example, schools and offices might encourage people to come in wearing costumes, just as they do in America. Halloween may not be exactly the same in Japan as it is in America, but there's a ton of fun to be had.