Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
In Photos: A Japanese Halloween Parade
I believe it was a Sunday when we saw a kid with his mom, both in costumes walking on the sidewalk — so we followed them. Is that creepy?
We tend to travel like that. We hear a drum or singing, or see anything interesting — and follow it for a few blocks. That’s how we found the Zinneke Parade (in Brussels, Belgium) and a gazillion other festivals. We have good luck this way and prefer doing this over always following Lonely Planet or a highly itineraried approach to tourism.
Anyway, we saw kids streaming into this large building. We asked about it, liked the sound of a toddler and grade schoolers’ Halloween parade in Tokyo and so hung out waiting for the start.
Suddenly drums come out and the parade is off, five groups of several hundred kids looped this street.
It was held in the high-end shopping district of Harajuku Omotesando, complete with dancers, drummers, odd mascots and tons of well dressed toddlers and grade schoolers. The parade was begun 27 years ago by Harajuku’s amazing “all-things-kids-could-want” toy store Kiddy Land. Try walking into any of its six toy and game filled floors without dropping several thousand yen. No, really — I dare you!
Afterward, we think maps being handed out listed stores that gave out gifts or treats to costumed kids, much like trick-or-treating (sadly) is for American kids now — a trip through retail land.
But it was a blast.
From the looks of it Disney, equals Halloween for a lot of these kids, but there were even more vampires and witches.
Halloween night was marked with lots of parties and American expats (hundreds) loitering in costumes around Shibuya, a major congregating point there in the city, but that was it.
While talking about Halloween — bless Japan, they’ve taken any pastry that would have held red bean paste and crammed it with lovely pumpkin puree, lightly sweet. If France and Japan had a pastry competition Japan just might win. Fantastic foods.
Seeing pumpkins and ghosts in store windows was very common, but in a Japanese spun way. I’m so glad they’ll run with it; it will be interesting to see what they do.”
Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Tinkerbell
Spiderman, Policeman, Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Totoro? Hell Kitty? A Good Mystery Halloween Costume
Mardi Gras/Pirate Kid
Duck Boy counting fingers
Mickey Mouse “sorcerer’s apprentice” picking nose
Donald Duck takes a candy sucker break.
Tired (and drooling) Tinkerbell
Sleeping koala bear
Will-Grow-Into-it-Next-Year Spiderman Costume
Witch, Pooh, and pirate
Tired Koalo Bear — “No more walking”
A parade character
A most puzzling handkerchief and its pal Dracula. What the heck is that costume?!?
Dad and a tired vampire
Vlad the Thumbsucker
Mugging for the camera.
Feather-haloed first-stepper teeters through the parade.
Samba band Amigo Calientes (Hot Friends) take to the streets. A Samba Halloween? Why not?!
More Samba. Also view the full-size image, a little fuzzy due to a wanky lens Buz added to his camera before embarking on his trip. D’oh!
The event poster. Can anyone translate it? [Full-size image]
Again, view the whole photo set to see close-ups if you like. On a particular detail page, click the “All Sizes” icon to select a larger image.