Contrary to my expectations, Halloween turned out to be an actual thing in Japan. Kind of. When I arrived in Kyoto at the beginning of September, supermarkets and department stores were already selling halloween-themed candy, halloween costumes, and even halloween-themed toilet paper. My new friends were also already pretty excited about the upcoming halloween celebrations from the very start of our exchange. Therefore when October arrived, everybody excitedly started to make somewhat concrete plans. It was clear from the start that we were going to go to Osaka, but what exactly should we do there? Karaoke? Izakaya? CLUBS? PARTAYAY? UNIVERSAL STUDIOS?
Well, we went with none of these options in the end. Instead, on the Saturday before Halloween, we all kind of dressed up, met up at Kyoto Station in the evening, took the express train to Osaka, and went to Amerika Mura, the “American Village,” a small entertainment and shopping district in Osaka. Except for a small replica of the Statue of Liberty, there’s nothing really American about that district. Buuuuut there is a park named Triangle Park, which, as a few of my friends and myself had previously read on the interwebs, turns into a popular meeting point around Halloween time. When we arrived at the park, we were not disappointed. The internet was right: locals and tourists alike had come together, many of them dressed up and with a drink in their hands, ready to party, and there was loud music and dancing and a lot of talking and socializing.
It was kind of cold that evening, but we stayed at the park for many hours anyway, just admiring some people’s elaborate or funny costumes and watching people dance and talking and relaxing. We had no concrete plans on where to go after the park, we weren’t even sure whether we were going to catch the last train back to Kyoto or simply spend the entire night in Osaka. A friend and I had googled and found a lot of parties and events happening at various clubs around Osaka – however, those were usually pretty expensive, with ticket prices being around 3000 or 4000 yen, which at the exchange rate at the time when I’m writing this post is around 24 to 32 euro. So yeah, pretty expensive, considering the fact that we weren’t sure if we were only going to stay a couple of hours or the entire night, and considering that there was no guarantee that any of these clubs or parties or events would actually be any good or any fun.
In the end, we decided to first go to Dotonbori – which was also packed with people dressed in various halloween costumes – and then to an izakaya. There we didn’t really do anything except having a drink or two and talking. In the end, everyone got pretty tired, and nobody felt like going to a party or a club anymore – so we opted for taking the last train back to Kyoto.
Getting old, sigh.
But overall it was seriously a great evening, and it was cool to see so many people dressed up and in the Halloween spirit. I’m not, like, crazy about Halloween either, so I didn’t expect to do anything special to celebrate it … but yeah, it was great. So if you’re ever in Japan around Halloween time without any plans, and without wanting to spend too much money on a club, I can definitely recommend going to Amerika Mura or Dotonbori or both. It was very fun, and I feel like I saw a different side of Japan on that evening.
We’ve reached the end of this post. Thank you as always for reading, and until next time! ♥