Everybody's Gone to Shibuya on Halloween

Except for me.

No this is not some pity party feel bad post. I chose not to go. And no, this won't be some whiney hipster "I'm above that" type of rant either. I really wanted to go to Shibuya this Halloween, and was even getting onto a train to head down there on Saturday night. I had made plans and packed my costume and all.

So why didn't I go? A very simple reason that happens a lot in Japan. The train was stopped indefinitely because of some 人身事故 or an accident involving someone and the train. No other details about what "type" of accident it could have been, but the train was delayed on both lines going to and from Tokyo to Utsunomiya. Now, Utsunomiya is quite a distance from Tokyo (about 100km) and so by train it takes at least an hour and a half if you don't take the shinkansen down. I wasn't going to make Halloween an all nighter and planned on heading back on the last trains.

That would have left me very little time to actually experience the party. So, missed opportunity and all, but Halloween wasn't a total wash. I dressed up in costume and went out into Utsunomiya.

As Piccolo! Cue underground selfie!
I got a lot of looks and shout outs, met some drunk people who bought me beer (thanks!) and then went to meet up with some good friends. It was a quiet Halloween, but nice.

Changing gears a bit here, but Halloween has exploded in popularity in Japan in the past few years. It used to be regulated to foreigners, English school parties, and a small group of Japanese people who were often associated with the two. Now it seems to have really taken off. Even in Utsunomiya there was a city wide trick or treat for kids on Halloween day, and many neighborhoods would have trick or treating.

But you would still think it isn't that big, that is until you get to Shibuya, the media hub of Tokyo and home to the most famous crosswalk in the world. For years on Halloween, people have donned costumes and went out on Halloween. This was nothing new to Shibuya. But this year the people came out in droves. I have no first hand photos (obviously!) of this, but everyone on my social media has shared photos that I can only describe as amazing. The amount of people looked insane and there seemed to be no room to even walk.

Thinking about it, perhaps I made a good choice this year to not go down, as I wasn't feeling quite 100% (battling a bit of a cold) and I hadn't had much sleep. But it looked amazingly fun and I loved seeing the photos. It is a definite must next year for sure.

Everybody's Gone to Shibuya on Halloween Everybody's Gone to Shibuya on Halloween Reviewed by Shea Roberts on 7:11 AM Rating: 5
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