Halloween is coming on October 31st this month! Every country celebrates this special event through their own country’s tradition. Japan also celebrates in a unique way even though its origin isn’t Japan, so how did the Halloween event start here?
It is said that Kiddy Land Harajuku was the first store in Japan to handle Halloween in the 1970s. Later, in 1983, the same Kiddy Land Harajuku store held a Halloween parade to promote sales of Halloween merchandise.
The catalyst for the rapid rise in Halloween awareness was the “Disney Happy Halloween” costume event held at Tokyo Disneyland in 1997. Since then, Halloween has become an annual fall event at Tokyo Disney Resort. Later, in the late 2000s, confectionery manufacturers began to focus on Halloween and sell Halloween products every year. In addition, Halloween spread rapidly from many directions, with variety stores and other retailers beginning to sell costume goods. In Japan, where people were originally familiar with the cosplay culture, the affinity for costumes was especially high, and Halloween evolved in its own unique direction, going far beyond the scope of “costumes to hide from evil spirits,” to becoming a “costume play” in which anything goes.
Every year, people gather around Shibuya Crossing at night on October 31st with cosplay. This event is not an official one, but a lot of people go there every year except Covid-19’s circumstance. The main characteristic of Halloween in Shibuya is the large number of people. Shibuya Halloween, one of the largest events in the Shibuya area, is said to draw as many as 1 million people. This year, taking consideration of Covid-19, people can join this event by VR.
In Japan, many companies sell various kinds of Halloween foods. Each company created unique Halloween motifs for food or snacks. This picture’s a donut sold in IKEA. This donut was an image of a Halloween monster. There are three kinds of donuts: blue and yellow sprinkled donuts, blue and pink striped donuts, and pink and white chocolate sprinkled donuts. Each donut has white chocolate eyeballs. The taste is really good and it only costs 220 yen. The white chocolate matches with the donut dough, and the appearance is so pretty. In the restaurant “Bistró”, you can find other Halloween motifs, for example, pumpkin tarte, Ninja dogs, Halloween pancake, and Halloween Horror sundae.
These Halloween cookies are good for souvenirs. This is a special Halloween assortment of pumpkin, ghost and bat cookies sold at “Dean & Deluca”. It is covered with a limited edition black ribbon and it costs 1350 yen. There are many flavors, such as pumpkin, chocolate, and plain. You can get this online too.
This limited edition Halloween gift contains 10 pistachio and black tea madeleines and 10 cocoa financiers. You can buy it for only 1620 yen. They are wrapped in bags with various Halloween characters. This is a cute monster motif bag. Give it to your friends and family as a gift, they’re sure to love it!
There are also pumpkin bags and ghost bags. You may find your favorite one.
You’ll have to wait and see what kind of candy it contains!
This one is a DEAN & DELUCA original. A large chocolate with a spider web pattern, topped with pretzels and nuts. The time it takes to break the chocolate into pieces is also enjoyable. A hammer for breaking the chocolate is also included, making this a fun gift for everyone from children to the elderly. A perfect casual gift. Adults and children can enjoy this together when having a Halloween party at home. It is a little expensive at ¥2,484, but it is popular as a souvenir and as a game.
Morinaga started to sell “Engel Pie” with Halloween designs. Each piece is covered with Halloween design plastic bags. Also, each ghost’s face is different: some ghosts are smiling, others are sleeping.The greatest feature of Angel Pie is the unique combination of chocolate, marshmallow, and cookie.
The smooth sweetness of the chocolate and the gentle crunchiness of the soft biscuit are followed by the soft and fluffy texture of the marshmallow, creating an exquisite harmony. The moment you bite into a piece, the deliciousness will fill your mouth. This sweet is very popular in Japan because people can enjoy arranging sweets by using these snacks. When you visit Morinaga’s homepage, you can find your own favorite arrangement of these sweets!
There are many kinds of Halloween motif sweets. Did you find any of your favorite ones? You can find more Halloween motifs, sweets and food everywhere in Japan! Get ready for Halloween now!
Featured Photo by Daisy Anderson on Pexels.
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