Blend S Halloween Featured Image

J-List just had an anniversary, and this weekend is the last chance for you to make an order and use that automatic $20 coupon, good for any order of $80 or more (except J-List Box or Fukubukuro items). And remember: with every order, you get an awesome 2018 Megumi Halloween original sticker!

If you scan the snacks page of J-List, you’ll see a lot of Halloween-themed chocolates and other snacks, with lots of scary pumpkins, ghostly ghouls and other seasonal imagery for you to buy. Our Hallowed limited snack box was so popular that we had to make a second version of it! Halloween has been getting positively huge in Japan, reaching a cultural critical mass that’s caused to explode in popularity, as everyone has fun preparing their cosplay to show off at various parties and parades in the Tokyo area, or just wear around town on October 31st. Halloween has even started showing up in car commercials. But the question of why the Japanese love Halloween so much is a hard one to pin down.

Here are some facts about Halloween in Japan.

  • By far the biggest reason Halloween exploded in Japan is Disneyland. When Tokyo Disneyland had its first Halloween event in 1980, it was a strange and alien thing to Japanese visitors. Over time, they became accustomed to Halloween related imagery through Disney.
  • These days, the hip place to celebrate Halloween is the Shibuya area of Tokyo, where tens of thousands of fans gather to show off their extravagant cosplays. A decade or so ago, it was customary for foreigners living in Tokyo to ride the Yamanote loop train line in costume, drinking and generally being annoying to the poor Japanese trapped in the train with them. Happily, things are better these days.
  • If you’re in Japan during Halloween and want a kid-friendly experience, the Kawasaki Halloween Parade is recommended. This year it’s held on October 28.
  • The Japanese have their own (sort of) version of Halloween, the Obon Buddhist holidays when the souls of one’s dead ancestors are thought to return home for a visit. The local version of making a Jack-o’-Lantern with the kids is…making horses and cows out of cucumbers and eggplants, with chopsticks for legs, which dear bygone Grandma will symbolically ride home from the afterlife.
  • While Halloween is fast becoming Japan’s favorite Western holiday, a lot of Japanese aren’t fans. The event causes huge, loud crowds in Tokyo and leaves a big mess on the streets of Shibuya. As Japanese are famous for doing, many kind folks stay behind to help clean up the garbage, but the holiday still takes a toll.

Did you enjoy learning about why the Japanese love Halloween? Would you like to visit Tokyo for Halloween someday? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!

Artbooks From Japan E6uft

One product category we’ve always loved carrying on the site are gorgeous anime and ecchi artbooks, and we made another big restocking today, just in time for you to make an order using that $20 coupon (which ends Monday, October 8). In addition to professional artbooks, we’ve got lots of “doujin” artbooks too, with glossy color illustrations by Japan’s top up-and-coming artists.

About the author

Peter Payne

I live in Japan and I run J-List, an anime shop famous for shimapan and Tentacle Grape. I love being able to bring Japanese culture to the world.