Yay- It’s time for Halloween- yet another festival that has passed through Japan’s cultural filters and morphed into something fun, idiosyncratic and weird. Halloween is brilliant in Tokyo- all the wild parties, horror movies and costumes, without any pesky trick-or-treating kids getting in the way. I wrote about Halloween in Japan last year here.
There are plenty of suitably spooky places to go- as well as various venues that are creepy all year round, such as Shibuya’s Alcatraz ER (a prison hospital-themed restaurant/bar) or the gothic Vampire cafe, there are loads of parties and freaky festivities you might like to check out.
Feeling adventurous? How about “EROTICA HALLOWEEN 2008” on the 31st at Club Warehouse 702, described by the promoters as “A Haunted World Beyond Your Imagination…Enjoy all night non stop EROTICA show, DJs, S&M play area, tarot fortune telling. Win 300,000 JPY at costume competition. Costume judgment by DRAG QUEENs. DRESS CODE : Fetish Clothing, Bondage, Corset, Sexy Nurse, Nylon, Gothic, Leather, Rubber, Drag…e.t.c.”
If your bondage gear is still at the dry cleaners, don’t worry. There are lots of less weird, but no less wild club events in Tokyo at Pure (where it’s all-you-can-drink all night once you’ve paid to get in) on the 31st, a techno rave-up at Differ, Ariake also on the 31st, Metropolis Magazine‘s “Glitterball” costume shindig on October 30th at Club Womb, which they’ve been promoting the hell out of since about June (the main attraction being an insane 5 hour all-you-can-drink deal for 2500 yen. Dangerous!) and a huge party at Shinkiba’s cavernous Ageha (click here to read a guy’s antics at Ageha last Halloween.)
If you want to do the Monster Mash to some live music, you could head to Zepp Tokyo in Odaiba on the 30th and 31st to see special Halloween performances by the bands VAMPS, Tommy heavenly6, Monoral and Acid Black Cherry among others, at the “Nightmare of Halloween” event. Alternatively you could check out the devilish darkwave duo, Aural Vampire at Differ Ariake on the 31st. Aural Vampire resemble an unholy partnership between Jason Vorhees and a voluptuous Victorian vamp.
And what could be more appropriate for Halloween than a performance by none other than Ozzy Osbourne, shuffling around, yelling “Sharon!” and biting the heads off bats, in the Nippon Budokan on October 27th.
If this after-hours hedonism is too rich for you, you could always pay a visit to good old Tokyo Disneyland, and check out Mickey’s not-very-scary parade. The calendar of events at Tokyo Disneyland is here.
I’m always up for a gathering, but I think I’ll give the notorious guerilla-style Yamanote line Halloween train party a miss- it sounds about as fun as my daily commute to work, with the added annoyance of being stuck in the middle of a volatile mix of over-excited, vomiting teens, and enraged, xenophobic kill-joys.
No thanks! I’m more than happy to pay the extra few yen to get into a club with cocktails, a large dancefloor, and nubile women in WonderWoman costumes.
If you’re going to be in nearby Yokohama, you could dine in discomfort in 3 Bozu Cafe, a poky Frankenstein-themed eatire, surrounded by pictures and statues of the un-dead green guy, or pay a visit to a bar which is actually called “Halloween” all year round.
I always try to attend the Kawasaki Halloween festival, which features a parade of folks wearing the most inventitive and outlandish costumes you could ever hope to see, guzzling cans of chu-hai and staggering like escapees from hell through the city streets behind floats blasting out trance music.
After the parade, everyone convenes in Kawasaki’s Club Citta for a crazy party which, last year, featured a performance from a funky 70s covers band with afros.
The parade is on Sunday the 26th, from 14:30 to 16:00 around Kawasaki’s Cittadella area, then the after party’s from 17:00-22:00 in Club Citta (entrance is 1500 yen.)
I wrote about it last year here, and click here for the official site.