Originally I had assumed that Halloween wouldn’t be a big thing around here, and in some ways I was right. Pumpkin carving isn’t really done. Dressing in costumes in uncommon (unless you’re in certain areas). And Trick or Treating is just doesn’t happen. Knowing all of theses things ahead of time, I was worried I would not be able to celebrate in the way I would back home.
Though we weren’t sure exactly what we would be doing on the actual day, our CIEE group decided to dress up anyway. Some of us went with a “gothic Lolita” theme, while others did their own thing. No matter what, just the excitement of dressing up was enough to get us pumped for Halloween.
In addition to the group plans, I also attended a couple Halloween parties with my host family! The first party took place about a week before actual Halloween day. This party was for all of my Host mom’s students. There were games and pumpkin carving (which I helped out with!), and everyone dressed up.
(My Lolita costume wasn’t quite finished yet, so I went as Tigger.)
The best part about the party was the Trick or Treating! Walking in a long line we stopped at different stores and shops were snacks were handed out in true (American) Halloween fashion. It was fun to see the kids to experience Halloween traditions that I had grown up with.
The finished Jack-O-Lanterns! (Mine is the on the right.)
Halloween day was very exciting albeit very busy! After waking up to “Spooky Scary Skeletons” to put me in the Halloween spirit (no pun intended), I spent the first part of the day meeting up with friends and finishing our costumes. Once our makeup was done I left the group briefly to go to The Church Halloween party with my family. The party was another wonderful throwback to my childhood. They even had Trunk-or-Treating (where the trunks of cars are decorated and you walk around the parking lot gathering candy), which had always been my favorite thing about the church parties at home! There were also piñatas and lots of sandwiches! I had a lot of fun.
After the party was over, I re-joined the rest of the group in Shibuya. We had heard that Shibuya was one of the most popular places to go on Halloween, and not wanting to miss out we decided that this would be our best bet. The first thing I noticed when I left the station was the people. now i've been to Shibuya a couple of times before and it was always pretty busy, but I never seen it like this.
Halloween selfie with the crowd.
Once I was able to meet up with the rest of the group, we decided to try and cross the street. Now this crosswalk is known as the busiest crosswalk in the world, and that's on a normal day. We all held onto each others hands or back-packs as we started to make our way across the street. It was intense, I don't think I could accurately describe what happened. We were moving but we weren't walking. The crowd was pressed so close to us that it was all we could do to not get ripped away from each other. Once we reached the other side of the street we tried to make it to a less populated area, but the mass of people kept growing. That was when we all got separated. My hand was pulled away from Jack's backpack as I lost sight of my friends in front if me. We spent the next hour in small groups, clinging on to each other for dear life while trying to somehow find a way out of the crowd. Some of us ducked into subways while others went into department stores. Using the subway station to get us back to where be began, we were able to regroup and breathe again.
After that adventure we decided to call it a night. While it may not have been the celebration had expected and planed on, it will definitely be an extremely memorable Halloween.