Tokyo Halloween   1 comment

Update: the VIDEO for this article is under JIJ TV “Tokyo Halloween” or if you prefer, you can watch the youtube video directly here . Enjoy! – Marcus

October 31, 2009.

A tall, leggy woman in pink lingerie outfit struts down the street. Behind her, gawkers with camera phones and Digital SLRs snap pictures, creating spots of blue flashes in the nighttime. Behind her, snapping video on a tiny handheld camera is another woman; covered artfully in tape so she appears to be wearing a skirt, leggings and a brassiere. They are impossible to ignore. Men nudge each other in the arms when they see them and ladies chuckle at the display. The two exhibitionists have a powerful mixture of sexual and extroverted body language. As people cheer them on as they walk to and fro, I come closer. I’ve been observing them from a distance of roughly fifty feet. I take a better look at the two, and laugh to myself. They are both men.

This is Halloween night in Roppongi, the “Gaijin Central” of Tokyo, Japan. Here, a lot of the foreigners who live here come to party, drink and meet cute Japanese girls. Each time I come to Roppongi I am surprised by the explosion of mixed couples I see.

It’s a little chilly, and I’m feeling a little stressed. Mainly because Japan is expensive, and sometimes in travelling I don’t really realize I overreach a little bit in my trips. A Viking walks past me and gives me the nod. I’m wearing a smooth silver mask which makes me appear to lack all emotion. I feel withdrawn and quiet, falling into character. People stare at me occasionally, and some Japanese girls say “Kowaii” (scary). I’m shooting video of the mayhem.


The stars of the strip are a set of power rangers who all seem to be basketball players in real life. A group consisting of Wolverine, Captain America and two Spidermen are doing the rounds, laughing it up with girls and guys as they snap pictures and flex fake muscles. There are men well over six feet in dresses and seven inch platform heels, girls in Rilakuma bear outfits and people wearing almost nothing at all. I like the noise around me, as I stand quietly in my mask. My outfit doesn’t attract attention, it wards it off. My calm, expressionless face is reminiscent of Mike Myers, Jason, or any number of masked psychotic killers. I film in peace.

I see Fred Flinstone and Wilma walking around as well. Every conceivable type of character is out and about. Men dressed like playboy bunnies, girls dressed a little more skanky than normal, old drunk men acting bizarre, a Disney character here or there. Near a popular Star Bucks, a guy with a black brief is holding massive dildo by his groin, as a girl eagerly holds it, smiling for the camera.
“That’s tasteful.” a tall man mutters as he walks past.

I see a poorly organized Darth Vader costume. The fellow is wearing the Darth Vader helmet and his chest piece, but a black jersey and blue jeans with black shoes with exceedingly white laces. Add to that a short stature and his Darth outfit was dead.

Further up the strip, a short man in a red loincloth is doing aerial splits by holding his right leg out and up with one hand while the other is around whomever wants to take a picture with him. An American guy in a dinosaur outfit is doing a jiggy dance by the sidewalk. Two short, attractive Japanese girls wearing skinny jeans with thongs visible walk past him. One of them rubs a hand sensually across his dinosaur chest. For a moment the guy stops his jiggy, and watches the girls cross the street. His friends appear. “Damn dude, let’s cross the street.” He says. The friend is wearing a similar costume, large and voluminous. It appears to be a horribly obese duck.

I go back down the strip and make a pit stop near the McDonalds. A set of very attractive women of mixed ethnicity are grabbing people with interesting outfits nad taking pictures. One girl is dressed like a dominatrix maid. The other looks exactly like Ashley Simpson, which doesn’t seem like an outfit. They stop Peter Pan (a woman), Winnie the Pooh (if he was a chill black dude), the Power Rangers (all seven of them) and a host of random individuals. One of the girls leans back comfortably on a rough-looking Japanese guy with a shaved head wearing a Jailbird outfit. They have specific and recognizable accents. I think they are from California.

Beside me, a girl says something to two men a few feet away. She screeches as she learns they are from Texas, her home town. She is African-American with a solid flair of uptown in her mannerisms. The guys from Texas are in town for a 15 hour layover before headed back to the states. They were previously in Thailand and China.

Behind me, Fred Flinstone is talking to a massive biker who speaks in an almost classic stereotypical jive. The man is a tall African-American in a huge biker jacket. He doesn’t seem like he’s wearing any costume, save a little face paint on his cheek, and I wonder who he is, and what he’s doing in Tokyo. On the street, two men in red jumpsuits sprint through moving traffic, causing cars to screech and blare their horns. It is completely wild.

Everyone has glassy eyes, and every club, bar and restaurant is filled to the brim with patrons. A man wearing a Dracula outfit walks past me.
“Fuck yeah! Mario and Luigi in the FUCKING BUILDING! “he says to a guy in a Mario costume in line. I roam some more, watching a set of Japanese nurses with blonde hair walk by in a stream of colour and giggles. I don’t know where everyone is going, but they are all walking very fast.

There are so many people it is hard to discern race or nationality. All I can see are bobbing heads and flashes of colour from the outfits. I pass Don Quixote, the place where I bought my mask, remembering a middle-eastern looking fellow that asked me if a man wearing a Witches’ hat was okay.

I like Halloween in big cities. It is such a raging ball of energy, watching people lose themselves in costume and drink. The crowd is so diverse it doesn’t even feel like Japan. With all the masks, elaborate outfits and foreigners, I feel like I’m in New York, though I’ve never been in New York for Halloween.

I’m meeting some friends at a bar near the strip, and as I walk down a small street to go to the bar, I see a set of people dancing. Barack Obama, Two Spider men, Captain America and Wolverine. A lady in a bunny outfit is grinding Captain America, and a guy in a Yellow Jumpsuit mysteriously starts humping a hazard cone.

I enter the bar, hearing the laughter of Roppongi fall silent as the door closes, and I chuckle, because I know the night isn’t over.


One response to “Tokyo Halloween

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  1. Pingback: Pre-Halloween Vibes «

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