This is now my sixth consecutive year in Japan for Halloween. Each year I've noticed Japan, or at least the area live in, slowly starting to embrace the holiday season. This year was no exception.
I've spent a pocket full of 100 yen coins over the years building my cute collection of Japanese styled Halloween knickknacks. I'm a little disappointed this year because I only managed to add only a couple more because the overall quality of Halloween goods have unexpectedly taken a huge turn for the worst, the biggest offender being Daiso. This year's Daiso Halloween stuff was full of oddly colored stuff with excessively poor craftsmanship compared to previous years. Usually they have one or two things worth picking up but not this year... I'm talking about pink jack-o-lanterns, pastel colored signage, and nearly no ceramic knickknacks to speak of. It was really bare bones this year.
Seria, on the other hand, was better but not by much. Seria had much better design sense but this year's selection was very limited and the quality was noticeably the worst I can remember since hoarding Halloween stuff.
Outside of 100 yen shops, finding Halloween decorations, confections, and costumes was the easiest I've experienced since 2007. I even managed to get a reasonably sized pumpkin at my local Max Valu for carving but I had to pay nearly 2000 yen for it! Ouch. All in all Halloween stuff is getting very easy to find here. I even noticed quite a few people, mostly teen and women in their twenties, well dressed up for Halloween at my local mall in Halloween night while my wife and I went out for dinner.
After dinner my wife and I picked up some Hello Kitty Halloween themed donuts from Mister Donut. Despite the odd flavors, pumpkin and strawberry, the donuts were pretty tasty. 31 flavors even had some expensive Halloween themed ice cream which we didn't buy. I'm sure there were plenty of other places with similar Halloween themed stuff I'm forgetting about but basically you know it's Halloween if you walk around a bit now.
I think Halloween really suits Japan well. I hope that the holiday gains a real foot hold here so many more people can just have some mindless fun one night of the year. Happy Halloween!