October 30, 2016
I feel like there are so many sophisticated observations about Japan and Tokyo that I should be sharing. We have seen gardens with subtle beauty. We have eaten some wonderful food. We have learned about an intriguing culture from a man who lived here for years.
But I want to talk about Halloween in Roppongi, a section of Tokyo.
This is not a subtle experience. For the most part, the Japanese seem understated and modest. They have customs that are refined and manners that are obscure.
But all bets seem to be off on Halloween.
I think it is worth noting that Halloween is entirely a western holiday. There is nothing Shinto or Zen or Buddhist about it.
It is an event that stems from a Celtic tradition that became assimilated in Western culture and then found its way to other countries. I assume that some countries do not really care about Halloween at all.
Perhaps so, but Japan is not that culture.
Everywhere we went, we have seen signs for Halloween, but we assumed that was a marketing effort by the retailers. We were quite wrong about that. The people of Tokyo in general (and the revelers in Roppongi) have waited 12 months for tonight and they will not waste it.
I saw people in carts who act as if they are part of a Mario Cart game.
We saw nuns and Jasmines.
People were sushi.
Guys were, well, guys.
And one guy was this.
Is this cute or spooky? You tell me.
A dog even became a lion.
One street had a dozen sports cars that cost more than $250,000.
As if that were not indulgent enough, one felt a need to paint his in Picachu colors.
In short, we tripped upon a truly fascinating site. We find ourselves in a country that embraces an odd Western tradiation - and we are living 10 minute from the epicenter of its weirdness. In short, its a perfect travel opportunity for the Baskins!