Happy Halloween

Halloween in Japan is celebrated by wearing Halloween and Cosplay Costumes. It’s a relatively new tradition and the costumes are more cute than scary. It’s one of the few times in the year that Japanese workers are able to let their hair down.

UPDATE: It has developed into a giant unofficial street party. In 2018, more than 300,000 people gathered around Shibuya Scramble Crossing on Halloween and the previous weekend.

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Index

Hamamatsuchō

Happy Halloween

Harajuku

Inokashira Park

Kamakura

Kichijōji

Meiji Shrine

Mito

Mount Takao

Nezu Shrine

Nihonbashi

ODaiba

Ohi Racecourse Flea Market

Ōtsuka

Shibuya

Shinjuku

Sugamo

Tennoji Daibutsu

Yamanote Line

Yanaka Ginza


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Japan 2017


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Index

Hamamatsuchō

Happy Halloween

Harajuku

Inokashira Park

Kamakura

Kichijōji

Meiji Shrine

Mito

Mount Takao

Nezu Shrine

Nihonbashi

ODaiba

Ohi Racecourse Flea Market

Ōtsuka

Shibuya

Shinjuku

Sugamo

Tennoji Daibutsu

Yamanote Line

Yanaka Ginza


Shibuya

Shibuya & Halloween Photos

Morning Coffee

I woke up early and went to Shinagawa. I had some coffee and had a look around for a bit before going to Shibuya.

Shibuya

When I got there around 10:45 I took a few photos and went to Shibuya 109 and bought some clothes for my girlfriend. After that I took a few more photos and some video footage.

Harajuku Again

Just after 12:30 I caught a train to Harajuku and had another look around the wider area.

I took a few photos and then about 14:00 I returned to Shinagawa.

Exploring Shinagawa

I spent a few minutes in the station then went to Kita-Shinagawa to drop off my shopping at the Air BnB.

Just after 16:00 I went for a walk in a quiet street around the back of the train station which was had numerous local small shops and convenience stores. I walked down the street for about 30 minutes stopping to look in shops on the way.

I bought some bananas at a fruit stall and caught a train to Shinagawa from Shin-Bamba Station.

More Halloween Photos

From Shinagawa Station I caught a train to Shibuya to take more photos of people celebrating Halloween and to get some more video footage. I stayed in Shibuya until about 20:00 before returning to Shinagawa.

When I got back to Shinagawa, I stopped for a coffee in Anna Miller’s opposite the station then headed back to Kita-Shinagawa. Anna Miller’s is a chain of Restaurants in Japan (and Hawaii).


Index

Introduction

Manchester to Osaka

Arriving in Japan

Kobe and Osaka

Osaka

Kyoto

Osaka to Tokyo

Harajuku

Shibuya & Halloween Photos

Tachikawa

Whistle Stop Tour

Yokohama

Narita to Manchester


Harajuku

Harajuku

Before Harajuku

I got up around 10:00 and went to Shinagawa Station. I bought a couple of snacks and took some quick video footage of the station.

Harajuku

I caught a train to Harajuku Station to meet one of my HelloTalk friends. We arranged to meet at 11:30 inside the ticket gate at the Omotesando Exit. I arrived early and eat one of the snacks that I bought earlier.

I met my friend and we went to Omotesando.

Harajuku

The area was a mixture of new and old buildings and is known for being a shopping destination.

Omotesando Hills

My friend told me that one of the old buildings we went into used to be apartments a long time ago.

Then we went in a souvenir shop and I tried to get some money from a cash machine. It didn’t work with my MasterCard which may have been because it was Sunday.

While we were there, there was a Halloween Cosplay Parade in the main street. People lined the streets to see it. I took a photo and some video footage.

Omotesando Hills

One of the shops had a robot called Pepper. Pepper is a Japanese robot which is designed to have realistic conversations with people. It was being used to describe make-up products.

Then we headed for Takeshita Street through some back streets.

Harajuku

On the way we stopped in a cafe and had something to eat. While walking I noticed a few people were getting photos of their fashion and cosplay outfits away from the crowds.

Our destination was Takeshita Street which was packed full of mostly young people and teenagers. This area is has been somewhat of a Mecca for young people who love fashion since the 1970s. It is teaming with fashion and accessory shops.

I had a coffee and managed to find a cash machine that worked with my MasterCard.

We then left to catch the train to Shinjuku where I had arranged to meet another HelloTalk friend at 18:30.

Shinjuku

We got there about 16:30 and my friend and I looked around some shops until she had to leave at about 17:30. I continued to look around the area until I met my other friend.

I met my other friend and we went to Kirin City for some food and a few beers. After Kirin City we went to a traditional coffee house before I returned to the train station in order to get back to the Kita-Shinagawa.

 


Index

Introduction

Manchester to Osaka

Arriving in Japan

Kobe and Osaka

Osaka

Kyoto

Osaka to Tokyo

Harajuku

Shibuya & Halloween Photos

Tachikawa

Whistle Stop Tour

Yokohama

Narita to Manchester


Kansai International Airport

Osaka to Tokyo

Getting to the Airport

I woke up early, got ready and finished packing. I set off for the station and caught a Train to Osaka. I got there around 09:00. I was surprised to find that the station was extremely busy with people coming and going to work and school. I mistakenly thought it would be quiet on a Saturday. The information counter didn’t open until 10:00 but I found a station employee and asked which platform I needed for the airport train. I caught the train to the airport. I had to stand for a few stops before I got a seat.

Kansai International Airport

I got to the airport at around 10:00. My flight wasn’t until 14:05 but I chose to arrive early in case there were any issues with transport. Getting around in Japan only basic Japanese can be a challenge. The stations are huge and finding where to go and which platform you need, can be difficult. Understandably, English is not widely spoken.

I got something to eat and explored the shops and restaurants. While I was waiting a young Japanese women approached me as if she needed some help which I thought was strange because in most cases like that there is a language gap. It turned out though that she was an undercover policewoman and she asked me questions about my trip and where I was staying. She only spoke a little English so the conversation was a mixture of Japanese and English.

I checked-in at 12:00, went through security and waited at the departure gate until the plane boarded.

Narita Airport

The flight took 1 hour so I arrived in Narita Airport in Tokyo at around 15:00.

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Inside the terminal I had to catch a shuttle train to the baggage collection area. I picked up my luggage, got something to eat and headed for the train station at about 17:30.

In the terminal I noticed a policeman carrying out another security check with a group of foreigners.

There several options to get to the centre of Tokyo. I opted to catch the Narita Express which stopped in Shinagawa Station which is close to where my next Air BnB was in Kita-Shinagawa. I got a ticket on the platform and caught the train. The train was reservation only.

Shinagawa

When I arrived at Shinagawa Station I had a quick look around and then asked someone at the information desk how to get to Kita-Shinagawa. I caught the train and when I got there, I checked into the Air BnB which was directly opposite the train station on the other side of the road.

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I dropped my things off, had a quick shower and got changed. I was really tired but it was only about 19:30 and I really wanted to get some Halloween photos. I left the apartment and caught a train to Shinagawa where I caught another train to Shibuya on the Yamanote Line. This line loops around central Tokyo and stops at several popular destinations.

Shibuya

I got to Shibuya just after 20:00. I followed the crowds towards Shibuya Crossing. This is the busiest crossing in the world and a major destination for visitors. I followed everyone to a raised walkway which was packed with people viewing Shibuya Crossing through the windows. I watched for a bit and then found an exit. I exited via the Hachiko Exit. Hachiko was a Japanese dog famous for having legendary loyalty to his owner. There is a statue of Hachiko outside the station in Hachiko Square.

There were thousands of people coming and going. Most of them were dressed in Halloween costumes or wearing cosplay. I explored the area briefly and took several portraits and some video footage then returned to the station.

I caught a train to Shinjuku to see what was happening there.

Harajuku Station

On the way I briefly stopped in Harajuku to take some photos. I heard about plans to upgrade Harajuku Station and I wanted to get a photo of the building as it is now. I took a photo of some cosplayers and of Harajuku Station outside the Omotesando Exit.

Shinjuku

I arrived in Shinjuku just before 22:00. Shinjuku not as packed as Shibuya but still very busy. Only a few people were dressed in cosplay.

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I got something to eat and headed back to the Air BnB. I got a little lost and it took me a while to find the station. Luckily we have Google Maps now to help with directions.

Kita-Shinagawa

I caught a train back to Shinagawa where I caught a train to Kita-Shinagawa. When I got in I just went straight to bed.

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Index

Introduction

Manchester to Osaka

Arriving in Japan

Kobe and Osaka

Osaka

Kyoto

Osaka to Tokyo

Harajuku

Shibuya & Halloween Photos

Tachikawa

Whistle Stop Tour

Yokohama

Narita to Manchester