Saturday, October 31, 2015

HALLOWEEN IN TOKYO! Shibuya Overflows with Costumed Characters!

President Ted Thomas (yours truly) and the Mad Hatter enjoy a brief reunion at Shibuya Station on Halloween!

I just got home from a fun (and exhausting) evening in Shibuya, and as expected, the place was packed. It was extremely difficult to get from one place to another, as the streets were overflowing with people in costumes. Despite the crowds, I had a blast wandering the area.

Some of the costumes were inventive, and some were just downright strange. I'm not sure why so many people dressed up as Ronald McDonald (the above photo just scratches the surface of what I saw -- trust me), but there you go. To make things even more bizarre, I only saw one Colonel Sanders cosplayer the whole night! Who knew the Japanese loved Ronald McDonald so much?

Scenes like the above were abundant. I saw lots of selfies and the requisite selfie sticks. If you were wearing an interesting costume, chances are you'd get stopped and asked for a photo. I saw this scenario play out over and over again, and some of the costumed characters were even shouting to the hordes of people that they were available for photo ops.

Unlike last year, I decided to get in on the action and dress up in a costume. Admittedly, it had been many years since I last put one on. Over the years, I just haven't had any desire to wear a costume. But after stumbling upon Halloween in Shibuya last year, and seeing the throngs of people dressed as every pop culture character you could imagine, I decided that I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

I dressed up as President Ted Thomas. Who is President Ted Thomas, you ask? He's a bit of an inside joke. Suffice it to say, he's a dictatorial commander-in-chief in a really bad wig. I was actually surprised by the amount of attention my costume garnered. It was a very minimal costume (I just dressed up in a suit and the aforementioned wig), but I turned quite a few heads and earned just as many smiles. A few folks even wanted their picture taken with me. The two young ladies above approached me for a photo, and after we took theirs, we posed for this one.

As I was walking by the young women in the above photo, one of them exclaimed "Kawaii!" and beckoned me over for a photo. After that, I took this one on my camera. I have to admit, "Kawaii!" was about the last reaction I expected my costume to get!

Happy Halloween!

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