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Published on 06.07.2016
The Senta-gai, or Centre Gai, in Shibuya, Tokyo, is usually packed with young people all through the night, but on the night of October 31 is when this narrow street becomes its brightest and most crowded. Thousands of young people gather in costume to parade around the street throughout the Halloween night, and generally they are all eager for photo posing opportunities, so be sure to bring your camera.
A few years ago, Halloween was basically non-existent in Japan apart from the odd themed night at upmarket Roppongi nightclubs, but the Japanese never pass up an opportunity to cosplay and party in the name of a festival, then starting this informal event in Tokyo’s young people centre.
See your average zombie school girls, maids and Marios to anime cosplay and walking bowls of ramen. Every passing year the event has grown bigger and bigger with more impressive costumes – in 2015 it attracted near to 100,000 people as interest bloomed for Halloween festivities and witnessing the sometimes painstakingly put together costumes. Expect massive crowds, even for Shibuya standards!
Senta-gai is generally referred to as the “centre” of Shibuya because of its massive popularity throughout the year, so as well as admiring the Halloween costumes, there are also numerous fast food chains, clothes shops, izakaya (Japanese bars), clubs and pachinko parlours.
Shibuya Halloween parade is spontaneous event. There is no organiser, so that no contact detail. The metropolitan police keep guard to control massive crowd on the day in recent years.
The closest station to Senta-gai is Shibuya Station. The station can be accessed by JR (via Saikyo line and Yamanote line) or by Tokyo Metro (via Ginza line, Hanzomon line and Fukutoshin line). Exit the station at the Hachiko exit – where the dog statue is – and go across the famous Shibuya crossing. Senta-gai in then on the left.
Center Gai (センター街 ), Shibuya's most popular district celebrates Halloween!