Tokyo in Pics


A photography blog about Tokyo, run by Australian photographer Rohan Gillett

Halloween in Shibuya - the biggest street party!

October 31, 2017 was finally here – Halloween in Shibuya!  I went for the “prequel”, on the 30th too, but the main event was just, “Wow”!   I don’t know how many people were there, but there were a lot of people crammed into a few of Shibuya’s streets!  One of the world’s biggest street parties?  I don’t know about that, but I do know that Halloween at the famous crossing completely jam-packed with people. 

People, people and more people on Halloween in Shibuya

The sheer number of people in one place was incredible.  Originally, I thought the two places that would have the biggest crowds would be Hachiko’s statue and Shibuya Crossing, which are only a few tens of meters apart.  But people were everywhere – all the way to Shibuya 109 and Bunka Mura was insanely crowded, all the way along Senta-gai was insanely crowded and all the way to Marui was insanely crowded.

Some people were looking rather sexy and cute, some looked rather weird and bizarre through to those who looked really scary.  Then there was everyone in between.  Many people had obviously put a lot of time and effort into their costumes

Halloween is that one event of the year that really pulls people out of their comfort zones.  You don’t often see Japanese talk to strangers in the street, but during Halloween in Shibuya it happens all the time.  If someone had a crowd-stopping outfit lots of people ask if they could take a photo together and then they would have a quick chat about it before moving onto the next.  People would line up at Hachiko for their pics and other people were at the crossing looking for someone good to spot or maybe even get spotted themselves?  It was very bohemian.

One thing that was very good was, considering how packed Shibuya can get for this event, the crowd doesn’t seem to get out of control.  It got noisy, but not out of control.  Maybe that was due to the large police presence, that was centred mostly around the crossing where most people congregated.  They were definitely needed, due to the size of the crowd.  At some places just trying to walk faster than a snail’s pace was incredibly difficult due do the sheer density of the crowds.

Whatever you say about Halloween in Shibuya, I think it would be safe to say it is definitely fun and it is definitely one of the world’s biggest street parties.  I can’t wait to see what next year’s event will bring!