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November 9, 2011

Halloween in Yukuhashi

I promised to write a little about my first Halloween in Japan, so here we go. I didn't end up taking my camera to the party. Luckily, the great Nobu Tanaka had his camera as always, and documented the whole night really well (see the full album here). So I've included a few of his pics below.

I went with my next-door neighbour Tammy to the event, which was in Yukuhashi- about an hour and a half away from Hakata by train. The town isn't big, but every year it hosts a huge Halloween party for the Japanese and international members of its community, and people travel from all over to attend. Tammy is on the JET (Japanese Exchange & Teaching) program, and so the group of people we went with were mostly JETs too. As the last train back to Fukuoka was around 10pm (far too early to end the night) I was lucky to be allowed to stay the night at Tammy's friend Sam's place in Yukuhashi.

After a bit of a rocky start to the night (involving a taxi driver dropping us on the wrong side of town, causing us to walk through the rain for an hour- lost in a town we didn't know!) we finally made it to the party. 

The first part of the night was the Halloween party was at a restaurant in the main part of town. It was kinda bizarre, because the ticket price included nomihoudai (all you can drink), but there was more of a family feel to the event. For instance, I was drinking a mixed-spirits drink whilst we were sharing a table with a four-year old and his parents. It was a little strange, but there were more adults than kids, so somehow it worked.

There were some really amazing costumes, ranging from Ghibli characters (including Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Hayao Miyazaki himself!) to a zombie dude in a wedding dress, the creepy doll from the Saw films and more. 

My costume was a little difficult to classify- a fact I didn't realise until I got to the party and people started asking me what I was. I guess in my head it made perfect sense to me that, with the main parts of my costume being a pink wig and white tutu dress, I was some sort of ice-cream, strawberry milkshake girl ...but that is harder to convey in words than you'd think. It was much easier last Halloween when I was Mexican Dios de los Muertos dressed. 

After the first party, we left to Yukuhashi's tiny main strip of bars. For a small town, the amount of venues that were open 'til late was impressive. Sam, who lives there, lead the way and everyone ended up at a tiny dance club. The music choice could be a little random (jumping from modern rap to the macarena, for example) but the company was fine. By 2am, we were a little worn out, and headed home.

All up, it was a really good night and a fun way to celebrate Halloween. I met some cool people and Yukuhashi was a cute little town. I'm glad I got to see it.

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