Autumn Marketing in Japan: How Japan Celebrates Halloween


Halloween is just around the corner! Japan is slowly getting covered with orange and purple, pumpkins, cute ghosts and witches once October hits the country. While this celebration wasn’t as prominent in the past, it has experienced a swift surge in popularity in recent years. In fact, most businesses in Japan are now embracing this trend to capitalize on the opportunities it offers. In this article, we’ll explore the Japanese Halloween festivities and how businesses in Japan are leveraging this celebration.

It is believed that Tokyo Disneyland was the one that introduced Halloween to Japan. In 1997, Tokyo Disneyland hosted their first-ever “Disney Happy Halloween” event and the spookiness just didn’t leave Japan. People dress up to attend these Disney Halloween events every year, and later on, other theme parks in Japan followed the trend. And now, Japanese people even bring the Halloween celebration in costumes to the streets, like in the popular Shibuya scramble.


“Disney Halloween” at Tokyo Disney Resort in 1997 | Source: Yahoo News

How Japanese People Celebrates Halloween

Where Halloween really originated from, it’s all about being spiritual and doing rituals to appease spirits of the dead. Whilst not many Japanese people know about this Halloween culture in other countries, Japanese people opt to celebrate it for fun and purely for amusement value. Below are some ways Japanese people celebrate Halloween:


One thing we all know Japanese people do best is cosplay! Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival, now on its 10th year, has become the biggest cosplay festival in Japan, with over 20,000 cosplayers participating every year. 

Street Party

It’s not just cosplay events where Japanese people dress up for, but even on the streets! In recent years, celebrations in Shibuya scramble had been so popular that the Mayor of the city, Mayor Ken Hasebe, had been discouraging people to go to Shibuya to celebrate Halloween due to the danger of bringing the party to the streets. The government also banned stores in the area for selling alcohol for the past years.

Theme Parks

And of course, from where it all started in Japan, theme parks. This is always something big, that tickets for these Halloween events in Japan theme parks are often selling out quickly! With events starting as early as September, there’s no denying that Japanese people love celebrating Halloween in theme parks.

Business Opportunities

Companies embrace promotional events like Halloween for various reasons, and one key factor is the ease of product selection. Take Valentine’s Day, for instance, it is predominantly associated with chocolate, making it challenging to diversify into other products or business models beyond confectionery.

In contrast, Halloween in Japan carries a more versatile image, encompassing elements such as cosplay, sweets, and parties. This broader scope allows for the marketing of a wide range of products and business formats.

Examples of restaurants and cafes offering Halloween-theme goods in their menu:

Mister Donut Halloween-limited donuts, Miffy (体験型ショップ&カフェ ナインチェ(カフェ) ), Ginza Cozy Corner, Krispy Kreme Halloween-limited donuts, Starbucks Japan Booooo Frappuccino, Baskin Robbins Halloween flavors

Examples of businesses incorporating Halloween into their packagings:

Black Thunder Mini Bar,  Fujiya Halloween Limited Products, Lotte Enjoy Halloween Series, Caramel Corn, Oreo, Tongari Corn

Example of businesses holding Halloween themed events on games:


In conclusion, the journey of Halloween in Japan, starting from its debut at Tokyo Disneyland in 1997 to its current status as a widespread and lively celebration, illustrates how Japanese culture has embraced international traditions. What was once a relatively niche event has now become a significant cultural phenomenon. Japanese businesses have noticed the opportunities Halloween offers for marketing and profitability, and they’ve eagerly embraced them. Unlike some other holidays, Halloween in Japan provides a broad platform for entrepreneurs and corporations to expand their product range, try out creative marketing approaches, and connect with consumers in distinct and exciting ways. The ongoing growth and popularity of Halloween in Japan highlight the potential for innovative and profitable endeavors that cater to the nation’s love for festivities. As the Halloween spirit continues to gain momentum in Japan, businesses that embrace this trend can expect to benefit from this dynamic and ever-expanding market.

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