I have quite a few pictures today, so I'll jump right in.
I took the train to Nagoya to meet my friend Dodzi for Halloween. Since I had some time to kill while he finished up at work, I went around to some of my favorite spots near Sakae. But first, I stopped in at the Messe Nagoya, a trade show featuring area businesses with green technology.
The underground mall at Sakae in Nagoya.
Shonen Jump store in Oasis 21, Sakae.
Shonen Jump store, Oasis 21.
Shonen Jump store, Oasis 21.
In a summer 2010 report, researchers at The Pokémon Company concluded that Pokémon as naturally found in the wild are no longer sufficiently cute for modern Japanese children. In response, new GM Pokémon have been engineered with levels of up to 63% more preciousness per Pokémon (ppP).
(I may or may not have bought two of the folders and a small tin of candy with one of sixteen random images on it.)
Village Vanguard, on the way to Osu Kannon from Sakae. I know I've already done a Spencer's comparison in this journal, but I can't think of a better way to describe this store than to say it's like Spencer's, but with things that are fun to look at and that you would actually want, as opposed to just fun to look at. Lots of weird import stuff and indie CDs and books in addition to wacky novelty items.
Village Vanguard, looking down from the second floor.
An outdoor mall street in Osu Kannon. There's over a mile of streets like this in the Osu Kannon area. I dare anyone to find something they need to buy that can't be found here.
After meeting up with Dodzi and his friends, we made the walk to Sunshine Sakae, to get our purikura photo booth pictures in costume. Most Japanese people don't seem to do much for Halloween, and the group of ten costumed foreigners walking down one of the biggest streets in Sakae was met with man double takes and bewildered stares. Whenever we came across anyone else in costume, there was much celebration.
After about an hour, we made it six blocks to Sunshine Sakae, and we went in an arcade on the second floor and made our way to the purikura area. Purikura are a *huge* deal in Japan, and even more so on a night like Halloween. Normally, men aren't allowed inside unless accompanied by a woman (due to fears of creepers coming to take photos of high schoolers), but they were a little lenient tonight.
We stayed in the purikura area for about forty-five minutes, taking photos with everyone else in costume. I'd say about half of the women were dressed as witches, with most of the other half split fairly evenly between Alices, maids, nurses, and devils, and all of it with as little actual clothing as possible. The men had a bit more variety but usually not with as much effort. Not too different from the States, really.
A clever paired costume based on a bizarre and hilarious cg cartoon series, Usavich, that seems to have really gained in popularity since I was last in Japan.
I really hope this was a costume.
As the night went on, and we moved to the nightclub district of Shin-Sakae, the costumes only got stranger.
Dodzi is in the middle. He went as a tengu -- giant nose, wings, elevated wooden clogs and all.
Lady Gaga is big in Japan, too.
The crowd outside JB's club in Shin-Sakae-Machi.