The humidity is easing off…

At long last, I can walk outside without feeling like I’m swimming through (and attempting to breathe) soup. While it’s still a bit too warm for my tastes, I’ll take it if it means that we’ll be heading into fall soon- which we should be before long!

The shops are already preparing for autumn and winter. The coffee shops are selling apple and pumpkin everything, the clothing stores are selling sweaters on sale, you name it. One thing that has intrigued me in particular is the growing amount of cheap, Halloween-related goods.

Halloween is not something Japan really recognizes. While Japan in general seems aware of the holiday, and people get that you tend to dress up in costumes and eat candy, most folks wouldn’t know where it originated from or why westerners are such a fan of the day. Yet every fall that I stay in Japan, I start to notice little changes related to Halloween.

Five years ago, you could get witch hats, capes, and fake pumpkins at the 100-yen stores. If you wanted anything more elaborate, you could try a department store–and pay 5,000 yen for a pirate hat. These days, the 100-yen stores offer several shelves’ worth of decorations, a variety of witch hats and cat ears. The department stores, meanwhile, still have that pirate hat; but they also offer candy, full costumes for men and women as well as kids, makeup, masks, the whole shebang.

I imagine we can thank the rising population of westerners in Japan for that, but it’s intriguing to watch something become much more accepted and known in Japan over such a “short” period of time.

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