Original tokyo halloween 149.jpg?1536848524?ixlib=rails 0.3

In Japan’s capital, costume-clad crowds take classic Halloween celebrations to another level.

It may come as surprise that in Japanese culture—known for its traditional craftmaking and contemporary affinity for cosplay— costume-oriented Halloween celebrations have only recently become popular. But over the past decade, the fantastical holiday has taken off in Tokyo, one of the world’s unofficial capitals of unconventional fashion.

Every year during the days leading up to Halloween, the party picks up in Japan’s capital, with thousands of costume-clad revelers flocking to hip neighborhoods like Shibuya and Roppongi Hills for over-the-top impromptu street parties. Dress-up celebrations across the city begin well before October 31st (organized Halloween parades, festivals, and costume contests take place throughout the month), but Shibuya’s Halloween night events undoubtedly attract the largest and liveliest crowds.

Here’s a peek at past Halloween debauchery in Shibuya—these photos might very well inspire a trip to next year’s bash.

From furry friends . . .

. . . to fictional fanfare . . .
. . . there’s no shortage of creativity at Tokyo’s Halloween celebrations.
You’ll find classic costumes . . . 
. . . and some slightly unconventional fashions, too.
Halloween night is so lively in Tokyo . . .
. . . even the zombies join in on the fun.
Photographer Ko Sasaki is based in Kawasaki, a coastal city in Japan’s Greater Tokyo area. 

>>Next: The Unconventional World of Tokyo’s Cosplay Cafés