Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Part 2 of 2: Kawasaki City

We set out in the early afternoon for Kawasaki City, bucket of candy in the husband's hand. We didn't even make it a block before we ran into trick-or-treating kids...although I think most ToTing is done at retail stores instead of homes here. I saw a few kids with parents that had a map of the local area, presumably with stores highlighted that were giving out candy.

It took us a lot longer than we expected to get to the train, because small children are incredibly indecisive when it comes to choosing the Perfect Piece of Candy. We also couldn't answer when they held up a piece and asked what it was. How do you say "lollipop" in Japanese? Or describe what a Bit-o-Honey is? After a while he switched to just handing a single piece to each child, that made things go faster.

And the train station was the central location.

Once we got to this intersection, it was almost over. We almost got stuck there for the day because so many kids wanted candy and/or a photo with one or both of us. By the time we broke free and got to the turnstile, the candy bucket was down by about 25% and we had gained a piece of fruit.

We didn't see anybody else in costume on the train to Kawasaki, the husband speculated it was because most Tokyo people went to Roppongi (where we were Thursday night), while more people from the Yokohama/Yokosuka (Yokohama had a theme park and a giant Ferris wheel that we visited earlier in the year, Yokosuka is a large Navy base relatively nearby) area went to Kawasaki. It makes sense.

I partly went with the American way of taking pictures (just photographing the other person or people) and partly with the Japanese way of doing it (jump in and make yourself a group photo).

I can't identify her character, but I bet she's spot on.

Heh...Japanese man taking my picture while I'm taking someone else's picture...at some points, I probably could have picked a spot and just posed for an hour. It was a little like being at Dragon Con with all the people watching and constant picture taking. But in the streets and covering ten city blocks.

These guys were cute! Someone is crouched down inside, so they got the whole wobbly outline effect going on.

I have no explanation for this.

The parade is starting! Here comes the first float.

Unfortunately, we didn't get a good spot for parade viewing. That, combined with the overcast day, made it kind of hard to get clear photos, so bear with me. I see Waldo, Frank from Donnie Darko, the Queen of Hearts, and Edward Scissorhands...

...the flower garden from Alice in Wonderland...

...a couple Mad Hatters, a March Hare, Alice, some zombie prisoners (maybe?)...

...are they Russian nesting dolls? Those three, in front of the skeleton ninja Mexican wrestlers, behind Sailor Moon and the White Rabbit in hot pants.

I almost got a decent photo of the Sun King and Moon Queen, but she turned her head a second too soon.

A fair amount of foreigners were in the parade, although these were the only ones I saw in historical garb.

I wish this had come out better, Woody and the Aliens were pretty neat.

This has to be a reference to some legend that I'm not aware of. The one in black looks like a character in Spirited Away, but I feel like I'm missing a larger story.

Don't let this picture fool you -- if we'd had a phone-number-getting contest, I would have won by a mile.

Sidebar: The illusion of the cat mouth gets distorted if I smile, but looking through these pictures I wish I'd grinned a little more, because I don't feel nearly as serious as I look. Maybe next year.

These chicks were pretty awesome, and they had a few drinks with us when we ran into them at a pub later (one of them is dating one of the guys that works there). They spoke just a little more English than I do Japanese, so communicating was awkward at best, but I made a good effort. They met me at least halfway with English words when I got stuck. I wish I could have done better, but I think we all had a pretty good time.

We saw that a second part of the parade was coming through, so we tried to cross the street to get a better view, but got stuck two people away of the intersection. This gave us a better vantage point than we had the first time. Not great, but with the camera as far over my head as I could get it, it was a step in the right direction.

Hey, it's Lady Gaga and Beyonce!

I'm sure there are a lot of neat costumes in this picture, but I can't seem to take my attention away from the blue wolf cowboy.

The pitchfork platoon!

Soon after that last photo, people were allowed to cross the street. We didn't actually make it across the street so much as got swept up with a bunch of other people (both in and out of costume) as the tail end of the parade. That segment, anyway...when we got to the main plaza, all forward motion came to a grinding halt because people on the sidelines were flagging down people in the parade for group photos...

I was no exception. The next day my thighs were angry with me, and I think it's because of this - too many people for a straight lineup in a photo, so I crouched down to make myself a head height shorter. And waiting for each girl's phone to get its turn at being the camera, plus my own camera, plus cameras of whoever had walked up and joined the photographer semicircle.

The main plaza, at La Cittadella. All pumpkiny for the occasion.

Oh, you know how we were now part of the parade? I looked behind me to see this gaining on us. Parade Part Three! We moved along as much as we could, but I think that part also got absorbed into the main plaza photo-taking extravaganza after a while.

These girls were something else...the only people that day to get a stranger to take a group photo then tell her it wasn't good enough and to do it again. Seriously, though, if Vampire Snow White told me to take another photo, I'd do what she said.

I don't know what this is about, but I'm intrigued.

Pumpkins! All kind and manner of pumpkin head witches!

Alice in Wonderland was a pretty dominant theme, I notice.

After a while, I made it a point to try to get a picture with other cat people. Quite frankly this one was a little frightening.

We missed the costume contest (too many people, we couldn't have gotten in to see it even if we tried), and we met some Americans living at the Navy base relatively nearby who had just arrived a week ago and went to a bar to hang out for a while. (This was when those Japanese girls I noted earlier met up with us.)

After a while we headed over to see where the Rocky Horror Picture Show was going to be screening. I managed to ask at the regular movie theater if we were at the right place and it wasn't, but I almost understood the directions the ticket teller gave us. We found a queue, figured we were in the right place and got in line. From how fast the roped area filled up, we got there at just the right time.

Hey, it's Hit Girl!

This guy was in front of us in line.
I'm sure their costumes are from something, but I don't know what.

Inside the theater...the view of the crowd from the front must have been pretty bizarre.

I didn't get that photo, but here's one of polar bears.

And one of a guy wearing an ad for the DVD on the back of his head.
RHPS in Japan is about the same as it is in the US...the cast messes with the audience a bit, they act out most of the scenes on stage in front of the movie, and someone leads the audience participation shoutbacks. Someday I might even understand what they were saying. Regardless, it was a good time and a great thing to do on Halloween.

After RHPS, there were fewer costumed people on the street (it was, after all, 10:30pm on a Sunday) and more people that had clearly been drinking. Right around here, we ran out of candy before a group of girls said the magic Trick or Treat words. They were in luck...we'd gotten tiny bags of candy from the fast food restaurant where we'd just eaten dinner, enough for one piece for each of them. My Other made the executive decision to stop at a conbini (convenience store) and get more candy in case someone else asked.

Random discovery down the street...the Disney villians!

We went back to the pub from earlier for one more drink before heading home, and when I stepped into the room and it was like I was Norm on Cheers. Everybody lit up with smiles, and a couple girls got photos with me while we were waiting for our drinks from the bar. I also met a lovely woman who might do a language exchange with me and a couple other foreigners from Yokosuka in costume.

We almost gave out the last few pieces of candy on the way home, our final count was about eight pieces. Not bad, really.

Crooked helped wash off all the makeup. Mostly by supervising, then licking the sink.

All in all, in spite of head colds, I think this Halloween was a rousing success. I hope yours was awesome, too!


  1. The guy with the three eyes, scythe and little figure is a character from Soul Eater


    He's dressed as the last bad guy in the anime hehe.

    The little figure turns into Excalibur the legendary sword from the round table ;)

  2. This is the best picture I could find.