Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween in Roppongi

Halloween is definitely gaining momentum in Japan. Stores have black and orange displays, costumes and silly headbands are for sale, cupcakes are sold with Halloweeny designs drawn on top. Not everyone dresses up, of course, but in the areas where there is costumed madness, it's pretty intense.

A group of our friends had the idea to dress up as the Justice League. I've already got the wings for it, so I went for Hawkgirl. Husband decided on Hawkman and I spent more time than I care to think about making two helmets and a breastplate out of papier mache and sewing a shirt because the one I ordered six weeks early didn't arrive in time. In the end, it was really the duct tape that brought it all together. I have a newfound love and respect for duct tape.

If I'd had more time I think I could have made them a little better, but I'm pretty pleased with how everything turned out.

1. mask for face shape, taped to a plastic bag stuffed to be the same size around as Husband's head 
2. first layer of papier mache 
3. added cardboard shapes and foam bits for brow/cheekbone articulation
4. second layer
5. paint

1. cover Husband's torso with plastic and a layer of papier mache
2. second layer
3. paste made of paper, flour/water/some sort of industrial putty for smoothness and shape
4. paint, duct tape edges and straps, add logo

1. mask for face shape
2. shape of head imprinted in foil and taped to mask, first layer of papier mache
3. cardboard shapes taped on
4. second layer, refine shape
5. paint
We were a couple hours late because our flight got in at 7pm and we went home, promised the cat that we would come home again soon, costumed up and headed out.

Hawkman heroically rides the train, in between hitting his helmet on every doorway and handle between our stop and Roppongi.

Hawkgirl also rides the train, albeit a little less heroically and a little more self-consciously because until we got closer, nobody else was dressed up.

Then we met Doraemon, who talked with us for a few minutes and we learned that he went to the US a few years ago to practice English. He was a cool guy, I think we saw him in passing three more times that night.

Along the way to finding the rest of the Justice League we ran into another friend and a pirate lass, who were stopped by some passing pirates for a group picture (say that five times fast).

I love Halloween in Japan. Sometimes people buy top-of-the-line costumes or put time and effort into making their own, and sometimes they just pick up whatever they can and wear it all at once, like a prisoner jumpsuit with two different types of insect wings.

Lots of pirates this year for some reason.

We found the Justice League! Well, the ones that were still there, anyway. Green Lantern and a few others had gone to other events (or gone to wait in line to get into other events).

I think we did pretty well!

We joined a crowd spilling out of an overflowing bar and hung out for a while. A gangster complimented Husband's tattoo, that was kind of awesome.

After a while we gathered our party together and walked around a bit.

Angry Birds!

Probably the most serious costume I saw all night:

It came to Decision Time (whether to catch the last train home or stay out all night), and our group split up. Some went to a club, some went home, and Husband and I decided to walk around a little more. We thought about going to a club, but it was so incredibly packed that we decided it was better just to walk around outside.

Back at the bar where we started, we found another friend we hadn't expected to see that night. Bonus! His costume hadn't arrived in time, but I still wouldn't mess with him. He's just a little too happy to be holding our maces.
The three of us ended up wandering around some more and killing the last hour until the trains started running by going to McDonald's and eating many, many french fries. Fries are, if you did not know, the perfect thing to eat when you've been up for a zillion hours (flew in from another country that day, remember) and you're watching the sun rise.

One more thought:

It cracks me up to see people dressed as superheroes do everyday, mundane things. Like take a 4am coffee break.

Or recharge the train card at 5:30.

Halloween was fun, but sleep was most welcome.
I hope all your Halloween experiences were great!

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