Inside Japan’s bizarre Halloween trains – Travel Guide vs Booking

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10 very cool reasons to add Montreal to your travel list – Travel Guide vs Booking
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Japanese trains aren’t known for having a party atmosphere – but that all changes at Halloween.Over the years in Japan train carriages have become one of the trendiest places to celebrate All Saints’ Eve, with people riding up and down commuter lines in their spooky costumes, as these surprising pictures show.Dressed in macabre costumes and often armed with alcohol, these party-goers populate the transport system in elaborate guises that are definitely designed to raise eyebrows.Images from previous years show the effort people make, with some guests styled as zombies, while other attendees – holding plastic guns to their temples – sport ‘blood-splattered’ faces.Meanwhile, others opt for less gory incarnations, with young women dressing as sexy police officers or cult Japanese mascot Funassyi.Others can be seen embracing futuristic styles, with silver face paints and metallic wigs, which give them an eerie, outer-space aesthetic, while zombie Hello Kitties are also a frequent sight.On board the trains, revellers cram in with sober commuters as they take horror to the tracks.For many, part of the fun is watching straight-faced business people mingle with their fancy dress peers.Originally spearheaded by ex-pat Americans living in Japan – which hasn’t always celebrated Halloween – attendees would pretend to be travelling to the route’s last stop, then ‘forget’ to alight.This caused considerable chaos for commuters, Kotaku. com reported, and, in 2009, protests were held at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station with people demanded an end to the train-based gatherings.But, in recent years, they’ve become a mainstream, modern tradition for the younger Japanese generation.These days, adverts even appear on the subway network that encourage people to register and familiarise themselves with codes of conduct for riding the trains in costume, proving that it’s now meticulously organised and managed.And, increasingly, it’s becoming family-friendly. A small, rural train running near Mt.Akagi in Gunma Prefecture – a landlocked area on Japan’s Honshu Island – decorates its trains with pumpkins and neon skeletons.While the Randen Line, which runs from Kyoto city to the Arashiyama district, has a zombie-themed train and offers costumed passengers a discounted fare.Today Halloween is a billion-dollar industry in Japan, enjoyed by an estimated 20million people across the country, and where shops are decked out with pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns while eateries and convenience stories offer pumpkin-flavoured drinks and desserts.



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