I’m gradually getting through my backed up post ideas from last year and now we’re finally at Halloween! I’ve always loved Halloween, and any excuse to dress up really, but Halloween’s the big one so I wanted to do something really fun. I’d say that from what I’ve seen, a lot of Japan seems to celebrate Halloween, either by having big Halloween parties in the local community or just in local nightclubs, or by having Halloween themed English lessons (mostly thanks to all of the ALTs over here who love sharing their own countries’ events with their students). Since I don’t teach, however, I mostly shared my Halloween spirit with other foreigners, which was still really fun.
In our local area, some fellow JETs in Oita City arranged a Scavenger Hunt for everyone, which involved arranging ourselves into groups, receiving a list of things to take photos of or with, and some video tasks too, all dotted around Oita City. The goal was to tick off as many on the list as possible, and there was also a bonus for best group costume.
My group (apart from our photographer) was all JETs from Beppu, so I had this crazy idea to design characters to represent each of the 7 Beppu Jigoku (“Hells of Beppu” – hot springs too hot for bathing in) and have each member or our group dress up as a different character (I realise there’re only 6 in the picture below, but there were only 4 in our group anyway).
Fortunately, my local ALTs being as awesome as they are, they agreed to join me in this idea and in the end we had Umi Jigoku, Oniishibouzu Jigoku, Shiraike Jigoku (me) and Chinoike Jigoku. We bought flat fans and I wrote each Jigoku’s name in both Kanji and English to help people know what we were dressed up as, and we got quite a few compliments on our costumes! Our Umi Jigoku even made a hair accessory that looked like the torii (shrine gates) out of straws! I was so happy that everyone made such a great effort with their costumes~
The other Halloween-related thing I did was a pub quiz at a local bar frequented by foreigners, they do a quiz almost every week, often with various themes, so of course they did a Halloween-themed quiz as well. It had general Halloween trivia, a book round, a music round (my favourite)….my team did really well, until we were thwarted by having to catch the last train back to Beppu! Maybe next time we’ll be able to stay for the whole thing. It was certainly interesting running through Oita City with my friend, me dressed as a witch and her as a pumpkin!
I hope you all had a spooktacular Halloween too, and I can’t wait to see what this year’s will bring!~