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Festivals are woven tightly into the cultural fabric of Japan. The summer season in particular brings with it a plethora of celebrations that span dancing, mikoshi shrines, fireworks and more. But it’s the autumn when the young residents of Tokyo descend upon Shibuya’s iconic scramble crossing in the thousands to drink and party until the early hours.

This is Halloween done Tokyo-style. The way it has manifested in Japan is not steeped in any long history or tradition equivalent to Halloween celebrations in countries such as the United States, nor does it promote any values beyond sheer hedonism, but it has nonetheless become a landmark event, one which intrigues and polarizes in equal measure.

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