All Halloween-ed Out

I never though I would be tired of Halloween! But after prolonging the holiday over 9 days… that’ll just about do it.


Kyle’s “Jack”-o-lantern invites you to read about my Halloween in Japan…

I taught three classes of Halloween lessons at one of my junior high schools on Tuesday, October 27th. It was a ton of fun teaching the junior high schoolers how to trick-or-treat. I used Tori’s Halloween lesson, which started off with a PowerPoint about Halloween, where it comes from, and how we celebrate in the US. Complete with lots of pictures and costumes!

Halloween vocab time!




And then it was time to teach them exactly how to trick-or-treat.

I drew a door on the blackboard and demonstrated. You knock on the door, wait for the person to open it, and then say “Trick-or-Treat!” You reach into their basket and take what they offer you.

Look at my door! I am such an artist (not!)


Which will it be… TRICK or TREAT?

Tori’s lesson included “tricks” and “treats.” Several pieces of paper were inside the Halloween candy bag, half with “TREAT” written on the and half with “TRICK.” If they drew a slip of paper with TREAT on it, they received a sticker from me. If they drew a TRICK slip, they had to perform some sort of trick. Examples of the tricks included walking around like a zombie, wearing bunny ears, flapping your wings like a bat, touching your tongue to your nose, wearing a bridal veil… Ahem. Lots of funny things. I was so lucky that Tori had all these things available for me to use, because the classes at this school especially were a riot!

And then on Friday the 28th I visited an elementary school. I taught a less complicated Halloween lesson that still explained the way to trick-or-treat in the US. The kids loved getting chocolates (that the teachers provided). It was so cute how they received them and waited patiently until the teacher told them they could eat them at the end of class. This is my most rural elementary school (takes 1 hour by bus to get there), so the class sizes are not at all large. The kids are all sweet and adorable. Love them.

So that was two more Halloween classes on Friday, bringing the total to 5.

And then Saturday the 29th was the JET Halloween party in downtown Hirosaki at a club named Quadra. I’d never been to a legitimate club in Japan before, but it was pretty small. A lot smaller than the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, which was the last club I’d been to back in 2008. Yeah, you read that right. 2008. Not a big partier. Quadra was small, but impressive for a super small city like Hirosaki. For reference, the population of Hirosaki as of 2011 is 182,532.

So what was I for Halloween? I decided to do a kind of closet costume, since I was being lazy and cheap. It occurred to me that hardly anything I wore was mine. I dressed in sort of southern/white trashy-ish getup. Totally unlike my usual conservative/uber-casual style. The denim miniskirt and white wifebeater were hand-me-ups from my little sister. The plaid shirt and trucker hat were Kyle’s. The only things that were mine were the shoes and my underwear, haha. Tori and Kimberly helped me volumize my hair and poof!

I volunteered at the part a bit and then Tori and Kimberly arrived so we could go take some purikura (photobooth) pictures. Had a blast! Kimberly had a cute pumpkin costume and Tori had an awesome Queen of Hearts costume.

photo 1 photo 2



I don’t think words can express how much I love purikura booths. I have been taking pictures and making sparkly memories in them since July 2005! Call me vain, but it is just fun to get in there with friends (and family) and have fun.

Anyways, back to the Halloween party. I felt a little awkward/wallflower-ish at first, but I finally warmed up around 11pm and danced with Kimberly and Tori. Yikes, me dancing? Shield thy eyes!

I rode my bike back home around 12:30am and that was a wrap.

Sunday the 30th (More Halloween)
Kyle works as a kindergarten teacher at an international school in Aomori City that teaches English. Sunday was their Halloween party/event and Tori, Kimberly, and I were invited to help out with the festivities. I of course said yes. Who doesn’t love kids and Halloween? We got there early to help with set-up.

Five of the nearby businesses had agreed to let the kids come and trick-or-treat at their establishments (the school provided the candy), so went beforehand to drop off the candy. Had lunch, then came back to wait for the kids. All the little ones were so cute in their costumes and my goodness did they receive so much candy!!



They even trick-or-treated at a hotel where a couple had just gotten married. The newlyweds got to hand out the candy.



Group photo! (Not taken by me)

Towards the end of the day I was able to run by an international grocery store and get some real European dark chocolate. Mm.


Oh, and four bottles of San Pellegrino sparking mineral water. ;)


Monday the 31st was actual Halloween.

I taught THREE more Halloween classes (at the junior high level), bringing the total to 8.

I went with the gang to a bar named Ash that was offering up a little Halloween get-together with free food. We had a ton less enthusiasm when putting on our costumes at this point, but we still had a lot fun hanging out with English-speaking and Japanese-speaking people. Everyone was so nice, friendly, and chill. I am so grateful to live in a city with such great people.

And of course, more pictures ensued!


Funny husband and wife couple.

This is a guy.


We were all home by midnight, so it wasn’t that late of a night. From now until summer/warm weather returns, my legs will be going into hibernation. It is too cold to wear a skirt that short!


I taught my last Halloween lesson on Friday, November 4th. It was at one of my elementary schools. I wish I could have taught them all how to trick-or-treat, but it was a class of 29 and a little hard to do with that many students and keep the class managed.

NINE Halloween lessons in all. I am sure people teach more, but that was a bunch for me. I am done with Halloween until next year!

And for those of you who were wondering how we celebrate Halloween in Japan, there you have it! Japanese people don’t know a lot about Halloween, actually. They certainly decorate and buy Halloween-themed goods, but as far as American-type celebrations go…. We do what we can! I actually think I did more this year than last year. Last year I didn’t even bother to dress up!


2 Comments to “All Halloween-ed Out”

  1. Wow, looks like you went all out for Halloween. Congratulations on finishing. I have at least one more Halloween lesson this week….possibly four more.

  2. A marathon Halloween celebration! :-) I love seeing your pictures – the ones of you especially, but it’s fun seeing your students and friends too!) xoxo

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