On the left, two boys dressed as AKB48 girl band members. On the right: insect girls.

Please excuse the wretched low-res phonesnap, but I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures at a typical Halloween bar party in Shibuya. Japanese costume favorites were well represented: boys dressed as girls, girls dressed as animals, men dressed as geisha, and Mario & Luigi. There were a few excellent outliers, though. One guy wore regular street clothes with his inch-long hot pink fake eyelashes. The best one, though, was a guy in quasi-medical scrubs who made the rounds with a beaker of tequila and a syringe, ordering people to open their mouths for their “shot.”

The guy on the left just looked like he was wearing street clothes and a green wig until he showed all. The guy on the right has a “tai-yaki” red bean cake for a head.

A fine example of the he-geisha.

Jonelle Patrick is the author of  four novels set in Tokyo

A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car with two strangers. But the more Yumi Hata learns about her friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more