Halloween in Japan

Mi-chan Pumpkin

Halloween, like Christmas, is a western tradition and Japan has only recently started to celebrate Halloween. My girlfriend for example has never gone trick or treating or dressed up in costume, in fact today was the first time she carved a pumpkin and she was very surprised to learn that they are mostly hollow inside. If Halloween is celebrated at all it’s generally done so by buying sweets and other Halloween goods, mostly for children. Pumpkin carving isn’t popular in Japan and Japan’s pumpkins are a little different to ours…

Green Pumpkins!


In the west we generally think of pumpkins of being orange unless perhaps they are unripe. However pumpkins in Japan are, more often than not, green and mostly smaller. Despite looking like their unripened western counterparts they are actually a different type of pumpkin and they are indeed ripe. Once cut open you can see their orange flesh. In Japan these kind of pumpkins are called かぼちゃ (kabocha) and whilst it is possible to get the large orange versions they can be very expensive, around 2000 yen or 24 USD.

Do you have orange or green pumpkins where you live? Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have both!

About Chris

Chris Kempson is the main author of TastyMiso.com and sole developer of JapanBump.com. A twenty something web programmer and self-proclaimed Japanophile currently residing in Chiba and trying desperately to Japanese!


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  • Phytonym

    Here is BC (Canada) we have orange and white pumpkins! The white ones are known as “Ghost Pumpkins” :D

  • Clara357

    Here in South America, we have green pumpkins as well but the inside is nothing like western orange pumpkins. It~s much harder to carve. 
    Unfortunately, we don~t celebrate Halloween in Brazil.