If you were in Yoyogi Park this past Saturday, you may have been slightly unnerved to see the apparent signs of an impending zombie apocalypse. On Saturday May 16, I, your intrepid RocketNews24 reporter, rose up as one of the walking dead and joined other brain-hungry biters in a sunny shamble through the park.

The Zombie Walk is a loosely organized event publicized by ZOMBIENA, a ‘zombie performance group’ in Japan that aims to increase the zombie populations through various fun events. These include stage performances, a zombie-themed bar event once a month, and odd gatherings like the zombie walk. Participation in the walk requires nothing but a costume and turning up at the right spot, and as a huge fan of all things zombie-related I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get dressed up and splatter on the fake blood.

Saturday’s weather was perfect for a zombie rising but upon arriving at the park we were faced with the problem that, despite thinking that it would be easy to spot a walker in a crowd of the still-living, Yoyogi Park on a sunny day is more crowded than the Yamanote line at rush hour. First things first, I managed to find a space to put on my makeup, slowly draining the life from my face until I was nothing but a grey, shambling corpse.

▼ And this was before the makeup…


Fortunately, we soon came across some of our fellow undead, and started mindlessly staggering after them. We followed a leader on a circuit around the park at a rather sprightly pace, probably scaring more than a few joggers and couples out for romantic picnics, and finally converged with the rest of the groups just in time for a gruesome group photo.

After that we spent an hour or so doing what the undead do. No, not devouring fresh human brains – posing for pictures! So much thought and creativity had gone into some of the makeup and outfits that it would have been a waste not to capture them on camera.

▼ There were some truly fantastic costumes on show, such as these guys who’d used prosthetic makeup for added realism.


▼ The girl on the left had a bottle of blood that she’d periodically drink from and then drool everywhere. Charming.


▼ Thankfully Shaun was there to fend off any walkers who got a bit too carried away.


I’m sure some people were a bit shocked to have their leisurely afternoon interrupted by a horde of bloodied biters wandering around, but most passersby seemed interested, and we got plenty of requests for photos. The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming, and it was all in good fun.

The event website states that:

The goal of this event is to promote the mental and physical health of the zombie community. Attracting zombie hunters will only upset that. For this day, please forget the “eat all humans” rule, and come have a relaxing walk with us. We will also punish any creepy zombies who want to use this as an excuse to grab cute girls. Just give up already!

As far as I could tell, everyone played by the rules, the zombies all suppressed their hunger, and no humans were harmed. The only criticism I have of the event is that the meeting place was rather vague, and I think a lot of zombies spent their time wandering around aimlessly looking for brains fellow walkers.

▼ What a messy eater.


▼ Hmm, you’re way too cute to be zombies. But better not get too close, just in case.


▼ Sorry, it’s me again, but check out the the brides of the damned on either side!


Many of our dear readers might be wondering why on earth do people want to get involved in something like this? For me, the question is why wouldn’t you? But then again I know not everyone is such a fan of the grotesque as me, someone who finds the same comfort in reading zombie fiction in the way that other girls read chick lit.

An explanation offered by ZOMBIENA is that it’s a form of stress relief, and that people find a sense of childish fun and release in doing something where, for at least a short while, you’re not your gender, or your job title, or anything else, but just one of a faceless horde of the undead.

▼ Look out, Shaun!


▼ There was a mix of Japanese folks and foreigners all getting into the spirit of things.


▼ You’d almost think she was one of the living, until you see those eyes…


Despite the rather gruesome guise, it was a fun and friendly event, and I’ll definitely be attending the next one, along with a ton more makeup and an extra gallon of fake blood. Braiiiiiiiins!!

Images: RocketNews24