Unexpected outcome of alcohol ban has boba bonding partygoers in the best way possible.

The Tokyo ward of Shibuya has become synonymous with Halloween over the years, as partygoers head to the area not just on the night of 31 October but also the weekend before it, for an unofficial street party that can become so rowdy it’s now been placed under a strict alcohol ban.

This ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol in the area resulted in one of the most peaceful iterations of the festival on the weekend, but it also gave rise to something quite unexpected, as street drinking persisted, only this time with a non-alcoholic beverage as the star: Bubble Tea.

According to reports, many young people were seen pairing tapioca with their cosplay, with one woman dressed as Kiki from the Studio Ghibli anime movie Kiki’s Delivery Service saying she bought the drink to add to the cute appeal of her outfit, and was inspired to do so by other cosplayers she’d seen on Instagram.

However, it wasn’t just women sipping on tapioca during the celebrations, as a large number of men also joined in on the trend, saying the drink not only appealed to their taste buds, but also to members of the opposite sex.


For those who chose to simply drink the drink or dress up as it, bubble tea proved to be an instant conversation starter, and while this can be appreciated by pretty much everyone, it was particularly useful for one subset of revellers, known in Japan as soushoku danshi, or herbivore men.”

Unlike Carnivore Men, who actively pursue women with skill and confidence, Herbivore Men aren’t as pro-active in pursuing female companionship. They’re often more shy and reserved, and are likely to wait for women to approach them, and that’s where boba came in handy on the weekend, as women happily struck up conversations with men holding boba teas.

However, for those dressed as the popular drink, the opportunity for female interaction was said to be even higher, as many women stopped and asked to take photos with them, exchanging Line messaging app handles and details to exchange photos afterwards.

▼ Scroll through for boys in boba cosplay during the Shibuya Halloween event.


Tapioca was such a hit with the young crowd on the weekend that stores in Shibuya reported a 150-percent increase in sales. The popularity of the beverage appears to have been a win-win for everyone involved, and with the Halloween event passing without major incident on the weekend, the bubble tea craze might be something Shibuya should tap into to help soften the blow of future alcohol bans and improve the image of the event in the long-run.

And if the Japanese Government gets behind the trend, the boba boom that’s currently got a hold of Japan might actually lead to a much-needed baby boom for the country as well.

Source: Livedoor News via Hachima Kikou 
Featured image: Pakutaso
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