Halloween is just around the corner, and you can feel the excitement in the air. Tokyo has taken to the celebration in a big way in recent years, and in retrospect it makes perfect sense, since Halloween has provided an opportunity to do three things Japan absolutely loves:
1. Dress up in costumes
- Engage in a massive amount of drinking
The third item on that list may or may not be part of the Halloween festivities in your neck of the woods, but in Tokyo the booze has flowed freely at the Halloween celebrations which take place in the capital’s Shibuya district . A multi-night, unofficial party, revelers roam the streets around Shibuya Station snapping photos and knocking back adult beverages all night long not just on Halloween itself, but on the weekend before Oct 31 as well.
But in recent years, things have been taking increasingly ugly turns, with several high-profile incidents of vandalism and drunken mayhem, including tipping over a truck in 2018. The rowdiness has even begun to affect the neighborhood’s international image, as one visiting foreigner who was arrested for vandalism last year told the police: “I’d heard that Halloween in Japan is crazy, and that every year people do things like this. I thought I wouldn’t get hauled in even if I got drunk and went crazy in Shibuya.”
So this year, Shibuya is saying enough is enough, and the local government is instituting a ban on public alcohol consumption in a wide area that stretches across several blocks, and which traditionally sees the highest concentration of partiers.
▼ Drinking will be banned in the pink area.
The map’s Japanese text denotes:
- Tokyu Hands (Shibuya branch)
- Jinnan Post Office
- Tokyu Department Store (main branch)
- Shibuya Loft
- Bunkamura-dori Street
- Dogenzaka Street
- Statue of Hachiko
- JR Shibuya Station
- Shibuya Mark City
- National Route 246
- Shuto Kosoku expressway
In addition to the specifically mentioned landmarks, the alcohol ban area also includes the famous Shibuya Scramble intersection, Center-gai shopping street, and intersection in front of the iconic Shibuya 109 shopping tower. The ban will be in effect on Oct 25, 26, 27, and 31, starting at 6 p.m. and continuing until 5 o’clock the next morning (with the exception of Oct 27, when the ban will be in effect from 6 p.m. to midnight).
Note that while public consumption of alcohol is prohibited on those nights, Shibuya’s numerous restaurants, pubs, and bars will still be allowed to serve as much booze as they want to thirsty customers, so it’s not like you’ll have to stay sober all night long, just that you can’t try to shake that status while out on the streets.
Source: Shibuya Ward official website via IT Media
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