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Shibuya bans public drinking for Halloween in some areas

43 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

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

  1. Eat sweets

  2. 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.

sh-2.png

The map’s Japanese text denotes:

  1. Tokyu Hands (Shibuya branch)
  2. Jinnan Post Office
  3. Tokyu Department Store (main branch)
  4. Shibuya Loft
  5. Bunkamura-dori Street
  6. Dogenzaka Street
  7. Statue of Hachiko
  8. JR Shibuya Station
  9. Shibuya Mark City
  10. National Route 246
  11. 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

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Shibuya mayor fed up with lawless Tokyo Halloween street party, promises stronger police response

-- Foreigner investigated for truck-flipping thought it’d be OK since “Japan is crazy at Halloween”

-- Japanese police requests train stations in Shibuya to shut exits during New Year countdown

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

43 Comments
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Vodka in pocari or Aquarius.

Jack in coke.

Rum in coke.

Ban evaded.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Shibuya can "ban" it all it wants, enforcement is something totally different!

I can just see it, a bunch of folks, dressed up with "crossing guard" vests patrolling the streets of Shibuya, and stopping people who are drinking and "scolding" them about the new "ban". ROFLMAO!

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Good thing Japanese laws and justice are a joke.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

"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."

This is a pure example of lazy, naive, blunt reporting. Disgusting too trying to blame "foreigners" for it too.

Am shocked !!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It's okay Tokyoites, you are welcome to our Halloween party in Osaka.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

There is no penalty for this ban. It is more of a suggestion. The police have no power to enforce it. They can only ‘urge’ people not to drink in those areas.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

three things Japan absolutely loves:

1. Dress up in costumes

Eat sweets

Engage in a massive amount of drinking

Or a thing and two things Japan absolutely loves.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This all sounds like a conspiracy of bar/restaurant owners in the area to increase customers.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I can't wait to watch the Oyaji Legion of duffers in hi-viz try to enforce this against tens of thousands of revellers hell-bent on having a good time. "No Do-rinku! No Do-rinku!" "Happy Halloween, mate. Hic, glug."

Once again Japan triumphs with the strategy of "Be seen to be trying to do something" rather than actually doing anything.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Very unfortunate for the vast majority sensible participants. Poor local administrators didn't have much choice, I think.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

….. be interesting to see this pulled off, only way to have a hope would be to BAN alcohol sales from combini, etc, are the powers that be going to do that I wonder.....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

you aren't suggesting we deceive the police, are you? :D

Cops have no control over this, as there are no laws on the books, and it would be impossible to have Shibuya stop the convenience stores stop selling alcohol either, as the convenience store owners would have the right to sue them for infringement in their businesses.

They could request their cooperation, but it would be totally up to the owners on how to deal with it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

On a lighter note, wouldn't mind having a "witch" like that come and haunt my dreams!

3 ( +10 / -7 )

I like her scythe with the skulls :D

Vodka in pocari or Aquarius.

Jack in coke.

Rum in coke.

Ban evaded.

Now, now, Chip Star, you aren't suggesting we deceive the police, are you? :D

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Every festival day has some incidents. This is just getting the xenophobia treatment.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Anytime an authority tells people they can't do something, the people will find a way to do it anyway.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just take the party up one station.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

After the near riot last year I'm not surprised they've clamped down.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good. The bad apples always have to ruin it for everyone else.

The bad apples got the public drinking banned, which means you are praising the bad apples in your support of the drinking ban. Smooth.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

It's okay Tokyoites, you are welcome to our Halloween party in Osaka.

No, they can keep their bad behaviour and alcohol ban. Don't ruin it for the rest of us!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I agree with those who think the ban will not be enforced.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No mention of penalties for breaking this new rule. Will those caught be forced to chug down whatever drink they've got in their hand and give the empty can/bottle to the police officer?!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

On a lighter note, wouldn't mind having a "witch" like that come and haunt my dreams!

Get in line!

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Anytime an authority tells people they can't do something, the people will find a way to do it anyway.

The hope may be that everyone spends so much time hiding the drinking they forget to cause trouble.

But anyway I think you should have said "some" people. Most are too sheepish to disobey.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I can only suggest that grumpy old people avoid driving their toy cars through a crowd of people that have been told not to drink, or have too much fun. It only leads to huge looped footage on morning TV shows and a pile of inhibitions left in the trash.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why will 27th be allowed to sell alcohol?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Honestly, this is just so predictable.

Everyone ignores the ban.

Rowdy times as usual.

Vadalism and groping occur; some arrests made.

Complaints and outrage from local residents and shop owners

Next year, they discontinue the Shibuya Halloween party altogether.
1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well. SWAT better gear up, and handcuffs better be a plenty. Just make sure you make examples of whoever does wrong. No mercy, start making arrests.

I mean this kind of nonsense drives women away. Without women around, there's no point for these Halloween celebrations. At that point, it's just a bunch of drunk dudes making a mess.

But it's just like "Japan" to focus on just one area. You can ban Shibuya, but then what about Shinjuku? What about Ikebukuro? What about Roppongi? etc etc........

This should be fun.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What about the ones dressed up as cops and say it's ok do it. Based on the article it sounds like the restaurants, bars and pubs are behind the pressure with the amount of customers not visiting them and going to Lawsons or Family Mart for booze. Now how convenient go to pub, bar and restaurant drink all you want at a cost of course much higher than Lawsons. and of course the 10% tax.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@showchinmono - From the strike of midnight of Year 2000 Roppongi started going downhill. Now as you rightly point out the same is happening for Shibuya. Halloween's first, then New Years day... these party like atmospheres are simply not the Japanese way of doing things, so that's presumably why they start to clamp down.

I think that Roppongi was going downhill well before the year 2000.

I think that you are right, Shibuya is going the same way.

..... and Shinjuku just gets worse and worse. (although I like Shun Okubo).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good luck enforcing that around Shibuya. The place was a zoo last year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@showchinmono - From the strike of midnight of Year 2000 Roppongi started going downhill. Now as you rightly point out the same is happening for Shibuya. Halloween's first, then New Years day... these party like atmospheres are simply not the Japanese way of doing things, so that's presumably why they start to clamp down.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yeah, they mentioned this last year. Old news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have just seen the area all in pink, oh boy! the pub and restaurants owners are going to be annoyed! just think how much revenue they will loose!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Am I the only one who thinks it's faintly weird for adults to play dress up on Halloween and get stinking drunk in the middle of the city? I was under the impression that Halloween was a childrens' special day, not an excuse for immature adults to look stupid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Am I the only one who thinks it's faintly weird for adults to play dress up on Halloween and get stinking drunk in the middle of the city?

I guess so. Very few normal people are so uptight they would think it’s weird for people to loosen up and have fun.

I was under the impression that Halloween was a childrens' special day,

Whomever told you that clearly wasn’t in touch with reality, where Halloween parties are held by adults all over the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I dunno, Stranger. I think a lot of people would think it is weird for thousands of adults to play dress up and hang around on public streets getting hammered. Nothing to do with loosening up and having fun. Try doing this on the streets of Los Angeles or New York.

If you want to have a Halloween party, feel free to do it indoors in a proper venue. Don't litter the streets and public transport.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Go through the trouble of hiding your poison but in the end you’re holding a thermos drunk as a skunk. The police will catch on.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't know who the stunning lady is in the main picture is, but she can knock on my door at any time!! is every body ready for trick or treat ? some years ago (around this time of year) I brought the mother in law a new sweeping brush, I think she saw the funny side.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Brian have you only just arrived in Japan...?

Heres the best way to avoid this ridiculous "law".

"Sorry mate, can't read Japanese. I'll chuck it away and I swear I don't have anymore. Thanks."

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What's so good with Shibuya NOW? that I don't get. No difference from Kabuki-cho, Roppongi.

Yes I know it used to be. about 30~40years ago.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Nice...if only these Halloween idiots have guts to celebrate in the big dark jungle during those nights....Only few would come out alive next morning.

Also, Japan should have their own 'Yurei Yokai' day, that on Jan 31st.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Good. The bad apples always have to ruin it for everyone else.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

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