The famous Shibuya scramble crossing in Tokyo is definitely home to Japan's biggest Halloween party -- too big, some might argue. Every year the iconic crossing essentially becomes a gigantic street party, with costumed party-goers spilling out into surrounding areas. While many participate in good natured fun, over the years there seems to be a growing public resentment for the gathering, with unruly behavior disrupting businesses, leading to arrests, and causing general chaos. There have even been moves to ban drinking in the area during the festivities.
This weekend marked the first time in years that Shibuya Halloween-goers could gather without being limited by pandemic safety protocol, so many were ready to come out in full force and celebrate the big day of spooky season. It seems that others in the area were ready to turn away from the festivities, however. In addition to an increased police presence this year, at least one major Shibuya business said no to costumed Halloweeners entirely.
Shibuya PARCO, one of Tokyo's biggest and most well-known department store complexes, put up a sign that made that very clear, an it's been getting a lot of praise online. On a recent trip to PARCO, Twitter user Tasonnu (@strawberry_trap) saw that the department store had put up a rather bold notice.
The sign reads: "Notice: We refuse entry to the store to anyone dressed up in Halloween costumes."
The notice is likely in response to a number of problems faced by the department store. For example, during the Shibuya Halloween celebration, many use restrooms in public facilities like PARCO to change, adding to the congestion of the facility which inconveniences shoppers. It's also likely a measure to prevent any of the unruly or intoxicated behavior, littering, and loitering from the party from spilling into the store.
As matter of fact as it is, the move has been widely praised online, with many leaving comments saying they hoped PARCO's attitude toward the massive street party would spread to other local businesses as well:
"This is great!"
"This is an obvious response! It's such a nuisance to other customers."
"It's really a wonderful response."
"I wish every store would do this."
"I personally want a restraining order from people dressed up for Halloween."
There's certainly nothing wrong with dressing up and having some Halloween fun, but it appears the inconvenience of those who flout the rules has led to some businesses putting their foot down about the Shibuya celebration.
Read more stories from grape Japan.
-- Student’s reaction to seeing a Game Boy Color for the first time has Japanese gamers reeling
-- Japanese hat maker brings back Anya’s beret from SPY×FAMILY by popular demand
-- French Embassy in Japan welcomes its “tanuki ambassador” in witty viral Tweet
- External Link
Login to comment
They should try this at Donki on a Saturday night. The only trouble being that you'd never be able to tell who was in costume and who wasn't.
Tokyo dept store praised for refusing entry to costumed Halloween revelers
I refuse to shop at Parco.
Excellent, well done..
Praised by many? Only 5 comments on that tweet, what a joke...
like we care about Parco.. long life Donki
Yet another indicator of the absolute circus Japan has turned into largely thanks to two and a half years of Covid fearmongering.
Like, how more tone deaf can you be?? Literally any person turned off by Shibuya Halloween is not going to visit there on that day anyway. Some of those very same brands that occupy space in that building (for example Nintendo, Pokemon) are more than happy to sell costumes down the street, for the explicit purpose of making money off of the crowds.
If it is such a crisis for your department store, why don't you just give your employees the weekend off and shut your doors? Oh no, you can't do that, because it would appear as though you are enabling laziness.
Japan's message to its youth is essentially: go to school, study all the time, get shido'd by your teachers for stepping out of line, graduate, work, get old, and die, all while wearing a worthless facemask. Obey societal mannerisms and don't have fun.
I bet this is people taking the p... with using the toilets as dressing rooms. Taking forever and covering them in makeup. Japanese companies should be commended for providing plenty of clean, free to use toilets, and folks should not abuse this courtesy. You only need to get on a plane to see this is not standard across the world. Its common to pay to use toilets in other countries.
As for Twitter comments, half of them will be people throwing virtual stones as wannabe fun police. Perhaps I am too with the above comment, but I doubt it. There won't be other obvious places to get changed in Shibuya.
I don't see how a harmless costume can cause a nuisance to others. The people staring and giving these people the cold shoulder instead of minding their own business and carrying on with their own lives are the ones causing a nuisance.
So, a department store is setting a dress code? Next it will be you can’t enter the store wearing a hat and flip flops in summer. I can understand them refusing entry to drunken troublemakers but this is absurd.
I imagine this isn't just restricted to Japan... I would expect any department store wouldn't like drunken yobbos in fancy dressing peeing on and fouling the toilet floors, as well as puking all over the place.
I remember the pre-pandemic sights of 'revellers' overturning a vehicle... not exactly the kind of behaviour you'd want to encourage is it?
But what about kids who do cos-play everyday? They are dressed for Halloween everyday, but they are not doing Halloween.
Ah yes, that well-known destination for Halloween revellers: Parco.
News outlets trying to make a drama and generate clicks from people trying to have a bit of fun have become more of a tiresome perennial staple than any party or festival ever could.
What's the problem? Too scary? :O
But seriously, what a bunch of dinosaur fuddy duddies.
Fourth Day of Halloween now and it's been managed quite well this year.
They are 100% banned from PARCO too. Make no mistake. It is a business - and these cos-players are not spending any money in there.
Halloween used to be for kids to go trick or treating. Then Halloween Parties became normal for high schoolers and grown ups. Then came the Halloween Parade. There has always been a bad element in this holiday as seen in the word "trick". For many kids Halloween became "Mischief Night" when acts of property damage became "acceptable". This aspect carried over into the "do anything you want" attitude among those who attended the Halloween parades. It's crazy, uncontrolled, and we have now seen, dangerous.
I feel sad that Asian nations like Japan and South Korea have adopted this, quite frankly, stupid festivity. Halloween was much nicer when it was for little kids.
With the number of people participating increasing every year, it is far above the what the area can hold. I don't see how being squeezed for 6-7 hours straight unable to move being any fun. It is just a matter of time before a Seoul like event to occur at this point.
The stores might as well close on Halloween nights and save their employees from being unable to go home as well, no shoppers would be able to shop when it take an hour to move 100 meters.
Unsurprisingly, a high level of cope just to justify bad Japanese ideas on full display here.
Okay, so can you point to the section of Parco's charter that states cosplaying is not allowed? You can't confirm they're not spending any money. Moreover, that's not really the issue. Tons of stores in Japan have begun taking an encouraging attitude towards TikTokers making content at those places. Why is it okay for them to dance in front of a camera to chase clout online, while costumes are banned?
Maybe, just maybe, if the socially conservative authority figures in countries like these stopped imposing cram study philosophy, unpaid overwork, Covid-related shaming, and a one-size-fits-all "conform and obey-the-hierarchy" culture on the youth, they would have more opportunities to let loose and not have it all bottle up until one or two nights of the year when it explodes for the media to shamefully exploit.
Excessive concern about bad behavior on Halloween whilst suicides skyrocket because young people are utterly miserable in this system of sensei/boss/Ojiisan worship.
Yeh again, why so much coverage on this and not on how many people are taking their own lives every year? Shame on Japan. Not self-aware, can't read the air, and acts helpless when there are major issues like the one I just mentioned, or the collapse of the tourism industry, for example.
From all the reactions to the various articles about halloween recently, its apparent that 'thinking of others and not just yourself' is sadly completely alien to most people.
The phrase "Hey loosen up, we're just having fun !" is sometimes used as a catchphrase by school bullies to legimitize all kinds of obnoxious behavior. It's sad, because by far the vast majority of Halloween participants are well-mannered and respectful of others.
Watching a live stream on YouTube of people in Shibuya right now. So far, in this one and the ones from the previous nights, haven't noticed any vandalism or property destruction, just young people trying to socialize and enjoy themselves. Maybe to some people that is still taboo due to the potential spread of Covid, or am I missing something?
There are alot of miserable people in charge in Japan.
It’s a crappy department store anyway. Mostly overpriced boutiques and weird art. I’ll pass from now on. I’ll instead visit the places that aren’t arrogant and out of date.
Halloween is a fun and pleasant event as long as people in Costumes DO NOT behave as their Costumes.
I've never understood people's desire to be part of these large crowded public events. I managed to go 40 years as a resident of NYC never attending the Times Square New Year's Eve mob, and never understood why anyone would want to attend.
I don't understand the attraction of the Shibuya Halloween, either. Halloween parties? Sure. Costume up. Drink. Listen to music. Dance. Sexy time. But, wander around the streets with 100,000+ others? Big nope.
@garypen horses for courses pal!
I believe no Japanese are interested in Halloween itself. They don't even know what they actually celebrate that day. They just want to feel bold being crazy together (
If that means "many people like to to stupid crap, while others don't because it's stupid", I agree.
Time adults stopped playing dressing-up like children.
Makes sense. Rowdy behavior regardless of event, is not appropriate within a place not deemed suitable for such activity.
I hope that they'll relax the policy and relieve the pressure if things start getting tight outside.
Japan has lost it sense of humor and uniqueness. This pandemic of control is taking its toll on everything fun and positive.
No fun Japan. This country is growing increasingly uptight, rule-bound and even paranoid. You can witness the stages over years, after the Aum nerve gas attack. 9/11, Fukushima, Covid, etc. Every social challenge ushers in fresh layers of rules and regulations that work to tighten the authorities' grip over citizens and their freedoms.
Gonna take a wild guess and say that none of the people complaining here about Shibuya Halloween ever had any intention of going and may not spend much time in Shibuya in general. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you and that’s A-OK
No need to get bent out of shape over something you’ve never experienced. I went to see it for myself last night. It was busy, but it was fine. It wasn’t a riot. It was no worse than a music festival or fireworks celebration here, in terms of crowds. The police were controlling the flow of people well.
I could see how anyone not wanting to take part would find it a little annoying, but as I say, it’s really just large crowds in what is typically the busiest part of Tokyo anyway.
Parco (and any other business) are well within their rights to refuse admittance, so I’m not going to complain about that, but I don’t really see how it’s even a story.
Where, pray tell, is this? I have a young school aged boy and live half a block from an elementary school and do not see kids wearing costumes.
"Your outrageous appearance is an offense to my eyes. "
I would argue that praising a corporate for this action should be reason for a serious reevaluation of your existence.
Not surprised by this. Parco is super boring.