Tourists asked to stay away from Japan's bustling Shibuya on Halloween

06 Oct 2023 07:49pm
Tokyo's Shibuya. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP FILE PIX
Tokyo's Shibuya. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP FILE PIX

TOKYO - Foreign visitors and partygoers are asked not to visit Japan's bustling Shibuya in Tokyo for Halloween celebrations expected at the end of the month over fears of crowd crush, a local government official has said, reported Xinhua.

Ken Hasebe, mayor of Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, called on those who are thinking about visiting Shibuya for Halloween on Oct 31 and during the several days leading up to it to "reconsider" their plans at a press conference on Thursday.

A video titled "On Halloween Night Everyone Should Stay Away from Shibuya" was displayed, condemning acts that are strictly prohibited in the area, including violence, street drinking, and traffic violations, which unavoidably occur among the Halloween-celebrating crowds.

"This year, we are making it clear to the world that Shibuya is not a venue for Halloween events... Please, do not come to the Shibuya station area for Halloween," said Hasebe.

Noting that many people from in and out of Japan come to the area every year for fun celebrations, Hasebe stressed that a crowd crush like the one that killed about 160 people celebrating Halloween last year in Seoul's Itaewon district could happen in Shibuya.

"A fatal accident like Itaewon can happen here any time," he said, adding that the number of people coming to Shibuya has increased dramatically to even above the pre-pandemic level since the legal status of COVID-19 was downgraded.

Between Oct 27 and Oct 31 this year, Shibuya is beefing up the number of security guards and officials to remind people about its city ordinance banning alcohol consumption near the station, the government official introduced.

During the period, traffic restrictions will also be in place in the night and early morning hours, he added.

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Shibuya's famous scramble crossing and its surrounding streets, known for drawing throngs of partygoers and youngsters, are the centre of Japan's Halloween celebrations, which have grown steadily over the years.

It is also a popular attraction for tourists, with thousands arriving in costume or simply to spectate, wandering with smartphones and cameras. - BERNAMA-XINHUA