October 9, 2023

Learning from the Itaewon tragedy, tourists are prohibited from celebrating Halloween in Shibuya

Shibuya Crossing or Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the busiest intersections in the world. This intersection has five crossings that cross 10 lanes of car and bus traffic. This place has become one of the icons of Tokyo and many tourists come to take photos there.

However, the Mayor of Shibuya wants this place to be one of the safest. Because of this, the local government banned Halloween celebrations at the intersection and on roads near Shibuya Station. Shibuya, which is a self-governing district in Tokyo, has issued an official request to domestic and foreign tourists to respect their manners and not celebrate Halloween in the area from October 27-31.
Hasebe Ken, the mayor of Shibuya, said he wanted to avoid overcrowding and other rowdy activities, after Halloween celebrations in Itaewon, South Korea, claimed many lives last year.

Hasebe spoke at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Thursday, October 5, 2023.

“Shibuya will not be the venue for the Halloween event this year. I want to convey this message clearly to the world,” he said, as reported by NHK.

Drinking on the streets near Shibuya station will be prohibite from October 27 to October 31, between 18:00 and 05:00. Shops in the area will also be ask to stop selling alcohol between these hours on Saturday, October 28 and Tuesday, October 31.

On October 29, 2022, a large crowd of people celebrating Halloween filled the narrow alleys of Seoul’s Itaewon district. The density of visitors caused the deaths of more than 150 people.
This year will also be Japan’s first Halloween since the country eased COVID-19 restrictions, and as the number of foreign visitors to Shibuya increases. In addition to reducing crowds in the Shibuya area, local authorities say they also want to avoid the impacts of overtourism, including property damage, littering and conflicts with local residents.

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