Five arrests made at celebration attended by “young people and foreigners”.

Every year, the area around the Shibuya Scramble Crossing in Tokyo turns into a massive street party on the weekend closest to Halloween, with crowds of revellers dressed in costumes coming together to celebrate the annual occasion.

The unofficial outdoor event gets bigger and rowdier every time it’s held, and this year Shibuya’s ward mayor Ken Hasebe urged nearby stores to voluntarily suspend sales of alcoholic beverages in glass containers during the event, and asked revellers to behave themselves and head home on the last train of the night.

Unfortunately, it appears that Hasebe’s words fell on deaf ears on the weekend, as crowds descended on Shibuya for this Halloween’s festivities. Local police received a number of reports of unruly behaviour on Saturday night, which included a toppled truck, groping, and upskirt photography.

▼ This man was seen on his knees brazenly photographing the thighs of women in short skirts.

The street party brought out the worst in some people, who saw the night as a chance to misbehave and cause chaos in the crowd. After receiving reports of injuries, upskirt photography and women’s breasts being groped, police made five arrests during the evening, related to groping, voyeurism, and assault.

▼ Ambulance and police are seen at the scene of an assault.

▼ Police took one couple away in a cop car

One of the most alarming incidents of the night was a report of vehicle damage, after a group of rowdy revelers climbed onto the back of a kei truck that had made its way into the crowd.

After people had climbed off the back of the vehicle, others around them decided to topple the truck over. The incident occurred at approximately 1 a.m. on 28 October.

Local media reports cited the unofficial street party celebration at Shibuya as an event attended by “young people and foreigners”, and foreigners can clearly be seen both helping to topple the vehicle and trying to stop it, while another chose to climb on it afterwards.

According to eyewitness accounts, the driver had escaped from the truck after it became difficult to drive through the crowd, and the owner has now filed a damage report with local police after the truck’s windows were smashed and the roof was dented as a result of the incident.

Police arrived on the scene to remove the vehicle shortly after the truck was toppled. Thankfully there were no injuries and Tokyo Metropolitan Police are now investigating the incident.

The close proximity between crowd and vehicles continued throughout the evening, as drivers drove their modified cars through the streets. Impromptu dance parties broke out around the area as revelers gathered around the brightly lit vehicles.

Up above, there was music of a very different sort being played in the private karaoke rooms.

Some members of the crowd even got close to police vehicles, causing angry confrontations. The video below shows Japanese officers retreating to their car without resorting to violence or making arrests, despite the abuse being hurled at them.

This angle shows some members of the crowd boldly attempting to open the doors of the police vehicle.

The incidents at Shibuya made news headlines around Japan, with many expressing anger at the appalling behaviour on display. Some likened it to the post-apocalyptic world seen in the anime Fist of the North Star, while others appealed for the event to be stopped before more serious incidents occur.

Many were sympathetic to the members of the police force, who were out in huge numbers on the night, watching over the crowd from their DJ boxes and attending to the needs of the public.

Last week, before the event was held, Mayor Hasebe told reporters “If an appeal to people’s manners and morals do not lead to improvements, we’ll have to start considering formal, legal regulations and restrictions. I hope that people will remember to be polite as they enjoy Halloween in Shibuya, so that we can continue to have the celebration as a new part of our local culture.”

Given the unruly behaviour witnessed on the weekend, it will be interesting to see if officials will decide to place regulations and restrictions on the event in future.

Source: NHK News, Togetter
Featured image: Twitter/@sengodebu