Shibuya’s world-famous Halloween street parties may not be going away, but it looks like they’ll be going non-alcoholic.

Over the last decade, Japan’s Halloween celebrations have been getting bigger and bigger, but one thing remains the same: the biggest bash in the country is the one in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood.

What started off as a small uptick in Shibuya’s already bustling nightlife has grown into a multi-day unofficial street party, which takes place on the weekend before Halloween and comes back again on October 31 if it falls on a weekday. Thousands of people show up, coming not just from within Tokyo, but from other parts of the country and even abroad, turning the blocks surrounding Shibuya Station and its famous Scramble intersection into a mass of costumed humanity.

Unfortunately, an increasing number of the individuals who make up that mass have been behaving badly. 2018 had the most high-profile problems yet, with multiple arrests for theft and voyeurism, plus a woman getting slammed into the pavement and a truck being tipped over, setting off a months-long investigation leading to even more arrests.

▼ The now-infamous “Shibuya truck”

The collected criminal conduct of recent years had Shibuya Ward Mayor Ken Hasabe upset enough to warn that stricter regulations and countermeasures would be on the way, and a special investigative committee has been formed for just such a task. On May 13, the committee submitted its interim report, and has asked Shibuya legislators to enact a ban on the drinking of alcoholic beverages on streets and in parks in the area around Shibuya Station, where the majority of the Halloween celebrations take place.

Such an initiative is a bold move in Japan, where consumption of alcohol is allowed with almost no restrictions whatsoever in public places. However, with a large portion of Shibuya’s late-night Halloween crowds being in various stages of intoxication, and the recent mayhem starting to affect the neighborhood’s reputation on even an international scale, apparently the committee members feel such a drastic measure is necessary.

The proposed alcohol ban, which would be in effect not just on October 31, but for a period of several days around Halloween as well, will be formally introduced at the Shibuya Ward Council meeting in June, but is expected to receive strong support from legislators. The committee is also mulling over suggesting a Shibuya public drinking ban for New Year’s Eve, but given the far smaller number of alcohol-related incidents that have taken place on December 31, no formal recommendation has been made at this time.

Source: Livedoor News/Nitele News 24
Photos ©SoraNews24
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