Scary fun preempted by scary reality of pandemic.

Tokyo’s Shibuya district has long been a place to spot Japan’s latest youth fashions. In recent years, though, it’s also become the prime place in Japan to see Halloween costumes, as it’s become an annual custom for partiers to gather on the streets that spiderweb out from Shibuya Station on the nights of the weekend before Halloween, as well on October 31 itself.

But speaking at a recent press conference Shibuya ward head Ken Hasebe announced that the ward government will be actively telling people not to gather in Shibuya for Halloween this year, citing the coronavirus transmission risks the all-night celebrations pose.

▼ Maintaining a two-meter social distance is hard enough on a normal Friday night in Shibuya, but on Halloween, it’s absolutely impossible, as this photo from the year we dressed up as Hello Kitty shows.

In addition, Hasabe said that Shibuya Ward will be cancelling all of its previously planned New Year’s Eve events, which annually draw crowds of some 100,000 people (the Halloween parties, as unofficial gatherings, aren’t something the government can cancel). “We must not allow an infection cluster to occur on the streets of Shibuya,” Hasabe asserted while announcing the decision.

▼ At least we have our cosplay photo collections from previous years to remind us of the good times.

Shibuya does intend to offer an alternative, though. The ward is currently in the planning stages for a “virtual Shibuya” Halloween event, which might resemble the virtual Akihabara dojinshi convention and virtual Pokémon theme park from this summer.

We’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone who was looking forward to seeing what sort of last-second, half-effort costumes the SoraNews24 staff was going to come up with, carrying on the tradition embodied in our Where’s Waldo? and tapioca boba tea costumes from years past. Then again, it’s not like we ever really need a excuse to wear strange stuff when we’re just sitting around the office, so maybe we’ll dress up this October after all.

Sources: NHK News Web via Hachima Kiko, Nitele News 24 via Livedoor News
Photos ©SoraNews24
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