TOKYO: A ban on alcohol came into force around Tokyo’s tourist hotspot Shibuya on Friday (Oct 27) in an attempt to discourage raucous Halloween gatherings a year after a deadly crowd crush in South Korea.
Nearly 160 people were crushed to death in a narrow alleyway in Seoul on Oct 29 last year after tens of thousands of people poured into the Itaewon neighbourhood to celebrate Halloween.
In Tokyo, tens of thousands of people, Japanese and foreign alike, have thronged the narrow streets around Shibuya in past years, many dressed up in Instagram-ready zombie costumes.
The crowds have slowed down emergency services attempting to reach people in need.
“We’re extremely concerned accidents similar to the fatal case in Itaewon in Seoul last October could happen anytime,” the district’s mayor Ken Hasebe said this month.
Ahead of this weekend, a video released by authorities in Japanese and English focused also on the annoyances caused to locals such as vandalism, litter and noise.
“This Halloween night everyone should stay away from Shibuya. Some people live in Shibuya,” the video message said.
“Violence. Drinking on the street. Smoking on the street. Traffic violation. You can’t choose how your actions will affect others.”