Shibuya district in Tokyo prohibits public drinking and cancels New Year’s Eve countdown event

With Tokyo gearing up for New Year’s Eve, the downtown neighborhood of Shibuya is imposing restrictions on public celebrations. The ban on public alcohol consumption around Shibuya Station will start at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and last until 5 a.m. the following day. The increased police presence and request for kiosks, convenience stores, and retailers to refrain from selling alcohol during this time are part of the efforts to maintain order and safety in the area.

Shibuya Ward’s decision to crack down on public drinking is motivated by concerns about overcrowding-related accidents and the need to improve public safety and security. This move also follows the district’s recent campaign to improve its image after becoming the center of chaotic Halloween celebrations, marred by high levels of crime and disorderly conduct.

In an effort to discourage public celebrations, the planned countdown-to-midnight event at Shibuya Station has been canceled. Even photo opportunities at the iconic Shibuya Scramble will be limited, as the giant video screens surrounding the intersection will go dark from 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

In a departure from previous years, when Shibuya attracted large crowds for New Year’s Eve celebrations, the neighborhood is taking a more cautious approach in 2023/2024.

The new restrictions in Shibuya are a significant change from the past, and they reflect the area’s commitment to creating a safe and orderly environment for residents and visitors. These measures also underscore the city’s ongoing efforts to manage public gatherings and maintain peace and security in public spaces.

As Tokyo prepares to bid farewell to 2023 and welcome the new year, the restrictions in Shibuya are a reminder of the importance of responsible public behavior and respect for community regulations.

© SoraNews24


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