Shibuya Mayor Asks Halloween Revelers To Stay Home

Shibuya mayor asks Halloween revelers to stay home

The mayor of Tokyo's Shibuya Ward has asked people to refrain from coming to the district to celebrate Halloween this year, to prevent spreading of the coronavirus.

Hasebe Ken made the rare call at a news conference on Thursday ahead of Halloween next Saturday.

Hasebe said people should avoid crowded places where the coronavirus can be transmitted easily, and that events have been cancelled because of the virus.

He urged people to avoid Shibuya during the Halloween season to ensure their safety.

As alternatives, Hasebe suggested that people access "Virtual Shibuya," an online recreation of the city's streets and buildings, and take part in an online music festival on October 31.

He said people, whether in costume or not, should refrain from drinking on the streets of Shibuya.

In recent years, tens of thousands of people have gathered around Shibuya station on weekends before October 31 as well as Halloween. The famous scramble crossing near the station has been too crowded for pedestrians to move.

Noise and huge amounts of garbage left behind on the streets have also caused problems.

In 2018, Halloween revelers tipped over a truck at the crossing. Other trouble related to alcohol has also been reported.

Last year, Shibuya ward enacted an ordinance banning drinking on the streets and in parks during the period.