Shibuya asks Halloween revelers to stay away this year

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.
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.
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 Pokemon theme park from this summer.
Sources: NHK News Web via Hachima Kiko, Nitele News 24 via Livedoor News
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