One of Tokyo's most popular entertainment districts was shut down on Saturday, October 29 to host a giant Halloween Party. Shibuya, a “city within a city” in Tokyo, is ground zero for youth culture in Japan.
Its fashionable 109 department store and Bunka Mura Dori street are popular destinations for young people, and Shibuya itself is filled with nightclubs, karaoke bars and other places to have fun. And, each year, Shibuya is the scene of the biggest Halloween party in Japan.
— ゆるふわ陸士☆埼玉 (@yuruhuwa_rikusi) October 29, 2016
[Photo shows Shibuya participants dressed up as Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and Mickey Mouse]
These guys are risking getting sued for copyright infringement.
While there were some fears that rain and cool temperatures would keep crowds away, in the end thousands of people descended on Shibuya on Saturday night.
— ネコスポ（気軽にフォローどうぞ♫） (@nekospo) October 29, 2016
Halloween in Shibuya
This is the first year that roads in and around Shibuya were closed to motor vehicle traffic for Halloween. According to independent news outlet Japan Today, in previous years “sidewalks were so jammed with people that it was almost impossible to move between 10 p.m. and midnight.”
Happy Halloween…#halloween #ハロウィン #shibuya #渋谷ハロウィン #渋ハロ #渋谷 #渋谷スクランブル交差点 #写真好きな人と繋がりたい #写真撮ってる #ファインダー越しの私の世界 #tokyo #japan pic.twitter.com/4Z5Lowjzn9
— onotch (@onotch_x) October 30, 2016
#halloween #shibuya #shibuya halloween #shibuya scramble #photography #tokyo #japan
Sankei News explained:
The closed-off [part of Shibuya] included a 270-meter stretch in front of the SHIBUYA 109 Building, the Tokyu department store and Bunka Mura Dori [street], and another stretch of Dogenzaka from the 109 Building, to make a giant Y-shape [of closed-off space]. City streets normally dominated by cars were blocked off by barricades, and instead there was the rare sight of camera flashes going off amidst the people crowding the roadway.
Besides the fact roads were closed for pedestrian traffic, Halloween 2016 in Shibuya was notable for an effort to keep mess to a minimum and preserve order through a large police presence:
かわいすぎて癒されたw#渋谷ハロウィン #渋谷 pic.twitter.com/QoKGsjV7yD
— おーぬまん（大沼 類） (@onumaaan) October 30, 2016
2016 Halloween in Shibuya: what it looks like right now (LOL)
This must be murder for people just getting off of work… it's impossible to move.
Pikmin [a popular video game character] is doing radio calisthenics… too cute! #shibuya halloween
— 中山夏美 (@zao_natsumi) October 29, 2016
It's Halloween and it's crowded in Shibuya. And there is an abnormally huge number of police!
In a tweet, Sankei News also decided to focus on the participation of presumably non-Japanese (i.e., “foreign”) people in the Halloween festivities
黒人男性が「フォーッ！」いきなり路上に飛び出し歓声 ハロウィーンで厳戒の渋谷、交通規制開始 https://t.co/tkCKN4NIkA #ハロウィン pic.twitter.com/Pi6CLiefOn
— 産経ニュース (@Sankei_news) October 29, 2016
A black person shouting “Whoo!” suddenly rushed onto the newly closed-off street. Under tight security, Shibuya closed down to cars for Halloween.
Since litter seems to have been a problem in previous years, organizers provided Halloween-themed garbage bags:
— かっつー (@kattsuw) October 29, 2016
Garbage bags at Shibuya Station.
Newscasts reported on the size of the crowds, and provided some footage of costumes.
Halloween has been growing in popularity in Japan over previous years. In 2016, there was more money spent in Japan on Halloween than on Valentine's Day.