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News Shibuya and Shinjuku to ban public drinking


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Tokyo's Shibuya Ward intends to extend its ban on street drinking throughout the year, while Shinjuku Ward is implementing measures to address large crowds of Halloween revellers. Only Shibuya has an ordinance prohibiting alcohol consumption on the streets, but it is limited to Halloween and New Year's Eve. However, officials have observed that alcohol-related littering and traffic obstruction occur year-round. Consequently, they plan to revise the ordinance during the current ward assembly session to establish a year-round ban on public drinking. The proposal is anticipated to be approved on 17 June and implemented on 1 October.

Yuck, it's hard to believe this is Japan. 😅


Photo credit: Miyano Takuya via Asahi

The revised ordinance will not impose penalties on violators, but officials believe it will give the ward more power to directly ask people to refrain from drinking on the streets. The ward enforced the ordinance in 2019 after Halloween street parties around JR Shibuya Station became far too large to control. Since September 2023, a security company commissioned by the ward has conducted daily patrols. It found the number of cases of street drinking in March and April was rising. The daily average of street drinking cases on Fridays, Saturdays and days before holidays increased by about 1.5 times. Around 70 percent of the cases involved foreign visitors, according to the ward. The revised ordinance will prohibit street drinking from 6 p.m. until 5 a.m., and its target areas include Miyashita Park, the ward office neighborhood, and Maruyamacho, where nightclubs are concentrated.

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