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Shibuya Cracks Down on Public Drinking: What You Need to Know

Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s major entertainment and nightlife districts, has passed a new ordinance banning public alcohol consumption. Starting October 1st, drinking on the streets will no longer be allowed between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Expansion of Previous Restrictions

The Shibuya Ward Assembly’s decision follows the earlier, smaller-scale public drinking bans introduced in 2019. These initial restrictions targeted Halloween and New Year’s Eve due to escalating incidents of violence, vandalism, littering, and other crimes linked to large, drunken street parties.

Shibuya Bans Street Drinking
Photo Credit: The Japan Times

Areas Affected by the Ban

The expanded ban will cover the areas around Shibuya Station, the Shibuya Scramble intersection, Center-gai shopping street, the Shibuya Ward Office, Miyashita Park, and the Maruyamacho nightclub district. This comprehensive approach aims to curb the rowdy behavior seen during major celebrations.

Enforcement Without Penalties

Interestingly, the new law does not impose penalties for violations. Those caught drinking on the streets will simply be asked to discard their beverages. This approach aligns with a common practice in Japan, where the existence of a law often serves as a sufficient deterrent.

Shibuya Bans Street Drinking
Photo credit: The Mainichi

Focused Enforcement Times

The ban’s hours of enforcement, from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m., target the peak times for public drinking-related issues. This strategic timing allows for focused police patrols and enforcement efforts.

Looking Forward

As Shibuya prepares to implement this new regulation, both locals and visitors are encouraged to enjoy the area’s vibrant nightlife within the many bars, pubs, and clubs that the district offers. Read our guide on Shibuya nightclubs here.

Written by The Tokyo Night Owl

The owl providing you with in-depth guides to Tokyo's incredible nightlife.

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