New Year’s Eve countdown event
Photo: Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, LimitedShibuya NYE event 'You Make Shibuya Countdown 2018-2019'

The 2023/2024 New Year’s countdown at Shibuya Crossing is cancelled

Shibuya also announced it will ban public drinking for certain hours from December 31 New Year's Eve

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

In a move that might disappoint revellers, Shibuya recently announced the cancellation of its infamous New Year’s Eve countdown event for the fourth consecutive year. The decision, as stated by the Shibuya Countdown Executive Committee, arises from concerns over ensuring safety and security due to the anticipated influx of visitors.

Since summer, the visitor count in Shibuya has surged, raising concerns about managing large-scale events like New Year’s Eve countdown. The event, traditionally held at the iconic crossing in front of Shibuya Station, has historically been a magnet for massive crowds, making it challenging to maintain a safe and secure environment. 

To mitigate the risk of accidents due to overcrowding, Shibuya City is ramping up security measures for the holiday period. Additionally, in a coordinated effort with operators of the large digital screens surrounding the famous scramble intersection, usual advertisements and displays will cease at 11pm on December 31, an hour before the usual midnight cutoff.

Shibuya officials will also reinforce its ‘zero nuisance public drinking’ policy by banning street drinking in the immediate areas around Shibuya Station from 6pm on December 31 through 5am on January 1. The city is urging local kiosks, convenience stores and retailers to refrain from selling alcoholic beverages during this period.

This decision mirrors the previous years' cancellations, initially due to Covid-19 concerns. Shibuya Crossing, a symbolic location for the New Year's Eve festivities, had attracted over 100,000 attendees annually between 2016 and 2019, making it one of Tokyo's most celebrated spots for ushering in the new year.

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