Huge crowds force suspension of Tokyo Station light-up event
JR East was forced to cancel the Tokyo Michiterasu illumination event at Tokyo Station on Sunday night because of the huge numbers of visitors flocking to see the spectacle. For safety reasons, JR East said the event would also be canceled on Monday night.
The light-up event is being held to promote the newly renovated station as a new tourist spot. It began last Friday and is scheduled to run until Friday night.
In addition to the thousands of lights, including revolving lanterns along Gyoko-dori Avenue, the event features state-of-the-art 3D projection mapping displayed on the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building. The name “Michiterasu” was derived from a Japanese term with multiple meanings, including shedding light on the road ahead, on the people, the city and the future.
On Saturday night, more than 100,000 people gathered in front of the station to view the spectacle. On Sunday night, just before 6 p.m., a huge crowd had massed in front of the station, occupying the main street and blocking traffic. JR East, Tokyo Station officials and police decided to suddenly suspend the event to prevent accidents.
JR East did not say if the event will be held for the rest of the week. Since Tuesday through Friday are work days, the area is unlikely to draw as many people as the three-day holiday weekend. JR East said it will make a decision on Tuesday.