There’s the Rugby World Cup, Halloween, the fall sumo tournament season—plenty of great reasons to go out and have an awesome night in Tokyo. But whether it’s your first time in the city or your fiftieth, there are some clear rules of etiquette that you should keep in mind if you want your night to go smoothly.
1. Tokyo is safe… but things still happen
Tokyo is ranked 13th on the world’s safest cities list for 2019 according to CEOWorld Magazine, but that doesn’t mean that crime doesn’t happen here. Popular entertainment areas like Shinjuku (especially Kabukicho), Shibuya, and Roppongi have relatively higher crime rates than other areas of the city. When visiting these spots, keep your wits about you as you would in any other major city in the world. Avoid walking alone at night, stay out of unlit or oddly empty streets, and don’t take back alley shortcuts.
2. Don’t be afraid to expose a chikan-perpetrator
On public transportation, most groping and pickpocketing incidents take place near the doors, so try to avoid those areas if you can. If you can’t and someone tries something with you, don’t be afraid to grab their arm and shout “chikan!” (チカン, groper) as loudly as you can, and get the train or station staff involved. A special openhand-shaped stamp that glows under UV light has recently been released, which could help to deter the problem by exposing culprits via a “mark of shame”.
3. Be careful of what (and who) you’re taking pics of