Tokyo’s Pedestrian Paradises
On most Sundays, motor traffic is banned from parts of three of the most popular streets in Tokyo, which then become “hoko-ten” (pedestrian paradises). This system dates back to August 1960, when the famous Ginza Street initiated the practice. This practice has continued to the present. The broad avenue is blocked off, and pedestrians permitted to stroll and relax, until early evening, free from exhaust gas and noisy traffic. (On rainy days and at the end of the year, some streets suspend the practice.) While such things as street performances photography sessions, political demonstrations, street sales, passing out of flyers, collection of money for charities, etc., are officially banned, some street performers nonetheless ignore the rule and put on impromptu shows.