Tokyo’s Neon Lights show on Monday was the first time the city has had its own neon lights show since it was electrified in 1964.
But it came amid warnings from residents and businesses that the lights will have a “long-term” impact on the city’s infrastructure and public spaces.
The event at a public park in central Tokyo, with about 1,000 attendees, was meant to bring in a new generation of visitors, including celebrities.
It was also intended to show Japan’s capital that it was still a world-class city.
“We’re hoping to bring more tourists to Tokyo and to Japan itself, and to encourage more tourists,” said Yoko Shimamura, a spokesperson for Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which owns the park.
But some residents of the central Tokyo area have been complaining that the neon lights have created a buzz and that they are taking advantage of a holiday year in which they are supposed to spend the day outside.
A group of young people who had gathered in the park in the wee hours to watch the show and to make sure the lights were lit, said they were angry that the government had not told them in advance when the lights would be switched off.
“I feel sad and disappointed,” said one of them, Yukiko Matsumoto.
“We wanted to watch this show but we were afraid to be out of our homes in the evening, and we didn’t want to go outside without lights on.”
In the weeks leading up to the event, some residents had complained to local police that the Neon Lights had become a nuisance, as well as a nuisance to the public.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government has said it will shut down Neon Lights for an unspecified period until it can find a solution to the problems caused by the lights.
Some businesses in the area, including restaurants and retail stores, have taken the decision to close on Mondays in the hope that the crowds will disperse before the lights are shut down.
However, in the past, the crowds have gathered in areas where Neon Lights are regularly installed, which has prompted complaints from the local government.
On Saturday, Tokyo Metropolitan Police issued a warning to residents who were outside on the weekend in an effort to calm the crowd, according to a local media report.
One resident, who gave his name only as Yuki, said he was scared to go out at night.
He said he felt nervous going out in the early morning because of the neon and the crowds of people.
People who were walking home said they feared that the city would close down at night, according.
Matsumoto said the lights may have been installed to prevent the city from having to shut down for several days at a time.
She said that Neon Lights is not a good thing for the city.
“The neon lights are not good for the public’s health, they cause congestion in public areas, and they can make the area a bit dangerous,” Matsumotos said.
Last year, Tokyo saw a record number of neon lights installations, with around 30,000 lights installed in 2017, according a survey by the Japanese government.
A similar number was installed last year, and this year will be the first year that the entire city will have its own Neon Lights event.