Tracer Observation of Queuing Behavior During New Year’s Visits to Shrines/Temples Using GPS Log Data




New Year’s Visit , Crowd Management, Tracer Observation, Fire, Evacuation, High-rise building


Crowd behavior during customary New Year's visits to shrines/temples in Japan was investigated. During these mass gatherings, visitors form a queue along the approach to the Main Hall of the shrines/temples. The unidirectional flow of the queue as the visitors approach the Main Hall to perform rituals is managed by police. The author observed the queuing behavior of visitors by joining the procession and tracked his position over time using a GPS logger. The author also observed the surrounding geometrical features and the procedures for guiding the crowd. Control methods, such as cordons and preparation of extra queuing space, were examined based on the observational data and compared with those of building/fire evacuations. The “everyone is welcome” aspect of New Year's visits required not only cordons in front of bottlenecks such as gates, stairs, and praying areas, but also alteration of the queuing space to accommodate for expansion of the crowd size. In contrast, considering building/fire evacuations, occupancy can be estimated or controlled by ticket quantity or density. Therefore, the accumulation of evacuees at bottlenecks can be predicted and should be considered in the building design phase. Different events or facilities require distinct crowd management approaches.


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How to Cite

Minegishi, Y. (2024). Tracer Observation of Queuing Behavior During New Year’s Visits to Shrines/Temples Using GPS Log Data. Collective Dynamics, 9, 1–9.



Special Issue of Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics 2023