Shinjuku's Kabukicho is among the world's largest adult entertainment districts, with thousands of bars and sex clubs providing a cornucopia of nighttime entertainment options.

It is not a quiet place -- kamikaze taxicabs rocket the narrow streets, a huge video screen blares scenes from the latest Koma Theater extravaganza and outdoor batting centers ricochet with the crack of aluminum smacking 100-km fastballs. Meanwhile, tucked away amid the debauchery and cacophony, up in the northwest corner of Kabukicho, is a 100-meter-long stretch of asphalt where neighborhood Japanese, Korean and Chinese teenagers sometimes meet to play pickup games of soccer and basketball: Okubo Park.

Some 18 months ago, city authorities decided Kabukicho needed cleaning up. So what did they do? They shut down Okubo Park.