End-of-year celebrations are underway this weekend. Read on for all the ways to kiss 2017 goodbye and celebrate 2018 in Tokyo with countdowns, traditions and pilgrimages.
Traditional New Year celebrations: If you haven’t yet made plans for New Year’s Eve, you’ll want to check out our article on how to ring it in Japanese style. To celebrate the Japanese way, we outline traditional must-have decorations, must-eat foods (like toshikoshi soba, ozoni, and osechi ryori) and must-do rituals. If you want a more Western-style celebration, head to Shibuya Crossing for a large crowd gathering and a “we’re all in this together” feel. And for New Year’s Eve countdown/party options, read here.
Winter Comiket (Dec 29-Dec 31): Make your way to Tokyo Big Sight for the winter edition of one of Tokyo’s biggest pop culture events. Comiket is a comics festival, with a focus on independently created and published manga (or dojinsha). You can cosplay at the festival, but be sure to arrive/leave the venue in “normal” clothes. The changing room fee is ¥800, otherwise entry is free.
Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks (Dec 30): Celebrate the New Year a day early with a short but lovely fireworks display on Saturday night. The fireworks will go off between Odaiba and the Rainbow Bridge from 19:00-19:10.
Oji Inari Fox Parade (Dec 31): Legend has it that foxes gather on the eve of the the New Year in human guise. To pay homage to the legend, locals wear fox masks and visit Oji Inari Shrine—among other celebrations. A unique way to ring in 2018 to say the least!
7 Lucky Gods Pilgrimage (Jan 1-10): From January 1st and until the 10th, you can set off on a Seven Lucky Gods Pilgrimage—a tradition dating back to Tokyo’s Edo period to pray for blessings and wealth for the upcoming year.
Tokyo end-of-year winter sales: When you’re all partied out, this is also the time of year to find good deals across Japan. We’ve provided a list of shops and department stores offering winter sales and fukubukuro (“lucky bags”).
Happy 2018, cheapos!
A famous park, a former black market and a whole heap of museums—get to know Ueno:
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