End-of-year celebrations are underway this weekend. Read on for all the ways to ring in 2017 in Tokyo.
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 à la Japanese. 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 Tokyo Tower for a countdown, fireworks and a mass crowd 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 yen, otherwise entry is free.
Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks (Dec 31): See 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. Makes for a spot to celebrate the New Year early and miss the midnight crowds.
Hooters New Year’s Eve Countdown Party (Dec 31): If you prefer your countdown to have an American feel, then Hooters has a retro party in Ginza as well as Shinjuku and Shibuya (prices differ) with DJs playing all the hits from the 80s and 90s. Tickets are on sale in advance and include two free drinks, with the added bonus that women’s tickets are 500 yen cheaper (we wonder why). Advanced tickets are 3,000 yen.
Whistlebump New Year’s Eve Party (Dec 31): The legendary party organizers of Tokyo are throwing another techno, house and deep-house party to finish the year in style at XEX in Nihonbashi. Visuals for the night will be provided by Meltex and Nanao. Advanced tickets are 3,000 yen.
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.
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 2017, cheapos!
Watch this next
New Video: A Beginner's Guide to Akihabara
Ready to experience Japan's Otaku ground zero? Anime, gaming, maid cafes, get your bearings amongst the weird and wonderful.