Taito Seven Lucky Gods Pilgrimage
Seven Lucky Gods Pilgrimage | Photo by Steve used under CC

2015 will soon be calling it a day and letting the newbie New Year take its place. There’s lots of ways to welcome 2016, and with NYE falling on a Friday you can keep the party going for a few days. Here are our top picks for the weekend:

Suggested Activity
Tokyo Tea Ceremony
Tea in Japan is infinitely more complicated than the boil/dunk/swish/remove method used in the West, and learning the Japanese tea ceremony is a must for anyone who loves the country. This short workshop will walk you through the intricacies of the tea ceremony, show you how to brew matcha, and also includes a sweet treat. This activity can be booked ...

First, 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. 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.

For a really unique way to celebrate, join the Fox Parade at  Oji Inari Shrine (Dec 31-Jan 1). 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 the shrine among other celebrations.



Made a resolution to be a better you? Maybe you need a new wardrobe? Maybe you’ve been a good cheapo all year and now you’re on the hunt for some retail bounty? Lots of winter sales start on January 1 and continue for a week (or longer). If you’re lucky (i.e. get there early enough), you can get your hands on a fukubukuro, a”goodie bag” with stock from the past year, usually at slashed prices. For sale dates at many of the major department stores around Tokyo see our article on winter sales.

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.

Happy New Year!

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