New Year’s Eve in Japan is traditionally spent with the family, making the first shrine visit of the year and generally being pretty chilled. That isn’t the only option though—there are some amazing Tokyo New Year parties to see off the soon-to-be-infamous year of 2018, and I think we can all agree that is something worth celebrating. Here’s a rundown of some recommendables.
Tokyo Fight Club (Shibuya)
New fight sport bar Tokyo Fight Club is putting on a countdown party to crush the old year and bring in the new. Live fights, a live DJ, champagne and more add up to make this a wild way to spend the final night of 2018.
Showtek at Ageha (Shinkiba)
The best superclub in Tokyo, AgeHa is definitely going to be the biggest party in town and has all the DJs to prove it. Dutch electronic duo Showtek will be headlining with support from a whole host of top DJs from Japan and abroad, as well as great visual entertainment from the Cyber Japan Dancers.
Countdown at Circus (Shibuya)
A relatively new club in Tokyo, Circus is holding another huge NYE celebration with Drum & Bass star Metrik headlining, all the way from the UK. Focused on House Music with artists including Makoto and Mountain, you’ll hardly notice the countdown you’ll be having so much fun. One of the more affordable options by far.
Times: 9pm onwards
Tickets Advance: ¥3,000 | On the door: ¥3,500
Countdown 1819 Japan (Chiba)
The annual four-day music festival held at Makuhari Messe is back this year, with a huge lineup of over 50 bands and DJs ready to bring in the New Year with a bang. There will be five stages with a mix of performers, all ending in a final night of music and celebrations. This is the Tokyo New Year’s Eve party for you if you enjoy Japanese bands, but the price tag is a little higher. You can buy tickets for each day individually, although there is a limit of two tickets per person.
Times: 12pm – 8.30pm (some variation depending on the day)
Tickets: One-day advance: ¥11,500 | 4 days: ¥35,000
Womb Tokyo New Year Countdown (Shibuya)
If you want the full Tokyo New Year’s Eve experience, head to Shibuya for pre-drinks by the famous crossing before hitting Womb’s Countdown for five levels of DJs. Nic Fanciulli will be doing a special six-hour-long set with fellow DJs Osamu M, DK Aki, Tommy Wada, Yoshi, Yamariki and Addict.
Shibuya Crossing is expected to pedestrianized again this year (although the Halloween drama may have changed this), so it should be the perfect place to celebrate, if you don’t mind the cold! If you do, there are all the bars you could ever need and Womb will warm you up (either by dance or by unavoidable proximity to others).Tickets are ¥5,000 for men and ¥4,500 for women on the door, with ¥1,000 knocked off if you go in after midnight.
Sound Museum Vision Countdown (Shibuya)
An alternative on the busy streets of Shibuya is Vision: a huge underground space with one of the best custom-built sound systems in the world. This year’s celebration is headlined by Derrick May with Ken Ishii and more names to come. Doors open at 9pm and there are two prices for on-the-door tickets: ¥3,500 (9pm – 11pm and again after 3.30am) and ¥5,000 (11pm – 3.30am). If you’re under 23, tickets are ¥2,500 and some advance tickets are available for ¥3,500 too.
Tokyo New Year Countdown Cruise
For a different take on your final night of 2018, why not spend the evening on a luxury cruise admiring the skyline? There will be a buffet dinner, marching band and plenty of drinks to make it a memorable evening, although the views will be entertainment enough, we expect. Passing the Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower and Skytree, it will be a real Tokyo-take on the new year and you can welcome midnight in style with a glass of champagne.
Times: 10pm – 1:30am
Tickets: Advance: ¥18,000
For a stylish night out this New Year’s, head to Ele’s end-of-year party, the home of gold bathrooms, dress codes, EDM, electro and hip hop. The ban on t-shirts, open-toed shoes and jeans means everyone will be looking as smart as the club—and you can celebrate the classy way (even though it’s basically in Roppongi). With Hanabi headlining and support from DJs Yaksa and Kentaro, there is no way you won’t be on the dance floor trying to copy the moves of Ele’s Doll dancers. While men pay ¥4,000 (and receive a drink plus unknown ‘special goods’) women go free!
Times: 9pm onwards
Tickets: Door: Men – ¥4,000 (one drink) | Women: Free!
Future Terror at Unit (Daikanyama)
Future Terror is back, ready to wash away the terrors of 2018 with Headliner DJ Stingray and support DJs like Nobu, Synth Sisters (live), Wata Igarashi (live) and plenty more. If you’re looking for a countdown filled with techno and house with an amazing line-up, this is the one for you.
While we do our best to ensure everything is correct, information is subject to change. Post updated on November 26, 2018.
Our video guide to the tuna auctions at the shiny new Toyosu Fish Market
Recommended hotels located nearby
Kameido, from ¥4,470
Ariake, from ¥18,500
Kiyosumi, from ¥4,200
Ginza, Tsukiji, from US$85.00