Tokyo events for Monday, January 2 to Sunday, January 8, 2023.

How will you start off the year? Writing New Year’s resolution? Laying on the couch reeling from all the holiday food you’ve gobbled down? Or attending one of these events?

Wrestle Kingdom 17 in Tokyo Dome

Running every January since 1992, these matches (Wrestle Kingdom 17) at Tokyo Dome will see top wrestlers from across the globe come to Japan and battle it out. It will also be the first year to crown the winner of the NJPW World Television Championship.

Opulence: Japan’s Greatest International Drag Show

Iconic stars of Ru Paul’s Drag Race are coming to Tokyo for a jaw-dropping drag show with lights, cameras, and plenty of action. If you’re a fan of drag, you must know these guest performers names: Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (“Miss Vanjie!”), Naomi Smalls (“Club 96.”), Alexis Mateo (“Sickening, no?”), and Angele Anang (the “Beyoncé of Thailand”).

International Headliner: Sam Tallent (US)

Known for a whip-quick wit and rollicking improvisations, Sam Tallent is one of the sharpest, most original rising talents in comedy today and is performing in Tokyo for one night only. Don’t miss this opportunity to kick off 2023 with some amazing comedy!

Torigoe Shrine Tondoyaki

Bring your used New Year’s decorations to this shrine for Tondoyaki, a ceremonial burning, or watch others do so. It is said that if the smoke blows over you, you’ll have a year’s good health.

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Daikon Radish Festival

Every year on January 7 at Matsuchiyama Shoden in Asakusa, there is a service for the god Shōden where daikon radishes are offered up as a symbol of his work. But the festival doesn’t stop there; soon after, the daikon is chopped up and made into a special dish called furofuki — sliced radish with miso sauce on top — and given to visitors.

January Grand Sumo Tournament

The start of the sumo tournaments for the year begins in Tokyo on Sunday. This is the first of Japan’s six sumo tournaments, known as honbasho. With sumo rankings released a few weeks before, it’s a chance to see the traditional sport up close and personal. Nothing beats the atmosphere of the tense final matches of the day, complete with cushion-throwing and cheers.

Shrine visits (hatsumōde)

Shiba Daijingu during New Year Hatsumode | Photo by Gregory Lane

The first few days of the new year are dedicated to praying or wishing for prosperity, safety, and good health. Hatsumōde traditionally refers to visiting a shrine or temple between January 1-3. Expect Tokyo’s popular ones — Sensō-ji, Zōjō-ji, Meiji Shrine, and Kanda Myōjin — to be packed. Skip the hours-long queue at those spots, and instead visit a smaller, local shrine for a less stressful start to your New Year.

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