Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.
Update: Some shrines and temples are restricting their opening hours over the New Year period to avoid crowds. Check the venue websites before heading out.
There are so many ways to celebrate the New Year in Tokyo, but it's hard to go past spending New Year at one of Tokyo's many temples or shrines, some of which even feature the traditional bell-ringing ritual to help rid visitors of their troubles and start 2021 fresh.
One of the most popular traditions in Japan, hatsumode is the practice of visiting a shrine or temple throughout the New Year holidays to pray for good fortune for the coming year. On New Year's Eve, these shrines and temples open their gates in the evening and throughout the night to worshippers wishing to make their first prayers right at midnight. You can line up to be the first to pray when the clock strikes 12, but be warned that it can take some time to reach the inner temple, so dress warmly. After you've finished your prayers, pick up an omikuji – it’ll tell your fortune for the new year.
RECOMMENDED: Check the train and subway times in Tokyo on New Year's Eve – many companies are limiting their services due to Covid-19.