Happy New Year 2022
Photo: Takashi Miyazaki/Unsplash; design: Saiko Miyasato

How to celebrate New Year's Eve 2021-2022 in Tokyo

Have a sumptuous NYE dinner, party all night, try temple-hopping, or relax and watch the first sunrise of the new year

Kasey Furutani
Kit Kriewaldt
Written by
Kasey Furutani
&
Kit Kriewaldt
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While New Year’s Day in Japan, called shogatsu, is normally a quiet holiday dedicated to family time, New Year's Eve in Tokyo is anything but. This year, things may be more muted and celebrations will need to be socially distanced, but you can still spend the last night of the year like a Tokyoite by heading to a countdown party, sipping creamy amazake at a temple or getting up early to catch the first sunrise of the new year.

RECOMMENDED: New Year's Eve train schedules across Tokyo

Say hello to 2022

  • Things to do

Come New Year's Eve, Tokyo is usually filled with incredible parties and countdown celebrations. Thanks to Covid-19, things are a little muted, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to do. Tokyo is still hosting some concerts, club nights and parties over New Year's Eve, including the last ever NYE countdown at Tokyo's mega nightclub Ageha.

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Hatsumode is the tradition of visiting a Shinto shrine (or Buddhist temple) during the first few days of the new year. Some shrines and temples start the celebration early and set up festival tents, similar to those found at summer matsuri festivals, on December 31. The largest festivals are held at Meiji Shrine in Harajuku and Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, while Zojoji Temple offers a majestic view of a glowing Tokyo Tower.

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Did you stay up the whole night partying? Then you can stay up a little longer and catch the first sunrise of the new year, called hatsuhinode. The sunrise is expected around 6.50am, but the early hour doesn’t stop hordes of people flocking to the best spots. You can see the sun from just about anywhere, although popular destinations like Sky Circus Sunshine 60 Observatory and Tokyo Tower can get packed.

Avoid the crowds by getting out of the city. Places like Miura Beach in Kanagawa or even the Osanbashi boat terminal in Yokohama are great free spots to see the dawn of the new year.

And as for New Year's Day...

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