Time appears to pass way too quickly sometimes – it’s already the end of the year again! Japan and significantly Tokyo could be a nice option to visit for a brand new Year’s trip. The culture surrounding New Year’s is maybe immensely completely different in Japan from what you’re used to. Whereas it’s celebrated on Dec 31rd, like in the West, you won’t notice many of us heading out for crazy partying. Instead, New Year’s may be a family festival wherever folks have day off to travel to their town, visit their family, and interact in a whole set of traditional customs and rites. Whereas several of Tokyo’s retailers will shut early, there are still several fun shopping opportunities and in the evening, you’ll wish to get ready to greet the New Year. We’ve compiled the best spots in Tokyo for experiencing New Year’s customs, saturate your party desire, and get some shopping done!
Zojo-ji is an ancient temple that dates back to 1393, located right at the foot of the romantic Tokyo Tower. You’re greeted by a large, vermilion-lacquered gate referred to as“Sangedatsumon.” it’s survived the war almost unharmed and still stands because the original gate of the time of construction in the early Edo period. The temple and its ground emit a splendidly peaceful atmosphere, but most Japanese folks are aware of it for the mausoleum of the Tokugawa Shoguns.
On New Year’s Eve of every year, locals and tourists visit Zojo-ji Temple to do “hatsumode,” the standard initial shrine or temple visit of the year. The grounds begin to get crowded at around 10:00 p.m. in the evening and therefore the arrival of the New Year is then celebrated by a monk ringing a bell specifically 108 times. According to Buddhist belief, this tradition is done to be cleansed of the 108 worldly wishes. What might sound rather grim and formal is truly a rather joyous event and therefore the temple is stuffed with a warm, lively atmosphere.
The lit-up Tokyo Tower in the background solely adds to the experience. Along with the countdown for the New Year, the number of the year displayed on the famous landmark changes, making for an exciting moment and exciting scenery. Japan’s famous coexistence between trendy and traditional can nowhere be as vividly felt as at Zojo-ji Temple.
Yokohama’s New Year’s countdown is exceptionally fun and lively because it takes place right at the port. When Japan signed a treaty of commerce with the U. S. in 1858, following two hundred years of seclusion, Yokohama has experienced an influx of Western culture. Thus, it’s one amongst the few places in Japan that celebrates New Year’s with fireworks and an entire heap of parties. We especially suggest Yokohama Hakkeijima Ocean Paradise for an exquisite, Western-style New Years’ experience. Throughout the day, the place is both aquarium and amusement park in one, while illuminations light up the area when the sun has set. On top of that, look forward to a 10-Minute long firework show that greets the New Year. The colourful spectacle reflected on the ocean is a breathless sight.
After the fireworks, enjoy yourself the entire night – but undoubtedly stay around! There’s few additional lovely scenery than the first sunrise of the year dipping the port in soft, orange light, the mountains of the Boso peninsula in the background.
As already mentioned, the Japanese method of celebrating New Year’s is to go to a shrine or temple with one’s family. It’s entirely totally different from the loud and spirited fireworks and parties you would possibly be wont to. We tend to named Zojo-ji as associate example of that, however with its closeness to Yeddo Tower and its reckoning, it fuses Japanese with Western traditions. If you wish the complete solely in Japan experience, we extremely suggest finding a captivating temple near your accommodation – it doesn’t need to be an enormous place in any respect.
There, you’ll be able to experience the 108 rings of the bell during a quieter atmosphere and through an unfiltered, ancient lens.
New Year Hours for popular Temples
Countdown events are a well-liked New Year’s interest all over the globe and conjointly in Japan. However, there’s one issue that’s even more popular: looking the first sunrise of the year. With its several skyscrapers and observation decks, Tokyo is the good place to do just that! As already mentioned, the Port of Yokohama is additionally decent alternative and if you are feeling like venturing into nature, celebrating New Year’s on a mountain is additionally a gorgeous choice.
If you’re searching for a classic New Year’s party with lots of drinks, dancing, and music, head to Roppongi. The world is known for its several clubs and a favourite nightlife hotspot particularly for locals and tourists from the West. Lots of places in Roppongi celebrate New Year’s with loud beats from DJs and bands, a lot of drinks, and a proper party atmosphere. Don’t be shy and hit the dance floor?
In Tokyo, trains are the main suggests that of transportation. throughout New Year’s, lots of corporations provide special train schedules to accommodate to partygoers and folks looking to do hatsumode, the first shrine or temple visit of the year. If you’re ready and check the schedules beforehand, getting around at night or in the early morning are going to be a breeze!
It may sound strange but New Year’s is one amongst the best times to travel on a shopping spree in Tokyo. while lots of outlets and restaurants are closed on New Year’s Day, immense discount and coupon campaigns begin on New Year’s Eve and sometimes continue for a couple of days. One amongst the characteristics of Japanese New Year’s shopping is lucky bags referred to as “fukubukuro.” All kinds of sops, from garments to electronics, provide lucky baggage at numerous costs, giving shoppers the possibility to get product price double, triple, or generally denary the value of the lucky bag! The apparent drawback is, of course, that you simply cannot see what you get, therefore it’s an especially exciting discount gamble!
New Year Hours for common retailers
Last but not least, don’t hesitate to explore Japan’s gourmand pleasures during New Year’s. Whereas it’s necessary to check the opening hours of restaurants beforehand, lots of places, particularly chain stores, operate all year round. Family restaurants, fast food chains, and ramen chains can recharge your energies once an extended night of celebrating in no time!