New Year’s Eve in Tokyo: Recommendations of Things to Do

As the clock winds down on the last day of the year, Tokyo transforms into a vibrant epicenter of celebrations. Known for its unique blend of traditional customs and cutting-edge festivities, Tokyo offers a New Year’s Eve experience like no other. Whether you’re a fan of solemn rituals or pulsating street parties, Tokyo’s diverse celebrations cater to all tastes.

A Quick Jump To…

Traditional Celebrations

1. Joya no Kane – The Bells of Endings and Beginnings

   As midnight approaches, a profound tradition takes center stage in temples across Tokyo. Joya no Kane, the ritual of ringing the temple bell 108 times, symbolizes the cleansing of 108 worldly desires, ushering in a purer state of mind for the New Year. The resonating sound of the bells offers a moment of reflection and peace amidst the city’s usual hustle and bustle.

2. Toshikoshi Soba( 年越し蕎麦) – Slurping into the New Year

   Culinary traditions are a cornerstone of New Year’s Eve in Japan, and ‘toshikoshi soba(年越し蕎麦)’ plays a starring role. These buckwheat noodles, symbolising longevity and prosperity, are a must-have as families gather around the table. The simplicity of this dish contrasts with the usual elaborate Japanese cuisine, reflecting the essence of letting go of the past year’s complexities.

Restaurant Recommendations

Fukudaya 福田屋

📍 Location: Shibuya – 〒150-0043 東京都渋谷区道玄坂2丁目25番15号 福田ビル2階

⏰ Opening Hours: 
Monday–Friday: 11:00~14:30 | 17:00~19:00
Saturday: 11:30~14:00

Soba & BAR An ソバ アンド バール アン

📍 Location: 〒100-0014 東京都千代田区永田町2丁目−13−10 プルデンシャルプラザ1F

⏰ Opening hours:
Weekdays: 11:30~15:00 | 17:00~23:00
Weekend: 11:30~14:00 | 17:00~ 21:30

Yomoda Soba Ginzaten よもだそば 銀座店

📍Location: 東京都中央区銀座4-3-2 銀座白亜ビル 1F

⏰ Opening hours:
Monday–Sunday: 07:00~22:30

Honmura-an 本むら庵

📍 Location: 東京都港区六本木7-14-18

Opening hours:
⏰ Weekdays (Except Tuesday): 11:00~21:00

Kanda Matsuya 神田まつや

📍 Location: 〒101-0041 東京都千代田区神田須田町1-13

⏰ Opening hours:
Monday-Friday: 11:00~20:00
Saturday: 11:00 ~ 19:30

Teuchi Soba Matsunaga 手打蕎麦 松永

📍 Location: 〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前2丁目19-12

3. Hatsumoude (初詣) – The First Shrine Visit

   In the first hours of the new year, millions partake in ‘hatsumode’, the first shrine visit of the year. This pilgrimage, filled with prayers for good fortune and health, is a spiritual journey. The atmosphere is festive yet solemn, with the scent of incense and the sound of prayers creating a serene ambiance.It is commonly recommended to participate in Hatsumode within the first three days of the New Year, from January 1st to 3rd, or at the very least, during the Matsunichi period.

Modern Celebrations

1. Countdown in Shibuya – Tokyo’s Times Square

   Although Shibuya’s fireworks won’t be held this year, we’ve compiled a list of exciting alternatives for you to experience in Tokyo this New Year’s Eve.

2. Fireworks Displays – A Sky Full of Colours

   Tokyo’s skyline lights up with spectacular fireworks displays, marking the arrival of the New Year. From Odaiba to Tokyo Bay, various spots in the city offer breathtaking views of the pyrotechnics, illuminating the night sky and reflecting off the city’s towering skyscrapers.

3. Themed Events and Parties

   Tokyo’s clubs and venues host an array of themed New Year’s Eve parties, featuring everything from traditional Japanese performances to international DJ sets. These parties are perfect for those looking to dance their way into the New Year.

Tokyo’s Top Clubs for Exhilarating New Year’s Eve Countdown Parties

When it comes to ringing in the New Year, Tokyo’s club scene offers an electrifying array of choices. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular clubs where you can dance your way into the new year:

Club Camelot

A hotspot in the heart of Shibuya, Club Camelot is known for its splendid New Year’s Eve parties. With multiple dance floors and various music genres, it’s a favorite among partygoers looking for a high-energy celebration.

📍 Location: 〒150-0041 東京都渋谷区神南1丁目−18−2 フレーム神南坂B3

Harlem

For hip-hop enthusiasts, Harlem in Shibuya is the place to be. Renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and top-notch DJs, Harlem hosts one of the most sought-after New Year’s Eve parties in Tokyo.

📍 Location: 〒150-0044 東京都渋谷区円山町2−4 Dr.ジーカンス

Club TK

A relative newcomer to Shibuya’s club scene, Club TK Shibuya quickly made a name for itself with its cutting-edge sound system and stylish interior, offering a unique and modern party experience.

📍 Location: 〒150-0042 東京都渋谷区宇田川町13−8 B1

Womb

Known globally for its impressive sound system and laser shows, Womb in Shibuya is a haven for electronic music fans. Its New Year’s Eve party is a major event, attracting both local and international DJs.

📍 Location: 〒150-0044 東京都渋谷区円山町2-16

New Year Event 31/12 – Price Range ¥5,000~¥8,000

V2 Tokyo

Offering stunning panoramic views of the city, V2 Tokyo in Roppongi is a luxurious option for partygoers. Its sophisticated atmosphere and top-tier entertainment make it a popular choice for a more upscale New Year’s Eve experience.

📍 Location: 〒106-0032 東京都港区六本木7丁目13番7号 ヴァベルタワー1F・B1F

Maharaja

This club brings a touch of classic disco and modern club culture. Maharaja Roppongi is famous for its lively atmosphere and is a great choice for those who enjoy a diverse music mix and a vibrant dance floor.

📍 Location: 〒106-0032 東京都港区六本木6丁目−1−3 六门ビル6F

Cé La Vi Tokyo

Located in the heart of Tokyo, this club is famous for its luxurious atmosphere and stunning city views. It’s the perfect spot for those looking to celebrate in style, offering great music, delicious food, and a sophisticated crowd. Ce La Vi is more than just a party venue; it’s a symbol of Tokyo’s vibrant and luxurious nightlife.

📍 Location: 〒150-0043 東京都渋谷区道玄坂1丁目−2−3 17・18階 東急ホール渋谷

As the final moments of the year tick away, Tokyo emerges as a magnificent tapestry, weaving together the ancient and the modern in a celebration like no other. In this city where tradition meets innovation, New Year’s Eve is not just a night but a captivating experience. Whether it’s the soul-stirring chime of temple bells echoing through serene shrines or the pulsating energy of street parties under a canopy of neon lights, Tokyo promises an entry into the new year that is both memorable and uniquely transcendent. In this dynamic metropolis, every New Year’s Eve is a vivid testament to Japan’s mastery of embracing its rich heritage while stepping boldly into the future.

Here are some Japanese phrases and vocabularies for the New Year: 

あけましておめでとうございます (Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu): Means “Happy New Year”. This is the standard greeting used after midnight on New Year’s Eve and during the first few days of the New Year.
よいお年を (Yoi Otoshi o): Means “Have a good year”. This phrase is typically used before the New Year begins, like saying “Happy New Year” in advance.
初詣 (Hatsumoude): The first shrine visit of the New Year. Many people visit shrines or temples to pray for good luck and health for the coming year.
年越し蕎麦 (Toshikoshi Soba): Means “Year-crossing noodle”. Eating these noodles on New Year’s Eve is a tradition in Japan, symbolizing longevity and transition from one year to the next.
福袋 (Fukubukuro): Means “Lucky bag”. These are grab bags sold by stores during the New Year period, filled with unknown items at a significant discount.
鏡餅 (Kagami Mochi): Means “Mirror rice cake”. This is a traditional Japanese New Year decoration made of two round mochi cakes, symbolizing the coming and going years.
お年玉 (Otoshidama): New Year’s gift money, usually given to children by their relatives.
除夜の鐘 (Joya no Kane): Means “New Year’s Eve bell”. The ringing of a temple bell 108 times at midnight, symbolising the 108 worldly desires in Buddhist belief.
おせち料理 (Osechi-ryori): Traditional Japanese New Year food, served in special boxes and eaten during the first few days of the New Year.


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