There is nothing quite like enjoying New Year’s Eve in the biggest city in Japan, Tokyo. Tokyo is home to some of Japan’s best nightclubs, amusement parks, and Temples. Some of the country’s most exciting New Year’s Eve 2020 countdowns and parties will be occurring here in this busy metropolis.
You can ring in the New Year in the heart of Shibuya, party all night with Mickey Mouse in Tokyo Disneyland, or watch fireworks on a boat in scenic Tokyo Bay. Let us be your guides for the ultimate New Year’s Eve experience.
Ring in the New Year at Tokyo’s Time Square: Shibuya Crossing
YOU MAKE SHIBUYA COUNTDOWN 2019-2020
The biggest gathering in Tokyo on New Year’s Eve is the countdown at Shibuya Crossing. The streets will be closed to traffic from 21:00 on December 31 so that Tokyoites and visitors alike can ring in the New Year in this iconic location.
There will be a stage in front of the Shibuya 109 department store so arrive early to secure a good spot. Due to the volume of people you can expect this event to be safe and heavily policed, which also means local stores may not sell alcohol on New Year’s Eve.
Tokyo Countdown 2020
If you don’t like the cold and don’t fancy being outside all night, Shibuya has still got you covered with the Tokyo Countdown 2020 at BelleSalle Shibuya Garden. Whether you’re into Techno, House music or EDM, there will be something for you.
This event boasts a large list of internationally renowned DJs who have also graced the stages of giant festivals such as Coachella and Burning Man. Tickets will be JPY18,000 at the door, which while not cheap, is still a good deal for an event of this scope.
Shibuya Blue Cave Illuminations
Before you get your party pants on and dance the night away, Shibuya also has some other sights we recommend checking out. The Shibuya Blue Cave Illuminations are a popular annual event featuring 800m of 600,000 twinkling lights.
Stroll from Shibuya Koen Dori to Yoyogi Park Keyaki and check it out, it’s beautiful and free. Lights will be on from 17:00 to 22:00.
For those who are interested in Japanese Culture stop by nearby Shinto Shrine, Meiji Jingu（明治神宮）. Hear the Taiko drum beat at midnight and enjoy this ancient and beautiful atmosphere.
If this popular Shrine is too busy for your liking head to Shibuya’s hidden treasure Hikawa Shrine（渋谷氷川神社）. It’s a bit of a journey through some alleyways but well-worth it to see the ancient Sumo ring from the Edo period.
Join a Glamorous 2020 Countdown at Tokyo’s Most Famous Landmarks
Nothing says Tokyo quite like Tokyo Tower, its warm orange color meant to symbolize a candle on cold winter nights. At midnight on December 31 the tower will change color and announce the New Year while nearby revelers release balloons into the air.
The inside of the Tower is only open to visitors until 23:00 but they are doing a special Illumination event, “Winter Fantasy”. So, arrive early and t ake some epic photographs.
Roppongi Hills Keyakizaka Illumination – until December 25, 2019
On New Year’s Eve ROPPONGI HILLS – Tokyo City View will be open past midnight for your enjoyment. So do some shopping at Roppongi Hills, visit the Mori Art Museum, and then observe shining Tokyo from above.
Although Tokyo Skytree is not holding a New Year’s event you can still enjoy the world’s tallest tower during regular business hours from 8:00 to 22:00.
Celebrate with Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty, and more at Tokyo’s Amusement Parks
If you are lucky enough to win the lottery you can welcome the New Year at Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea.
Tokyo Disney Sea
From 20:00 on December 31 to the next day you can party with your favorite Disney Characters, which means you can continue riding attractions, watching shows, and shopping all night.
There will be a number of elaborate performances as well as a big firework show at midnight. From January 1 Disney Characters will be dressed in special costumes inspired by Japanese traditional attire so don’t miss this shutter chance!
If you were unable to snag those Disney tickets, no worries! IKSPIARI – the free area next to Disney will also host a countdown party.
You can also receive a special present of 2020 glasses when you present a receipt from an IKSPIARI restaurant or store. Limited edition Fukubukuro, or lucky bags, will be available for sale starting at midnight.
So, enjoy the Disney atmosphere for free and then head to the Celebration Plaza on the second floor for the party!
Sanrio Puroland – HAPPY NEW 2020 CELEBRATION
Another New Year’s option is to immerse yourself in Kawaii culture with Hello Kitty, My Melody, Gudetama, and friends at Sanrio Puroland.
This brightly colored amusement park features a number of colorful parades and stage shows featuring Sanrio’s stars and is open from 9:00AM to 18:00.
Check out Kawaii Kabuki for a retelling of Japanese legend Momotaro, starring Hello Kitty herself. Grab some food at Sanrio Rainbowland Restaurant, where each area has a different menu, and take in the cute and unique atmosphere. There’s a New Year’s Eve special event to enjoy ‘hug-time’ with characters. The 1st stage starts from 17:30, and the 2nd stage starts from 18:15 on December 31.
How about spending New Year’s Eve at the oldest theme park in Tokyo, Hanayashiki? On December 31 it will be open until 1 a.m. and they are offering a great deal of 10 attractions for JPY3,000. They will have their own countdown as well, hosted by local comedians. Tickets are JPY3,000 for kids and 5,000 for adults. Reservations are available online!
If you’re in the mood for something a little more modern we recommend Joypolis, Odaiba’s indoor amusement park which specializes in the newest VR technology. Horror fans have to try The Room of the Living Doll for really terrifying thrills. Get the countdown passport which includes access to all rides and the evening’s entertainment.
Sky Circus - 360-degree panoramic views
In Ikebukuro you will find Sunshinecity which includes Sky Circus, and the Sunshine 60 Observatory. Experience the latest in VR Technology with heart-racing attractions such as Tokyo Bullet Flight and the Swing Coaster.
The entire place is an Instagrammers dream with bird eye views of the city and interesting installation art. From 20:00 to 25:00 they will host their own special countdown event featuring a stage with live acts such as magic shows and comedians.
Party like it’s 2020 at Tokyo’s Hottest Nightclubs
Centrally located in Shibuya is nightclub WOMB, well-known for Asia’s largest mirror ball and excellent electronic music. They will host New Year’s Eve with doors opening at 21:00.
Their line-up features local and internationally renowned artists and DJs as well as special guest AGORIA, a popular French techno artist. Advance tickets are JPY2,800 but you can also get them at the door, however the later it gets the more expensive they will be.
In case of admission by New Year's Eve 10:45PM :
Re-entry stamp and New Year dishes (Osechi) included.
Also in Shibuya is Sound Museum Vision, a large nightclub with several floors featuring a variety of genres of music. Depending on the vibe you’re looking for check out the two dancefloors GAIA and DEEP SPACE, or the two lounges D LOUNGE and WHITE.
Joining their countdown event are special guest DJs MAYA JANE COLES and Anja Schneider. It will cost you from JPY2500 to JPY5000, depending on when you arrive.
If you don’t mind traveling you should check out Tokyo’s biggest night club AgeHa. This is an arena-like club near Shin-Kiba station, which is slightly pricier than other nightclubs. Feeling fancy? Opt for their JPY10,000 Golden Ticket which will get you VIP seats, glass of champagne, and a private entrance. So, ring in the New Year like a celebrity while dancing to great house music featuring special guest SIGALA. General Admission Fee is JPY5000.
Luckily Tokyo is not suffering from a nightclub shortage, if none of these clubs seem your type try one of these!
Here are some popular options：
● WARP SHINJUKU
● Club Camelot
Enjoy Extravagant New Year’s Fireworks from Land or Sea
Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
A really popular option for enjoying New Year’s Eve fireworks in Tokyo is Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise. Located on a small Island 30 minutes by train from Yokohama this is an amusement park with a large aquarium. Join the ‘Happy Island Countdown 2020’ and witness the spectacle of 3,000 fireworks synchronized with music.
The aquarium and other attractions will be open all night as well. You can enter from 15:00 but countdown events will start at 23:30.
Tokyo Bay Cruise
If you’re not big on crowds the best way to enjoy Tokyo’s nighttime views and the New Year’s fireworks is on the Tokyo Bay Cruise. There will be a buffet-style dinner featuring unlimited food and drinks, as well as entertainment such as a live band, DJ, and some games.
Tokyo Bay Cruise—Countdown to 2020!
Image for Hakone Fireworks
If you are in Hakone for this New Year season, we recommend the Hakone Winter Fireworks. Hakone Shrine will have a firework show starting at midnight which is sure to be atmospheric and delightful. Buses will be heading there regularly from Hakone Yumoto Station for this popular event.
Forget the Stress of 2019 and Relax at an Onsen
New year, new you! Rejuvenate at Ōedo-onsen-monogatari（大江戸温泉） an Onsen theme park. This complex features Yukata rental as well as a Japanese style garden with foot baths where you can walk around and chat with your friends.
They use natural hot spring water and have a variety of baths to choose from. There is a lively indoor Edo-period inspired “town” and a variety of restaurants as well.
It’s open all night but be aware, they have a strict no-tattoo policy.
Another Onsen option is Yamato no Yu （大和の湯）which is tattoo-friendly and located near Narita Airport. This is a very modern building, a kind of designer’s hot spring, by famous architect Habuka Takao. There is also a private bath you can reserve if you would rather not bathe with others. Indulge by getting a massage and facial at the spa or enjoy the heated indoor swimming pool if that’s more your style.
Korean Body Scrub
These are some other Onsen options in Tokyo, and if you have the opportunity, we recommend trying a Korean Body Scrub (アカスリ) .
Here are some popular options：
●Manyo Club （万葉倶楽部）
- 東京お台場 大江戸温泉物語
Get your Last-Minute Shopping Done at these Unique Markets
Mingle with locals at Ameya-Yokocho（アメ横）, a loud and busy outdoor market. If you’re interested in the Japanese New Year’s culture of Osechi this is a great spot to barter for some prime ingredients such a king crab and salmon roe.
Fans of Japanese pop culture and anime need to check out COMIC MARKET９７, or Comiket. This is a giant four-day festival (December 28-December 31.) of Cosplay and Doujinshi (fan-made comics). It’s best to buy entry wristbands in advance at Anime stores like Animate as they can sell-out. If you want to Cosplay, arrive early and pay a small fee to register.
Unique Ways to Celebrate the New Year; Standing under a Waterfall or Watching Pro-Wrestling?
Image for Waterfall Meditation
If you’re interested in Japanese culture and traditional religious practices, we recommend going to nearby Mount Takao and its waterfall Biwa Taki.
You can actually try standing under the waterfall, a traditional form of ascetic training. It’s generally on the first Saturday of each month as well as the 18th and 28th. If you prefer to be, well, very very hot, another option is to try fire-walking. Good luck, and always call ahead to see if it will be available on the day you go!
On the opposite end of the spectrum is New Year’s Eve Pro-Wrestling. See giants in flamboyant costumes crashing in Tokyo Dome City. The match starts at 20:00.
Get Tickets for the New Japan Pro Wrestling Show!
New Year’s Soba
If you’re fancying affordable cocktails and on-the-house New Year’s Soba, we recommend Ginza 300 Bar. This is a small chain of bars in the Ginza area that is known for being casual while not sacrificing quality. The Soba is not unlimited so get there early.
Images for Oji Fox Parade
Last on our list is The Oji Fox Parade（王子狐の行列）. Ancient legends say that foxes, who are known tricksters in Japan, visit Oji Inari-jinja Shrine in human costume to offer New Year prayers. So, if you head there be prepared to be surrounded by hundreds of elaborately dressed foxes!
Have a happy New Year in Tokyo!