Japan can take credit for being one of the first countries to use fireworks to celebrate just about everything, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their 2018 New Years Eve celebrations are spectacular, with firework displays that can be seen for miles from across the iconic Tokyo Bay to the legendary Tokyo Tower.
The city plays host to countless parties on NYE and the hotels are jam packed with guests from all over the world, gathering together to enjoy fireworks, dancing, making merry and enjoying toshikoshi soba (NYE Noodle), a Japanese tradition, with the long noodles symbolizing a long and healthy life. Best of all, Tokyo celebrates the new year for 7 days with festivities beginning on December 29th, and continuing until January 4th. Another Japanese tradition is the ringing (108 times) of Juya No Kane (Watch Night Bell), at temples throughout Japan, as a symbol of a prosperous New Year.
Countdown Parties & Fireworks
Shogatsu is the Japanese name for “New Year” and it’s always a popular occasion, often including the crowd doing hatsumode, the year’s first visit to a temple or shrine. One of the most atmospheric experiences while in Tokyo is to stop by one the city’s awe inspiring temples around midnight on NYE. Some of the area’s most popular temples and shrines include the Meiji Shrine, Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, Tsuruoka Hachimangu in Kamakura and Sumiyoshi Taisha in Osaka, each drawing more than a million visitors every year.
Japan is brimming with well known New Years Eve attractions and numerous places to enjoy a great vantage point for the fireworks displays. Landmarks like the Tokyo Tower, the Imperial East Gardens, Tokyo Twin Observatories, Tokyo National Museum, Odaiba, Rikugien, Roppongi Hills,Tsukiji Fish Market, and Shiodome all provide spectacular vantage points to witness the city’s fireworks.
Tokyo’s night clubs and hotels also offer their own unique and always spectacular New Years Eve celebrations. The Shangri-La Hotel usually hosts one of the city’s most opulent NYE countdown parties, ideally located on the 27th floor of the hotel. At Club Asia you can expect an evening full of partying and a continuous flow of sake among other things. Club Que often divides its NYE festivities across 3 separate gigs, all offering something unique and exciting.
On January 2nd Japans Ippan Sanga festival will take place to mark the 2016. The Emperor of Japan, from the Tokyo Imperial Palace will make a number of public appearances. It is one of only 2 times during the year that the palace’s inner grounds will be opened to the public, drawing large crowds to this very special event.
Accommodations for NYE
Tokyo offers a wealth of accommodation choices including hotels, vacation apartment rentals bed and breakfast establishments and guest houses. The city’s hotels will put you within easy access to all the activities and many host their on NYE festivities. Some popular hotel choices include the Peninsula Tokyo, the Hotel Seiyo Ginza, The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, and Conrad Tokyo.