New Year’s has become a popular time for overseas visitors to visit Japan and yet there is very little New Year event information available in English online. I have tried to bridge that gap by sharing information of events I know of in the Greater Tokyo area. However, as I have personally NOT been to most of these events, I do recommend you research further before choosing which event to go to. (*The Johnny’s countdown party in Tokyo Dome is near impossible to get tickets for, so there is no information for that popular event on this page.)
IKEBUKURO, Nanja Countdown Party 2016/7
A very popular countdown event is in Nanja Town, Sunshine City. The event will take place from opening hours on the 31st and Namja Town will remain open until 5 am on the 1st. They will have a special New Year’s menu available. Entry is 500 yen for adults, 300 yen for children 4 years old or over. Access: 8 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station.
IKEBUKURO, Sky Circus Sunshine 60 2017 Countdown Special
This special event in Sky Circus will start at 9 pm and finish around 1 am. The tickets are 2500 yen if purchased on the day, but 200 yen cheaper if you purchase in advance. Children under 4 years old are free. They will have live performances and you can experience some of their Virtual Reality machines for free.
ROPPONGI, 2016 Year-end Funk Party
The Year-end Funk party will be held at Billboard live at Tokyo Midtown Garden Terrace. It includes 2 performances by the Bar-keys. The 1st performance is from 6.30 pm, the 2nd from 10.30 pm. Tickets start from 8,000 yen. Access: 5 minute walk from Roppongi Station.
SHIBUYA, Womb presents New Year Countdown to 2017
The event at the popular nightclub Womb starts from 9 pm to 4.30 am. Every year there is an Internationally acclaimed DJ running the show. Ticket prices vary, details are on their website.
ASAKUSA, Countdown event in Hanayashiki Amusement Park.
The park will open for this special event from 9 pm on the 31st to 2 am on the 1st. Last year it cost 1000 yen per person from 2 years old up. This year the cost has increased considerably. It is cheaper to buy in advance. Please see the linked website for more details. Not all of the park will be open, but there will be certain areas open and stage events. The ticket includes unlimited access to 9 rides, which include the merry-go-round, Little Star and Helicopter rides.
URL: Hanayashiki Countdown official webpage (Japanese only)
JOYPOLIS, Countdown Party 2016/7
This lively event runs from 11.15 pm on New Year’s Eve. They have live music and comedic performances. Entry into Joypolis before the event is 800 yen for adults and 300 yen for children of school going age, but you have to pay extra for the New Year’s eve events. Tickets are already on sale. You can also buy on the day. Each ticket grants different access. Their system is a little convoluted, but basically a ticket costs around 3000 yen. Access: 5 minute walk from Odaiba station. More details on the official site;
URL: Joypolis Countdown Event (Japanese only)
EDOGAWA, Kasai Rinkai Park Ferris Wheel Countdown
SUMIDA, 2016/7 Countdown at Higashi Shirahige Park
The riverside area has a long running year-end event and more recently illumination with lanterns, too. It is a free event. It starts 15 minutes before midnight. Illumination starts at 5 pm and on New Years is on until 6 am on New Year’s day. Queries to 03-3619-8888.
TOKYO BAY, Countdown Cruising, New Year’s Eve 2016/7
For adults, there are two different cruises you can enjoy on New Year’s eve in Tokyo Bay. Both provide a meal, a glass of champagne plus another free drink and music. The buffet course cruise costs 13,500 yen per person and leaves Tokyo Bay at 22.50 returning to land at 1.20 am. The Classic cruise costs 14,500 yen and leaves at 22.30, returning at 1.10 am New Year’s Day. You can book from 10 am to 7.30 pm on 03-3798-8101. You can find more information in Japanese on their website. You can also book a cruise to see the first sunrise of 2017. It departs the bay at 5.50 am.
AGEHA, Ageha Countdown 2017
**This one is not suited to children**. Ageha is a famous dance club venue in Shin Kiba. It has a great New Year’s event, from 9 pm to sunrise. You need to buy a ticket in advance. Tickets are already on sale and will be until the 29th of December. It is 4,980 yen per person. There’s lot of little events on during the night, including a Ageha shrine and the traditional food of soba. The phone number is 03-5534-2525.
URL: Ageha Countdown 2017
GINZA, Hooters Countdown Party
This one is for adults. Every year the Ginza, Shibuya and Shinjuku branches of Hooters throw Countdown parties. This year the Ginza branch’s theme is dance music from the ’70s to the ’90s. It runs from 11 pm to 3 am. Tickets are 3,500 yen for men, 3,000 yen for women, but if you buy them in advance they are 500 yen cheaper.
MAKUHARI Messe, Countdown Japan 16/17
Makuhari Messe hold a mammoth Countdown event for the 4 days leading up to New Year’s. On New Year’s Eve the event run from 3 pm to 5 am. There are a huge amount of live performances and performance artists. It costs 11,500 yen for one day or you can pay extra for access for 2 days or more. Access: 5 minute walk from Kaihin Makuhari Station.
IKSPIARI, Countdown Live 2017
The free area beside Tokyo Disney resort will host a live countdown in the Celebration Plaza on the 2nd floor. The live music starts from 6 pm. A concurrent event is the very popular sale of fukubukuro, lucky bags, from midnight. Restaurants are open until 1 am and shops until 3 am. On New Year’s day they will have shishimai performances at 12 midday, 2 pm and 4 pm.
URL: Official Ikspiari New Year 2017
HAKKEJIMA SEA PARADISE, Happy Island Countdown
Hakkejima Sea Paradise’s New Year celebrations start at 7 pm on New Year’s eve and run all night, usually until around 8 am. You can even witness 2017’s first sunrise over Boso Peninsula at around 6.50 am. There will be live music and comedian performances throughout the New Year celebrations. Fireworks synchronised to music will see out the old year and welcome in the new one. This popular countdown event has been running since about 2000 and draws crowds. You can already purchase tickets online. The prices vary according to packages, more on their website:
YOKOHAMA Hard Rock Cafe Count Down
Dance in the New Year with the staff of the Hard Rock Café. Starts from 11.30 pm to 3 am. Entry is free, but you have to pay for food and drink.
Event URL: http://hardrockjapan.com/event/5601/
YOKOSUKA Countdown 2017
From 6 pm to 1 am on New Year’s day you can enjoy the holiday atmosphere of Yokosuka as thousands celebrate in Verny Park, close to Yokosuka station. Two of the highlights of the night are the navy ships covered in lights and the fireworks show at midnight. Queries to the Yokosuka City Tourism Association 046-825-1080. *This event may not take place if there is bad weather.*
FUJIQ HIGHLAND, Countdown live
You can attend the event if you buy an entry ticket for the amusement park on the 31st. Last year, if you bought the pass after 5 pm, it gives you access until 8 pm on the 1st. They had a decent line up of comedians and TV “talents” for the main stage last year, but this year’s information hasn’t been finalised. There are usually fireworks around midnight. For those attending the FujiQ New Year party you can usually enjoy ice-skating all through the night for free. Hopefully, this year’s information will be released soon.
Information about FujiQ in English: FujiQ Official English website
Please note that some of these events will be dependent on weather, so if it is a rainy or stormy day on the 31st please do check the homepages or ring the numbers provided to see if the events will go ahead.
This is just some of the special events on for New Year’s Eve 2016/2017. There are other types of events you can enjoy, too. For example there is the Japan only event of buying Daruma. A lot of Japanese people go to a shrine or temple to welcome the New Year. My pick for the Greater Tokyo area is the Yakuouin Temple on Mt Takao. However, it is cold, dark and crowded. So why do people go? Three very big reasons; the first sunrise AND the first glimpse of Mt Fuji for 2017 and age old New Year traditional ceremonies. Mt Takao cable car runs from 8a m on New Years Eve right through to 6 pm on New Year’s Day.
For even more suggestions of great ways/places to spend New Year’s Eve, please see the comprehensive list with details on Timeout.