New Year Countdown Events, Tokyo, Japan
Believe it or not, this was one of the very first posts ever written in the English language with a round up of countdown events in Tokyo. It was first written in 2015, but I republished it in 2017. Even though this blog has taken a very different turn since 2017, and this particular post has long lost its number one position for “New Year Countdown events in Tokyo” on search engines, I have left this post live. Because every year in the week up to New Years Eve it gets a flood of traffic.
I can tell from my analytics that most of that traffic is from people who saved the post back in the day… so long as you guys keep coming back, I will keep updating this post every year. Thank you very much for your continued support. I hope you find a suitable countdown event this New Year’s Eve and wish you and yours all the very best for 2023.
New Year Countdown
Since around 2014 Japan, and in particular Tokyo, had become a very popular place to visit over the New Year. Despite that when I very first wrote this post, there was very little New Year count down event information available in English online. There were no “round ups” and just a few random blog posts about one or two locations with a countdown event, or Facebook posts with people’s photos of their New Year celebrations. So in 2015 I tried to bridge that gap by sharing information of events I knew of in the Greater Tokyo area and over the years I added and subtracted to the list as the need arose.
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.) Also, I don’t include information for Shibuya crossing because there’s not much to say, just turn up!
Regarding Shibuya Crossing, the event has been cancelled since the pandemic began. Although, this New Year is more like a normal New Year in terms of travel and ease of restrictions, the Shibuya crossing event has been officially cancelled. Some say its due to the pandemic, others say its after the horrific tragedy in Itaewon. The official line: well it goes out of its way to be as vague as possible, citing ‘various reasons’ without elaboration. HOWEVER, there is a large scale New Year event in Shibuya this year “Shibuya Countdown Night Fes” detailed below.
Another countdown that will be sorely missed this year is the countdown event in Ageha. Yes, unfortunately it is true – Ageha closed permanently earlier this year, in January 2022. They had their ‘final countdown’ on December 31st 2022. It was one of only three events (on this list) that went ahead in 2022/2023.
Countdown to 2023
A much shorter list than pre-pandemic, but more than last year!
- Countdown Night Fes – the largest countdown event in Japan
- Ruby Room
- Hanayashiki Amusement Park
- Tokyo Bay
- Countdown Cruise
🎍Shibuya Countdown Night Fes 2022 – 2023
New to the list in 2022 for the countdown to 2023, is the “Shibuya Countdown Night Fes”, one I am not personally familiar with. But after seeing a press release about it on PR Times, I have added it to the list. Moreover, because they claim to be the largest Countdown event in Japan! So for those looking for a large scale New Year Count down event in 2023, this maybe of interest! After securing a participation wristband at BRAND SHIBUYA you can freely enter and / or leave any of the participating bars and clubs. Or you can buy a ticket online for 2000 yen, which includes 3 drinks, which is a 1000 yen cheaper than purchasing on the day. Tickets already on sale.
🎍SHIBUYA, Womb presents New Year Countdown to 2023
Womb in Shibuya was another of three countdown events that went ahead on New Years eve 2021. However, it started at the later time of 10 pm (9 pm before the pandemic) and this year it will also start from 10 pm. But this year they will once again have an international act headlining, which they couldn’t have last year due to the pandemic. Craig Richards will be leading the gig. It is cheapest to buy a ticket in advance, and they are already on sale.
🎍SHIBUYA, Ruby Room New Year Countdown to 2023
Another countdown event in Shibuya confirmed for New Year’s eve, December 31st 2022 is the Ruby Room. They also had a countdown event last year. A twelve hour session of live music at the very affordable and reasonable price of only 2000 yen per person. Moreover, that price includes one drink! The music venue opens at 6 pm and closes at 6 am. You can catch the first sunrise of the year on your way home!
🎍GINZA, New Years Eve Countdown party at RAISE!
Raise have a very special guest for their count down to 2023 party. Joel Corry who has had world hits with legendary David Guetta and Charli XCX will be headlining the count down party this year. The event is on from 7 pm to 4 am, but they have a staggered entry system. The pricing is also quite convoluted, but basically if you want to be there for the actual countdown it will cost you quite a bit – 10,000 yen for men, 5,000 yen for women. That includes two drinks and party poppers! Prices for entry before 9 pm and after 1 am are cheaper, also included drinks, but no party poppers!
🎍ASAKUSA, Countdown event in Hanayashiki Amusement Park.
This is probably the best known countdown event in the Tokyo area. The park, Japan’s oldest amusement park, opens especially for New Years and their illumination event. But this year, they seem to have stepped it up a notch. For the first time ever they are having a collaboration with Shochiku Geino (comedian management company) for a ‘New Year Comedy Live Countdown Stage’. There are dozens of special guests, some of them better known than others! You can purchase tickets at the gate, but it is subject to availability, so it is better to buy them online in advance. The countdown event is on from 9 pm to 1 am.
Hanayashiki Countdown official event page (Japanese only)
🎍TOKYO BAY, Countdown Cruise
The Tokyo Bay Countdown Cruise is back this year. 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 live music. The buffet course cruise costs 18,000 yen per person and leaves Tokyo Bay at 22.50 returning to land at 1.20 am. The Classic cruise costs 22,000 yen and leaves at 22.30, returning at 1.10 am New Year’s Day.
For ease of reading, I have removed the locations (that were always on this list before the pandemic) that are not on in 2022 – 2023. I will re-add them, hopefully next year, when they reintroduce a countdown event.
This is just some of the countdown to 2023 events on in Tokyo. There are also countdown events in neighboring prefectures, including the very large and well known countdown Japan in Makuhari Messe in Chiba. Moreover, there are other types of New Year events you can enjoy, too. For example, there is the Japan only tradition of watching the first sunrise. Here are some of the places you can watch the first sunrise in Tokyo (and Saitama and Chiba). In addition, another Japan only event of buying Daruma.
A lot of Japanese people go to a shrine or temple to welcome the New Year in a practise known as Hatsumode. My pick for Hatsumode in the Greater Tokyo area is the Yakuouin Temple on Mt Takao. However, do note 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 and age old New Year traditional ceremonies. Mt Takao cable car runs from 8 am on New Years Eve right through to 6 pm on New Year’s Day especially for the occasion.