Bring in the New Year in the Best Way Ever! Check out these 5 Select Countdown Events in Tokyo
2020 will be a significant year for Tokyo as it hosts the Tokyo Olympics, and countdown events are just the thing to bring in the New Year with a bang. This article introduces four go-to countdown events from the many festivities to be held in Tokyo this year. It is a must read for anyone who hasn't yet made New Year plans.
1. Tokyo Bay Countdown Cruise
First up is a countdown cruise to welcome in the New Year on the bay! There are several companies offering pleasure cruises on Tokyo Bay and each of them have countdown cruises. Most of them are about 15,000 JPY for three hours.
Each operator offers cruises with unique features including a countdown cruise in Maihama with views of the fireworks. There is also live music to set the tone for a luxurious countdown.
2. Hanayashiki Countdown 2020
Hanayashiki in Asakusa is the oldest amusement park in Japan. For the countdown event at Hanayashiki, there is a discount ticket that includes both entry to the park and access to the rides, and with which you can enjoy the illuminations. Hanayashiki usually closes at 6:00 pm, but every year on December 31, it re-opens at 8:00 pm after closing once at 6:00 pm and stays open till about 1:00 am!
Senso-ji, a temple that will be teaming with people visiting to pay their respects for the New Year, is also in Asakusa, so why not take a look at how crowded it really gets on your way home from the countdown event?
3. Shibuya Scramble Crossing Countdown
Many people think of the scramble crossing in Shibuya when they think of Tokyo. The countdown here is a huge event that attracted 120,000 people in 2018. In 2018, traffic control went into place at around 9:00 pm and at about 10:45 pm, and taiko drums signaled the beginning of the event. The excitement in the crowd was at its peak when the countdown began on the large outdoor LED display. The event lasted till about 1:00 am.
A large area around Shibuya Station becomes the event site so it might be fun to stop by after dinner in the Shibuya area!
4. Tokyo Joypolis COUNTDOWN PARTY 2020
Tokyo Joypolis in Odaiba is recommended for those who want to play right up to the time of the countdown. It is an indoor amusement park with a variety of rides and attractions such as a jet coaster, haunted house and shooting game. It's great that it is indoors so you don't have to worry about the weather or temperature!
The 2019 countdown is scheduled to begin around 11:15 pm and will feature a live mimic show and a New Year's raffle with luxurious prizes. There are set discount tickets for the rides and party, so be sure to check the website.
5. Shangri-la Hotel, Tokyo - Countdown Party & Dinner
If you're looking for a luxurious way to spend New Year's, a glamorous countdown party or dinner at Shangri-la Hotel, Tokyo, come highly recommend! The bar and lounge The Lobby Lounge is great for parties, and they will be offering a variety of special perks including breakfast buffets serving light meals such as toshikoshi soba (new year soba), DJ performances, and all-you-can-drink courses of 2 high-end champagne brands - Veuve Clicquot or Dom Pérignon. For a relaxing dinner experience, look no further than Italian restaurant Piacere. Here you'll be able to ring in the new year with an alluring menu filled with dishes like caviar appetizers, white truffle risotto, and grilled Miyazaki beef.
Some Points to Keep in Mind When Attending a Countdown Event
Countdown event sites will be very crowded. Japan is generally safe, but it will still be prudent to beware of pickpockets and other thieves. Also, littering has become an issue at outdoor events, such as the Shibuya countdown event, so be sure to throw all garbage in a proper garbage can.
The New Year is just around the corner and a festive countdown event is just the thing to start it off with. Refer to this article to make plans for a wonderful turn of the year in Tokyo.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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