New Year’s Countdown Tokyo Style 2017

ByJason Gatewood
Nov 29, 2017

New Year’s Countdown Tokyo Style 2017

Revelers await the coming new year as time ticks down on the video monitors above Shibuya Crossing. (Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr)

Whoa, can you believe it? Another year is almost on its way out and as always, your ever faithful JIS staff are here to inform you about the places you can wave bye-bye to 2017 and welcome 2018 with open arms! Now as you may or may not know Japan does celebrate New Year’s Day, the locals tend to do it more calmly by gathering with family and friends and watching hours of TV specials (Kohaku Uta Gassen and Warate wa Ikenai are my favorites). However just as you may have noticed with Halloween, You can find numerous “countdown parties” all over Tokyo, and there’s sure to be one that will fit your style. Here’s a small sampling:


If you want to bring in 2018 by raging like a rockstar in a music video, this is the place to do it. Over 1000 people can party on its multiple dance floors at once, and in addition to it being in close proximity to Shin-Kiba station; there’s a free shuttle bus from Shibuya that can also get you over there.  Check their website for more details and prices.

Tokyo Disneyland/Disney Sea

If you’re looking for something more family-friendly, The Happiest Place in Japan has got your back; If you enter the resort at 8pm or later on December 31st, you ca stay until 7:00am on January 1st. Also you can start off at either Disneyland or Disney Sea, then at 1:00AM you are able to hop between the parks; usually you’d need a special ticket (and more money) to do that! Check here for details and transport options.


Perhaps you’ve seen on TV or have had the experience of either being out in the crowds of a large public square, watching the time countdown on large video monitors and cheering with thousands of total strangers when it gets to zero. If that’s what you’re into, then head over to Shibuya Crossing where the streets will be blocked off and every bar and nightclub in the area will be ready to accommodate you into the new year. Expect a scene not unlike Times Square in New York City, and because the trains are running all night (the only night of the year they do so,) you don’t have to wait until dawn to get a lift home. But that’s no fun, right?

Image by Dick Thomas Johnson YOU MAKE SHIBUYA COUNTDOWN 2016-2017  (CC BY 2.0)

About the author

Jason Gatewood subscriber

Our Tokyo based collaborator is a tech nerd, Japanophile, train nut, and a veritable fountain of information on Japan. His current goal is to watch Evangelion and actually "get it", sing every permutation of "Hotel California" at any karaoke gathering, ride every bullet train line, and sample all varieties of ramen throughout Japan. Catch more of his musings at ·

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