Happy New Year, Cheapos! If you want to kick off the month of January with some fun, start with these events. And if you want to welcome 2023 the Japanese way, check out our post on Japanese New Year customs and traditions , such as hatsumōde ( the first temple/shrine visit of the year) and hatsuhinode ( seeing the first sunrise).

1. 7 Lucky Gods Pilgrimage (Jan. 1–10)

Lucky gods
Photo by Gregory Lane

Ring in the new year by setting off on a Seven Lucky Gods Pilgrimage—a tradition dating back to Tokyo’s Edo period to pray for blessings and wealth for the upcoming year at various temples and shrines. The pilgrimage is usually completed anytime before the 10th of January—either solo or with others. Follow this link for popular pilgrimage routes in the Yanaka, Shinjuku, Nihonbashi and Shinagawa areas.

2. January Grand Sumo Tournament (Jan. 8–22)

Photo by Alex Ziminski

Held every January, this is the first of Japan’s six annual sumo tournaments, known as honbasho . While the fights are broadcast on NHK, nothing beats the atmosphere of the tense final matches of the day. Tickets can be purchased online .

3. Tokyo Auto Salon (Jan. 13–15)

One of the biggest car shows in the world, Tokyo Auto Salon is for anyone who is into customizing or personalising their car, or for those who enjoy seeing how other people customize their rides.

4. Earth Garden Winter Festival

earth winter garden
Photo by iStock.com/Roman Babakin

A two-day outdoor market at Yoyogi Park where the food, workshops, and products being offered all promote ecological living—so you can feel good about going and also what you bring home. The event square will also have a stream of musical performances spanning both days.

5. Chinese New Year (Jan. 22–Feb 5)

Suggested Activity
Maid Cafe Experience at Maidreamin Tokyo
Take a peek into Japan’s cosplay scene when you’re welcomed by maids as you enter the cafe Get attentive service from waitresses dressed in cute maid outfits Snap photos of characteristic dishes, from the savory meals to the delicious desserts Enjoy the energetic atmosphere and entertaining performances by the maids Take a souvenir photograph with the maid before you leave! ...

Yokohama’s Chinatown know how to put on a party, and the Lunar New Year — also known as the Spring Festival — is one of the biggest celebrations of the year. Over the course of 15 days, there will be countdown events, lion dances, acrobatics, and other traditional events such as the much-anticipated Lantern Festival .

Bonus events: Winter illuminations

Many illumination events will continue lighting up the city well into the new year.

This post is updated annually. Last update: December 27, 2022.

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