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Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan

Monday, March 25, 2019 0 Comments

bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
Shivering enough to almost drop my old mobile phone, I monitored the time, as it sluggishly struck midnight. 12:00 midnight in 0-degree weather right at the heart of Japan’s deafening capital, Tokyo. It’s exactly January 1st, and much to my surprise, the Japanese New Year celebration is truly different from the typical Western ones, and come to think of it, different from most countries within Asia too! So, my friends, while it is still early, it’s time to start planning your New Year travel festivities! 

If you are looking for that real and raw traditional winter holiday for the Japanese, oshogatsu, then it’s best experienced during the New Year celebration, which extends until around 3rd of January. This is by far one of the most tattooed Christmas and New Year festivity I have ever experienced in my life!

bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan

We could all argue and say that in other cities, you can find that kind of quiet, solemn family festivity in your hometown, but truth be told, I have not had a distinctive new year celebration like the one in Tokyo, Japan. If you have been born and raised to enjoy that noisy, laughing, party-filled, fireworks plenty atmosphere like the ones that can be experienced in the Philippines (because yes, it is more fun in the Philippines, right?) or in Singapore, having that vanilla countdown and fireworks in Tokyo is unique, where you really get to focus on inviting good luck with auspicious decorations and exceptional rituals.

While the typical watching of Kouhaku Uta Gassen and eating of toshikoshi soba, ozoni and osechi ryori as part of a stereotypical Japanese New Year’s celebration, there are several truly Japanese New Year experiences. For one, as a beginner, you may want to try celebrating the New Year’s Eve outside the streets of Tokyo?

bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan

Well actually, I initially wanted to see some fireworks just to keep up with the tradition, but then decided to veer away from that. Instead, I scouted the whole city of Tokyo to find that spot to see the Joya no kane: Ring out the old year. Did you know that Japanese people do this ritual where they ring a large bell for 100+ times as part of their ritual? In Buddhism, this process helps purify human’s minds and souls for the year ahead. You’ll see men shouting and queuing to get their chance to ring the large bell. Even with the midnight winter weather, everyone is outside anticipating and participating in the celebration. 

It’s a welcome surprise and change in cultural perspective when it comes to understanding the value of this celebratory event. It gives a good glimpse as to why do we celebrate New Year’s Eve, gives a bit of new year’s history, and more importantly, shows the importance of new year celebration even for a country like Japan. They may not be included in the countries with the largest New Year’s celebration like Brazil, or USA, or in Spain, but they certainly know how to celebrate in their own authentic way. It’s a complete sensory and experiential adventure that you’ll need to experience at least once in your life. Any new recommendations?

bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan
bowdywanders.com Singapore Travel Blog Philippines Photo ::  Unconventional Approach to Traditional New Year's Throughout Tokyo, Japan


Bowdy is an amateur adventurer, a coffee sleepyhead, and a start-up rooter, with a penchant for classic-looking photos. At last count, he has visited some 60 countries, and is now living in Singapore. He's always in search of fascinating routines to exploit, within the edges of after-office hours and (un)limited holidays.

For collaboration ideas, email bowdywanders@gmail.com.

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