New years celebration in Japan is not as big as another countries. My Japanese tutor told me new year for Japanese is not about partying, it is more like time to reflected on your self and think over your future plan. That is why going to a shrine is popular thing to do in new year. In my home town people is crazy about celebrating new years. Fireworks is every where. The sound and the view from my third floor is more like a war zone. That is why I want to look for a firework on new years. It is just something I used to. So me and my friends (Katja, Felix, David, and Andrew) decide to spent our new years in Tokyo.
We used day pass promotion ticket to go to Tokyo. If you want a low budget trip on Japan this ticket (juhachi kippu or Seishun 18 kippu) is a good recommendation. You can get 5 day pass ticket for only 11,850 yen and you can used it any where you want to. You can used it for 5 days or you can share it with your friends. We bought 2 pack of juhachi kippu ticket so we use 1 ticket to go from Sendai to Tokyo on Dec 31 and used another 1 ticket to go back to Sendai on January 2nd. However this ticket only works for normal train and not for the bullet train (Shinkansen) so the trip can be really exhausting. We took 7 hours train and we need to transfer 5 times. Every transfer we only have time like 5–10 minutes so we need to running to the gate.
We go to the Tokyo Tower and took elevator to the main observatory deck. It is 150 meters from the ground and you need to pay 900 yen to go there. I like the night view from there, I like how cities lighting at night. Tokyo Tower has another observation deck, the special observatory that about 250 meters from the ground. But we did not go there.
Then, we wait for the new years on the temple near Tokyo Tower, Zojo-ji (三縁山増上寺). From there we can see both the main hall of the temple and Tokyo Tower. Every travel web listed Fireworks on Tokyo Tower as a must see. But a police man came and shouting something in Japanese about there will be no firework this year. But nobody believed in him I guess, because people not moving and more people coming. We waited and people even count down and TADAAA!! it was really really awkward moment of silence. A few second later, the monk ring the bell of new years. In Japan, every Buddhist temple ring a bell 108 times (除夜の鐘 joyanokane) to symbolize 108 human sins in Buddhist believe. But looking at all people gathering there, some of them wearing a traditional kimono is quite interesting for me. And also there is lot of food stall there :9
The next day we went to Meiji Shrine, Harajuku Takeshita street, Ueno Park, Asakusa Shrine, and Odaiba. I think new years is not the best time to go to those place because it was really crowded and you can not really enjoyed it. But still since it was my first time in Tokyo everything just looks dazzling and interesting. I will be back to Tokyo another time and write about the those places in my another post 😉
PS: if you want to know more about the seasonal Juhachi kippu you can check on Japan Railway official website, here.