Celebrate the New Year in Shinagawa

Ring in 2020 Tokyo-style

By Serena Ogawa    - 4 min read

Have you waited until the last moment before deciding how to celebrate welcoming 2020’s New Year? Well, don’t worry because you can have a great New year’s holiday in Shinagawa without rushing to book a trip. Tokyo is a wonderful place to welcome the coming of a new year thanks to its crisp, clear air and the few people at the year-end. Make your way to Shinagawa for a locally inspired New Year holiday that you can’t experience anywhere else. Here are four fantastic ways to celebrate!

Illumination Wonderland

Marvel at the LED-illuminated city of colors against the backdrop of Tokyo Tower and the skyscrapers on Shinagawa. The romantic scenery of the lights reflecting off Meguro River is sure to create a warm mood on the cold winter nights. You should be able to capture some truly spectacular photographs during the illumination.

There are three illumination events in the area:

  • Meguro River uses 100% locally sourced biomass oil from nearby restaurants and households to light up the night at Megurogawa Minna no Illumination, there will even be several food trucks in the area with hot snacks and drinks.
  • The Oimachi Illumination where about 190,000 LED bulbs are installed in front of Oimachi Station. Wander through the city surrounded by fantastic lights and even visit the Shiki Theater Company for a performance of the musical Cats.
  • The Shinagawa Season Terrace where you can capture some amazing shots with Tokyo Tower in the background.
Illuminations at Shinagawa Season Terrace
Illuminations at Shinagawa Season Terrace

The Tourism Association has even more information on the illuminations.

A New-Year countdown and cheer

After you’ve finished a relaxing walk through an illuminated world why not head inside to warm up with some friends and good cheer. There are plenty of New Year countdown events in the Shinagawa area. Visit TGI Fridays in Gotanda or Shinagawa for some warm food and maybe a few spirits to lift your own.

Add a bit more class to your celebration over at Meguro Gajoen, a historic ceremony hotel and restaurant in eastern Shimomeguro.

Countdown celebration at Meguro Gajoen
Countdown celebration at Meguro Gajoen

Ring the bells

If you’re looking for something more traditionally Japanese, then strike up a temple bell (Joya no Kane). There are three temples in the Shinagawa area where you can experience this interesting tradition of night bell striking: Tenmokukokuji Temple in Aomono Yokocho; Shinagawa Temple in Aomono Yokocho as well; and Yodamain Nyorai Temple in Nishioi.

Ring the impressive bell
Ring the impressive bell

The first sunrise

Finally, there’s nothing like a hatsumode to finish off your perfect New Year’s holiday. Watch the first sunrise of 2020 to have your wishes granted and read the first fortune of the year at one of the 17 shrines in Shinagawa. Shinagawa Shrine itself is probably the most popular hatsumode location. And with it being a power spot for money and luck, there’s nowhere better for your prayers for the year ahead. You can also find great hatsumode spots at Irugi Shrine in Osaki and Kiji Shrine in Gotanda, both accessible from JR Yamanote lines.

See the sunrise at Shinagawa Shrine and pray on the first day of 2020 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
See the sunrise at Shinagawa Shrine and pray on the first day of 2020 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Whether you prefer a Western-style New Year’s or a Japanese O’shogatsu celebration, Shinagawa has plenty of options for you to enjoy this winter. Let Shinagawa be your first step into 2020.

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Serena Ogawa

Serena Ogawa @serena.ogawa

Travel Editor for Japan Travel by day, novel-writing cat lady by night.

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Kim B a week ago
Didn't know about all these great offerings in Shinagawa until now!