What’s Happening in Tokyo this January?

What’s Happening in Tokyo this January?

Festivals, flea markets and rituals to start the new year

By and

January 15 – 16

Setagaya Boroichi 

Discover quaint items at the Setagaya Boroichi Boasting a 400-year history, Setagaya Boroichi was established by the lord of Oawara as a tax-free marketplace in the Edo period. Then, the main item sold was boro, or rags. Now, the market is a versatile Chimera: meticulously designed utensils, eye-catching kimonos, original handicrafts, eccentric toys and many others. For foodies, the market is a must-go. Daikan mochi, a white rice cake covered with sweet red bean paste, is only available in this market. Discover the new-year buzz at Setagaya Boroichi.

Boroichi Street, 1 Setagaya, Setagaya-ku

9am – 8pm

Free entrance

January 8 

Tondoyaki at Torigoe Shrine  

As the new year is born, throngs of luck seekers gather at Torigoe  Shrine to send off vestiges of their past. This ceremonial burning,  tondoyaki, sees citizens toss used holiday decorations into a roaring bonfire that serves to escort deities from this world to the next. The plumes of smoke that billow from the burn pile serve as good fortune to onlookers and participants alike. Whether discarding decorations or simply taking in the sights, all visitors are welcome to roast mochi over the sacred fire for an extra kiss of prosperity.  

2-4-1 Torigoe, Taito-ku 

From 1pm 

Free entrance 


Tokyo Skytree Town New Year’s Event 

December 26 – January 8 

Hatsuhinode, the first sunrise of the year, is one of the most important events on the Japanese calendar. Where and how one should experience daybreak is an annual debate, but few can argue there’s a  better location than the city’s skyline celebrity, Tokyo Skytree. Skytree is extending its usual operating hours so that visitors can witness the year’s first light from the highest viewpoint in the city. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so be sure to act quickly. 

1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku 

Time varies 

Free entrance 


January 8


Ikegami Honmonji serves as the backdrop for hashigo-nori, a display of immense acrobatic skill and bravery. Inspired by Edo-era firefighters who scaled ladders to detect fires in the old city, the performance unfolds atop six-meter bamboo ladders, held in place by a ground crew using only hooked wooden poles. Event narration is provided in both  Japanese and English, ensuring all visitors have an opportunity to enjoy the action. After the performance, attendees can explore an open-air market that operates from the hilltop temple’s base. 

1-1 Ikegami, Ota-ku 

1pm – 2:30pm

Free entrance  

January 22 – February 5 

Chinese Spring Festival  

As Yokohama boasts Japan’s largest Chinese community, it is no surprise that its Chinatown plays host to the country’s largest and most vibrant Chinese Spring Festival. The festival’s line-up is packed with parades and performances, from lion dances and firecracker bursts down the streets of Chinatown to martial arts displays on the main stage in Yamashitacho Park. The weeks-long event ends with a lantern festival at Masobyo Temple, where visitors are encouraged to inscribe their New Year’s wishes on small paper lanterns. 

Yamashitacho, Naka Ward, Yokohama 

Free entrance 


Free admission