Countdown 2020 in Japan

For the uninitiated, New Year in Japan has never been about late-night partying or extravagant firework displays. Shogatsu, aka New Year, is, in fact, an annual festival for family reunions. Fret not, if you’re spending 2020 afresh at the Land of The Rising Sun, we’ve done the legwork so you don’t miss all the action. Here are 10 countdown spots to liven your last days of the decade.

P.S. Overnight theme park marathons and parties in club included.

Japan must-haves

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Traveling to Japan has never been this easy with the JR Pass. Whether you’re going for 7 days, 14 days or 21 days, get bang for your buck when you pre-book on Klook and earn a $60 Klook voucher! Not to mention, you can now pre-book your JR Pass 6 months in advance.

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1. Universal Studios Japan Countdown Party 2020 (Osaka)

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Universal Studios Japan is playing Santa this December, granting every theme park lover’s secret wishlist. This year-end, the biggest countdown party is setting new records and will be opened for 26 hours straight from 31 December 2019, at 7 pm to 1 January 2020, at 2 am.

This means adrenaline junkies can finally max out their stay and attempt death-defying rides till the wee hours of the morning! Make sure to form your battle plan with our insider tips and a step-by-step guide on how you can book your tickets on Klook in a jiffy.

Address: 2 Chome-1-33 Sakurajima, Konohana-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu, 554-0031
Opening Hours: 7 pm on 31 Dec 2019 to 9 pm on 1 Jan 2020
(Universal Countdown Party ends on 1 January 2020, 2 am)
Directions: From Namba, take the Hanshin Namba Line to Nishikujo (4th stop) then transfer to JR Yumesaki Line and get off at Universal City Station

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2. HEP Five FerrisFerries Wheel (Osaka)

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Here’s a golden tip for all budget thrifters! Why empty your wallets when you can get a sweeping view of Japan’s spectacular fireworks for just a fraction of the cost?

Head to HEP Five Ferris Wheel, and scale 106 meters above the ground with exclusive features of Mount Ikoma and the Osaka Harbor in the snapshot. Check out more budget attractions in Osaka while you’re here too!

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The ride will take you around the mill for about 15 minutes with speakers available within each of the 52 gondolas. If blasting your favorite playlist along with a breathtaking view of Osaka sounds like your kind of jam to end the year, look no further!

#Klooktip: If you’re traveling with the Osaka Amazing Pass, flash your pass and hitch a ride at HEP Five Ferris Wheel for FREE!

Address: 5-15, Kakuda-chou, Kita-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka, Japan 530-0017
Opening Hours: 11 am to 10.45 pm
Nearby Stations: Umeda Station, JR Osaka Station or Higashi-Umeda Station

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3. Umeda Sky Building (Osaka)

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Another prime location to catch the fiery fireworks, camp out at the Umeda Sky Building for uninhibited views of Tokyo’s night sky. The 173-meter skyscraper includes an open-air deck and has been touted as the perfect romantic date spot to surprise bae. So if you’re looking for that X-factor to welcoming 2020 with your soulmate, Umeda Sky Building’s panoramic view just might make the cut!

#Klooktip: Enjoy free admission to Umeda Sky Building, just another perk when you’re traveling with the Osaka Amazing Pass!

Address: 1 Chome-1-87 Oyodonaka, Kita Ward, Osaka, 531-6023, Japan
Directions: 10 minutes walk from Osaka Station

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4. Countdown 2020 Monster Party (Tokyo)

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Photo credits: Kawaii Monster Cafe on Facebook

As much as fireworks are a must-have in every countdown, leaping into 2020 isn’t the same if you’re celebrating at Tokyo’s kawaii capital – Harajuku. Get psyched at the Kawaii Monster Cafe this year-end and witness firsthand how crazy and quirky Japanese culture is.

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Photo credits: @kawaiimonstercafe on Instagram

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Photo credits: @kawaiimonstercafe on Instagram

The cafe is a fairytale gone wrong – blown up with larger than life motifs such as milk bottles, unicorns drenched in ice cream, a glow-in-the-dark jellyfish bar and staff dressed in monster cosplay.

Countdown 2020 Monster Party is taking on a traditional twist this time. Visitors will get to experience a sake ceremony called ‘Kagami-wari’ and channel their inner Masterchef while making Mochi Rice Cake. Psychedelic with an authentic Japanese theme in mind? Sign me up.

Date: 31 December – 1 January 2020
Opening Hours: 9 pm – 4 am (the next day)
Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 4 Chome−31−10 YMスクエア 4F
Directions: 10 minutes walk from Omote-sando Station

Get your tickets here (*Adult only 18+)

5. Tokyo Countdown 2020 (Tokyo)

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Photo credits: Tomáš Malík on Unsplash

Gearing up for the greatest countdown ever in the history of Tokyo, Tokyo Countdown 2020 is making waves with its promising lineup. To drop some names, Madonna and Britney’s remixer, Felix Da Housecat will be making an appearance, along with Grammy Awardee Alex Metric.

If your Spotify top playlist is in sync with all things techno, EDM, or house, you can’t miss out on this. Get ready to rave to 12 hours of sick beats!

Date: 31 December
Opening Hours: 6 pm 7 am (next day)
Address: (Belle Salle Shibuya Garden) Shibuya Garden Tower, 16-17 Nanpeidai Cho, Shibuya City, Tokyo
Nearest Stations: Shinsen Station or Shibuya Station:

Get your tickets here

6. The Prince Park Tower New Year’s Countdown (Tokyo)

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Jumping on the Olympic bandwagon, Prince Park Tower hosted the 1964 Olympics and will be staging the 2020 Olympics this year. So, where better way than to kickstart a kickass year than a New Year’s Countdown?

The Tokyo Tower will assume its usual light-up, but the highlight of the event begins remains at the strikes of 12. A huge flood of balloons will be released into the air, marking the start of a brand new decade.

#Klooktip: Avoid jostling with the crowd when you pre-book your Tokyo Tower Observatory Admission ticket! Watch thousands of balloons float against a backdrop of Tokyo’s stunning city landscapes.

Address: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato, 〒105-0011 Tokyo, Japan.
Nearby Stations: Akabanebashi Station, Kamiyacho Station, Onarimon Station, Daimon Station or JR Hamamatsucho Station

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7. AgeHa Countdown 2020 (Tokyo)

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Photo credits: ageha.com

The biggest nightclub in Tokyo will be taking things up a notch this year with British DJ Sigala making a grand entrance. If you think it is just a night of bass and music, hold your horses. Fans will be thrilled to know that this year, AgeHa will be joining forces with brilliant performers from Robot Restaurant! Expect high-tech laser displays, multi-colored lights, flash dancers, glittering robots, and more!

Nuff’ said. Get your clubbing gear on and groove out on the dancefloor!

#Klooktip: The Tokyo Metro will be running 24 hours so you can leave whenever you like! Make sure to get your Tokyo Subway Ticket to enjoy unlimited train rides too.

Address: 2-2-10, Shinkiba, Koto, Tokyo 136-0082
Nearest Stations: Shin-Kiba Station
Get your tickets here

8. Shibuya Crossing Countdown (Tokyo)

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Photo Credits: Timo Volz on Unsplash

One of the most spontaneous gatherings ever, Shibuya Crossing has always been an unofficial countdown location. There are no fireworks, no catered food vendors around or special events, but what it doesn’t lack is the infectious spirit among the crowd. Everyone would huddle around and yell the seconds, before erupting into a cheer at the final moment.

Although the yearly (boozy) affair is now under the police’s radar, joining in the community zest makes the countdown experience liberating. Did we also mention that it’s FREE?

#Klooktip: Looking to fill your itinerary but on a tight budget? Here are 10 activities in Tokyo free-of-charge!

Dates: 31 December 2019 – 1 January 2020
Address: 2 Chome-2-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0043, Japan

9. Happy Island Countdown 2020 (Yokohama)

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Photo credits: yokohamajapan.com

The Happy Island Countdown 2020 at Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is one event to watch out for. 3000 bursts of fireworks will be stealing the limelight, illuminating the sky with dazzling lights and neon streaks.

The amusement park will be opening its doors from 3 pm till 8 am the next morning for the ultimate theme park binge. Keep your eyes peeled for the largest collection of marine life at Aqua Resort and a 107-meter vertical plunge on the Blue Fall!

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Photo credits: skyseeker on Flickr

If you and your squadmates intend to go big (or go home), stay up till 6.50 am for the first-ever sunrise of 2020 at Central Bay! Nothing beats huddling with your loved ones against a golden backdrop after a theme park craze.

Dates: 31 December 2019 – 1 January 2020
Opening Hours: 3 pm – 8 am (next day)
Address: (Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise) Hakkeijima, Kanazawa Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0006, Japan
Directions: Depart from Shinagawa station and take Keihin Kyuko Line to Kanazawa Hakkei station. From there transfer to Seaside Line until Hakkeijima Station

10. Lagunasia Admission at Laguna Ten Bosch in Gamagori (Nagoya)

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If Osaka has Universal Studios Japan, Laguna Ten Bosch is Nagoya’s epic equivalent. The amusement park welcomes 3 million visitors every year, a winning attraction with popular rides such as Fire Fire Next where you’ll get to shoot monsters with a laser gun.

Hold your breath; the real magic only comes at night. Along with other winter illuminations in Japan, Laguna 3D Mapping Show is a stunning light-up with themes changing according to the seasons. Families and lovers will fall head over heels with the elaborate set-up and twinkly display under the starry night.

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Photo credits: lagunatenbosch.co.jp

After which, pair your countdown experience with explosive fireworks, rocket balloons and live music happening all night! Homegrown artists like SKY-HI, Full Of Harmony, KAN-KUN and more exclusive artists will be belting their voices out this December for the final countdown.

Address: 2-3-1 Kaiyocho, Gamagori, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Opening Hours: 10 pm – 1 am (next day)

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