10 Best Events in Japan in January 2024

List of Seasonal Events in Japan in January

January 2024-min

January is one of the busiest months in Japan, which accepts lots of tourists from overseas. On New Year’s holidays, they visit the country to experience traditional Japanese culture, enjoy winter sports with snow, taste seasonal dishes, and so on.

Many people greet the new year with their families and friends in their hometowns while some people enjoy exciting countdown parties from New Year’s Eve. Visiting a shrine or temple, which is known as Hatsumode, is a Japanese custom to make wishes for the coming year. Most stores and restaurants are closed on New Year’s holidays, especially on January 1, but some of them start offering special sales just after that. On the second Monday in January, which is known as Seijin no Hi, those who have reached or will turn 20 this year celebrate their coming of age.

There are a variety of events held in Japan in January, which you should join since you come to Japan in this season. Check out the list of 10 notable events in Japan in January!

1. Hatsumode (New Year’s visit to a shrine or temple)

Chureito Pagoda and Mt. Fuji

The New Year’s Day visit or Hatsumode in Japanese is a local Japanese tradition to visit shrines or temples to ask for good luck throughout the year.

Genre: Shrine/Temple
Dates: Many people visit shrines and temples on the first three days of the New Year

For more information about Hatsumode in Japan, check out the following article!

▶︎Hatsumode in Tokyo

▶︎Hatsumode in Japan

2. Getting Fukubukuro Lucky Bags

Fukubukuro Lucky Bags

A fun activity and one of the customs of people in Japan every New Year is what they call ” Lucky Bag” where most of the department stores and other shops in Japan offer goods that are already wrapped and you never know what is inside the bag which gives excitement to the consumers.

Genre: Shopping
Location: Department stores and other brand shops
Dates: From the beginning of January

3. Tokyo Grand SUMO Tournament

Tokyo Grand SUMO Tournament
Copyright © Nihon Sumo Kyokai

Sumo (相撲) was originated in Japan; it’s a Japanese style of wrestling and considered Japan’s National Sport. Japan is the only country where it is practiced professionally and even at present, the Sumo sport has ritual elements included such as the use of salt purification from Shinto.

Genre: Tournament
Location: Ryogoku Kokugikan
Dates: January 14 to 28, 2024
Website: https://www.sumo.or.jp//En/

<< Book Online: Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament Tour >>

4. New Year’s at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea (Chiba)

New Year’s at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea (Chiba)-min

New Year’s in Disney is an annual event at Tokyo Disney Resort in celebration of the holiday season. Every year there are unique activities and events prepared by Disney friends and characters and colorful winter decorations around the theme parks that make the place shine even more.

Genre: Theme Park
Location: Tokyo Disney Resort
Dates:  January 1 to 8, 2024
Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/dream/event/newyear2024.html

<< Book your Tokyo Disney Resort e-tickets here! >>

For more travel tips about Tokyo Disney Resort, Check out the following articles.

▶︎Tokyo Disneyland Guide: Best Things to Do

▶︎Tokyo DisneySea Guide: Best Things to Do

5. Silvery White Wonderland (Nagasaki)

Silvery White Wonderland (Nagasaki)-min
Copyright © Huis Ten Bosch Co., Ltd.

Is a Winter illumination and event at Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki this 2024 with themed Silvery White Wonderland, featuring various activities to enjoy winter such as Canal Ice Skating, shows, garden lightning, and many more.

Genre: Winter Illumination /Festival
Location: Huis Ten Bosch (Nagasaki)
Dates: January 13 to March 10, 2024
Website: https://english.huistenbosch.co.jp/event/winter/

6. Kobe Luminarie 2024 (Kobe)

Kobe Lumiarie 2024-min
©Kobe Luminarie O.C.

Kobe Luminarie is an illumination event in Kobe first time after four years, it symbolizes the hope of Kobe. Various light exhibitions can be seen in the area of Higashi-Yuenchi Park, the Former Foreign Settlement of Kobe, and Meriken Park.

Genre: Illumination/Festival
Location: Higashi-Yuenchi Park / Former Foreign Settlement of Kobe / Meriken Park
Dates: January 19 to 28, 2024
Website: https://www.feel-kobe.jp/kobe_luminarie/

7. Yukitouro- Kayabuki no Sato Miyama (Kyoto)

Yukitouro- Kayabuki no Sato Miyama (Kyoto)-min
Copyright (c) Yukitouro-Kayabuki no Sato Miyama

The Yukitouro in Miyama Kayabuki no Sato is an event to experience the making of snow lanterns which is the main activity due to the thickness of the snow in the area every winter. Apart from this other activities can be enjoyed such as Japanese performances, lighting of private houses, mochi pounding experience, and special hot foods for winter.

Genre: Snow Lantern and Illumination
Location: Miyama’s Thatched Village
Dates: January 27 to February 3, 2024
Website: https://yukitouro.jp/

8. 80th Atami Plum Garden Plum Festival 2024 (Shizuoka)

80th Atami Plum Garden Plum Festival 2024 (Shizuoka)-min
Copyright 一般社団法人熱海市観光協会

The Atami Plum Garden in Shizuoka is known for having the earliest plum blossom in Japan with many plum trees of different varieties. And this 2024, the 80th plum festival will be held from January 6 to March 3, at the Atami Plum Garden.

Genre: Festival
Location: Atami Plum Garden
Dates: January 6 to March 3, 2024
Website: https://www.ataminews.gr.jp/event/355

9. Ashikaga Flower Park Illumination (Tochigi)

Ashikaga Flower Park Illumination (Tochigi)-min

One of the most famous flower parks in Japan, the Ashigaya Flower Park in Tochigi will hold three large flower fantasy illuminations to bring joy to your holiday season. Which starts from October 18, 2023, to February 14, 2024. Come and enjoy the amazing flower illumination with your family and friends.

Genre: Illumination
Location: Tochigi, Ashikaga Flower Park
Dates: October 18, 2023 to February 14, 2024
Website: https://www.ashikaga.co.jp/flowerfantasy_special2023/en/

<< Book Online: Ashikaga Flower Park Illumination Day Tour with Strawberry Picking >>

For more information about this event, check out the following article!

▶︎Ashikaga Flower Park Illumination 2023-2024

10. Nabana no Sato Illumination (Mie)

Nabana no Sato Illumination (Mie)-min

An illumination that will take your imagination to another fantasy place is the offering of Nabana no Sato at Nagashima Resort. There are different themed lights available in each area that are really amazing with their beauty and sparkles.

Genre: Illumination
Location: Nabana no Sato
Dates: October 21, 2023 to June 2, 2024
Website: https://www.nagashima-onsen.co.jp/nabana/illumination/index.html

<< Book Online: Nagashima Mitsu Outlet & Nabana no Sato Winter Illumination Bus Tour >>

For more information about this event, check out the following article!

▶︎Nabana no Sato: Spectacular Winter Illumination 2023-2024

In addition to those seasonal events, there are more things to do in Japan in January. Check more details in these articles below.

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I'm writing by my motto: helping travelers spend their limited time experiencing something priceless in Japan. My articles won't let you down! Living in Tokyo and traveling many popular and hidden sites all over Japan, I deliver well-selected and latest tourist information to you from the perspective of “100% Japanese local”. My specific interests are island hopping, eating countless bowls of ramen, watching anime and reading manga. Enjoy Japan Web Magazine for recommended food spots, hidden gems Japanese Otaku (geek) culture, and everything about Japan :)