Tokyo in January : Best Things to Do 2021

What to Do in Tokyo in January

Travelling to Tokyo in January?? Don’t miss the seasonal events and attractions available only this month! Here are the most popular spots and the hottest things to do in Tokyo in January 2021!

Note: Some of listed places/events in Tokyo in January 2021 may change their operation hours/be closed or cancelled due to COVID-19. Please check official websites for the latest updates before visiting.


1. Hatsumode

If you are here in Japan during New Year, take a chance to make a first temple or shrine visit within the first few days of the year, which is called Hatsumode (初詣).

It’s one of the most traditional Japanese customs, and shrines and temples get extremely crowded by people come to pray for their health, peace and happiness from the midnight of 1 January after New Year Eve. You can feel the traditional and festive atmosphere, and also enjoy street food and drinks sold at stalls.

Some of popular shrines and temples such as Sensoji Temple and Meiji Shrine welcome over a million visitors during the New Year period. You can check the list below for the recommended temples and shrines in Tokyo for Hatsumode.

2. Illuminations

Winter illuminations are Japan’s top attraction during winter, and numbers of spectacular light-up events are held across the country. Some illumination events end by Christmas Day, yet many of them still run after New Year. Check out the list of top winter illuminations in Tokyo from the link below!

Several large-scale winter illuminations are held outside of Tokyo, too, and they are perfect winter destinations for a day trip from the city! Here is the list of the best illumination events near Tokyo this year.

3. Ice Skating

Ice skating is one of the best winter sports/attractions, and Tokyo has several ice skating rinks which open for winter. You can enjoy skating on open-air rinks in a heart of the concrete jungle with the view of skyscrapers! You can check the link below for the info about ice skating rinks in Tokyo.

4. Sumo Grand Tournament

Watching Sumo matches could be the most traditional, exciting and extraordinary experience to have in Japan. The national Sumo tournament is held 6 times a year in Japan, and three are held in Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Stadium in January, May and September. The first Sumo Grand Tournament will kick off in Tokyo from 10 to 24 January 2021.

Ticket info:

5. Winnie the Pooh Cafe

One of the most beloved Disney characters of all time, Winnie the Pooh’s theme cafe is open in Tokyo until end of January 2021. The cafe offers cute and photo-worthy food and drinks with motif of Winnie the Pooh and his adorable friends. The limited-edition merchandise is also available at the cafe store.

More info:

6. Strawberry Buffets

© ANA InterContinental Tokyo

The season for strawberries starts in January in Japan, and strawberry dessert buffets are available at numbers of hotels in Tokyo including Hilton Tokyo, ANA Intercontinental and Grand Hyatt Tokyo. Each hotel offers delicious strawberry desserts with unique and original themes. Check out the best strawberry buffets in Tokyo from the previous year!

7. Strawberry Picking

Another amazing way to enjoy delicious strawberries in season is strawberry picking. It’s a perfect fun activity for family with small kids, couples and groups! There are several strawberry farms (greenhouses) in Kanto area which you can easily access from Tokyo for a day-trip.

Many of them are open around December-January till spring. Enjoy hunting for delicious locally farmed strawberries!

More info:

8. Sailor Moon Cafe -Eternal-

Celebrating a release of the new movie “Sailor Moon Eternal”, the limited-time Sailor Moon themed cafe will be opening at 5 cities across Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido and Okinawa). And Sailor Moon fans in Tokyo can’t be happier as there will be 2 cafes opening in Tokyo (Solamachi and Shinjuku). The cafe offers colourful and photo-worthy food and drinks inspired by Sailor Moon characters and motif as well as the cafe’s original merchandise.

More info:

9. EVANGELION Tokyo Skytree Project

©カラー ©TOKYO-SKYTREE
©カラー ©TOKYO-SKYTREE

Evangelion is teaming up with Tokyo Skytree this winter (23 December 2021 to 31 March 2021), celebrating a release of the new movie, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time. EVANGELION Tokyo Skytree Project includes special displays and photo spots at several locations at Tokyo Skytree as well as original merchandise and cafe menu. The special light-up of the exterior of the tower inspired by Evangelion units from the movie will also be available during the season.

Related article:

10. Rurouni Kenshin 25th Anniversary Exhibition

©和月伸宏/集英社

One of the most popular Japanese mange series in the history, Rurouni Kenshin is celebrating its 25th anniversary with its first-ever exhibition in Japan. The exhibition displays over 200 original illustrations as well as production works from its anime and live-action movie series. There will be also an exhibition shop offering limited merchandise. The exhibition will first run in Tokyo from 22 January to 7 March 2021, then move to Kyoto (23 April to 6 June 2021) and Niigata (TBA).

Venue: Tokyo Dome City Gallery AaMo
Date: 22 January to 7 March 2021
Hours: 11:00~19:00 (10:00~ on Weekend & Holiday) *last admission at 18:30
Admission: 1,600 yen (adult), 1000 yen (high school and junior high school students), 600 yen (elementary school students)

Official Website: https://ruroken-ten.com/

11. Furusato Matsuri Tokyo <<Cancelled>>

Copyright © Furusato Matsuri Tokyo 

Furusato Matsuri Tokyo (ふるさと祭り東京) is a large event that features famous traditional festivals and regional dishes across Japan. The event takes place at Tokyo Dome for 10 days in mid January. Around 400 attendance from Hokkaido to Okinawa present their regional specialties at the site. It’s a great chance to get to know the unique culture and traditions, and try delicious local dishes all in one place without travelling miles away!

NOTE: The event for 2021 has been cancelled to prevent further spread of Coronavirus.

Official website: https://www.tokyo-dome.co.jp/furusato/

12. Day Trip to Icicles of Misotsuchi

The icicles of Misotsuchi is a spectacular winter phenomena which can be seen at Chichibu area in Saitama Prefecture. It’s one of the most popular day-trip destinations from Tokyo during winter which takes around 2–3 hours to reach from central Tokyo. The gigantic icicles are lighten up at night and turns into a great piece of art by mother nature!

More info:


▽ Travelling to Tokyo in February?? ▽

How exciting does 2021 January look like?? Winter in Japan might be very cold but there are plenty of exciting things to see and events to attend! For more information about travelling in Japan in winter, please check out listed articles, too!

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