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Open & Closed New Years?

Scottsdale, Arizona
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Open & Closed New Years?

Okay, how reliable is this webpage as far as closings?

jnto.go.jp/eng/location/rtg/pdf/pg-305.pdf

(Japan national tourist organization web page)

I am looking at a 7 day trip in the dates ranging from 12/26 - 1/4/07. I get different answers, is everything closed 1/1 - 1/3 or 12/29-1/1? Any help appreciated as always. Believe it or not, I really dont want to go new years bc the risk of everything being closed, but it looks like with work it may be my only option. Thanks again everyone.

Aoyama Dori and San...
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1. Re: Open & Closed New Years?

I'm not sure what you mean by "everything" here. Basically, on 12/31 and 1/1, most things are zipped up tight, much like a national holiday in the US. Hotels, restaurants, convenience stores, etc. will be open but major retailers (department stores, etc.), museums and other public venues will be closed. That doesn't mean there's nothing to do. To the contrary, it might be nicer because the streets are not going to be so crowded and most people will be home with their families. Trains will be running and you won't be starving looking for food or anything like that. This year, the 31st is a Sunday and the 1st is a Monday.

On New Years Eve, if there is a temple nearby your lodging, go there before midnight and experience the crowds and ring the bell. You will find this to be an interesting experience. However, don't get stuck somewhere and miss the last train unless you want to pay a taxi premium fare to get back.

I'm not sure about particular venues, but things should be normal on 12/30 and before and 1/2 and after. Temples will be very busy during this time so it's a perfect opportunity to visit one. Just plan your itinerary to be relaxing down days on the 31st and the 1st and you should be OK. I'm not sure if the waterbus is running or not but this would be a perfect opportunity to sightsee on the rivers if they are running.

I remember on year, I was at my in-laws on New Years Day and was chomping at the bit to get out of there so I asked and got permission to head into Tokyo. At the time, it was right after the sarin gas attacks so I wanted to visit the area, Kokkaigijido, Kasumigaseki, etc. It was surreal. Nobody was there near the Ministries except for the grey security trucks with the bars on the windows guarding the buildings. In that area (virtually no residential and all government and businesses), nothing was open, nothing was going on. Even Hibiya Park was almost empty. Basically, I had the whole neighborhood to myself. Devoid of the crowds of OL and salarymen, that area takes on a totally different look and feel. I was able to eat at convenience stores and had a good time just being in a most uncrowded central Tokyo.

Toronto
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2. Re: Open & Closed New Years?

And you'll get huge bargains after 1/1 .. when all the major retailers have big sale. I got 1000Yen fleece jacket from Uniqlo, 1000(list price 7000, regular 4000)Yen cordless mouse at Akihabara. Odaiba was the only major retail location open on 1/1 when I last visited during new year. But I seem to recall 31/12 was still OK with some department stores open?

Earth, Texas
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3. Re: Open & Closed New Years?

On and around New Years many many people go to their hometown where they eat, shop for food, eat, shop for bargains, go to the shrine or temple on New Years day and thats about it. Anything related to shopping or eating is open. New Years eve is really subdued as the traditional thing is the bell being rung 108 times at the temple at midnight. Some places may have a festival where they do crazy things with fire so check websites having to do with where you will be.

edinburgh
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4. Re: Open & Closed New Years?

We stopped in Shinagawa district last year between 27/12 and 30/12. I can reassure you that everything was open. Each day closer to new year it did get quieter on the railways and shops but it made getting around and visiting things so much easier. The zoo was deserted when we visited on the 28th.

Edinburgh the city everyone flocks to at New Year is like a ghost town on the 1st of January so I guess you ain't gonna find anywhere where there is much happening at this time of year.

I can't recommend Tokyo enough. It was fantastic. Lovely people who couldn't be more helpful.

Aoyama Dori and San...
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5. Re: Open & Closed New Years?

One more thing, 12/31 should be pretty normal, retail-wise until the late afternoon when everything starts to shutdown. With enough planning and setting of expectations, a trip during Oshogatsu (new years) should be enjoyble.

Toronto
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6. Re: Open & Closed New Years?

That's what I thought. They start to close down around 3-4pm. That time I had dinner with a friend at the Japanese restaurant at Kadoya, then went to a bar and watched the red/white singing contest on big screen, then went to a dance club .

7. Re: Open & Closed New Years?

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