Welcoming A New World with A New Year

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Meiji Jingu Shrine, one of Tokyo’s most popular sightseeing spots, began celebrating its 100th anniversary in November with a memorial event and the slogan “The eternal forest of Meiji Jingu has flourished for 100 years and will continue for 1,000 more.” In addition, the surrounding area will celebrate with the “HARAJUKU OMOTESANDO 100th Anniversary”, and in December there’ll be a special bamboo lights display.


In 1927, the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line was Asia’s first subway system. Today, its stations are being renovated, blending tradition with cutting-edge concepts. This fall, construction ended for Nihombashi, Kyobashi, Ginza, Aoyama-itchome, and Gaienmae stations.

They now feature better accessibility, platform doors, and decorative designs reflecting their surrounding areas. Gaienmae Station (near the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 main venue) will have a breathtaking stained-glass mural depicting the excitement of athletic competition.

https://www.tokyometro.jp/news/images_h/metroNews201016_72.pdf (Japanese)

Street lights along shopping streets are known for their history and personality. On Ueno and Yushima’s Nakacho-Dori shopping street, the “Gaito Stand” project has placed standing tables with street lights so people can eat out while minimizing the risks of COVID-19 infections. The project was originally a limited-time event, but after the pandemic, dining under street lights may become one more charming addition to Tokyo’s shopping streets.

https://www.ikenohata-nakacho.com/201009-gaitostand (Japanese)
Contact: Urban Design Lab. University of Tokyo ueno@ud.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp

On November 3 and 4, Tokyo’s annual “Monozukuri - A Celebration of Japanese Artisanal Techniques” event was held online. Get a rare peek at Japanese artisans displaying traditional craftsmanship and manufacturing skills.
https://www.monozukuri-takumi-expo.tokyo/ (Japanese)
Contact: : 2020 Monozukuri-A Celebration of Japanese Artisanal Techniques monozukuri-takumi-expo@yspinc.jp
The annual winter lights display has begun in Roppongi’s Tokyo Midtown area. This year’s “MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS” display is a dazzling assortment of lights, transporting viewers into a magical winter wonderland. It’ll also feature fun interactive illuminations and a skating rink.
Mitsui Fudosan and Takenaka Corporation will grace Nihonbashi with Japan’s tallest high-rise wooden building, with 17 floors and a floor area of 26,000 sq. meters. The companies, active in forest preservation and efficient uses of timber, will use domestic fire-resistant lumber and begin construction in 2023 and finish in 2025.
Marunouchi Terrace is a new commercial complex between Marunouchi and Otemachi. Opening on November 5, it boasts the area’s first rooftop restaurant and MARUNOUCHI BASE, a multilevel cutting-edge entertainment space where you can enjoy activities like karaoke and darts.
https://marunouchibase.dkdining.com/ (Japanese)
Contact: Contact: Ogawa/Hiruma/Nakano dk_karaoke@vectorinc.co.jp
THE TOKYO TOILET project installs 17 easily accessible and comfortable public toilets around the Shibuya area. 16 world-renowned creators, such as Tadao Ando, have currently designed 7 unique public toilets in Shibuya, unlike the world has ever seen!
Yoshida Hiroshi was a pioneering printmaker who was also skilled as a Western-style painter. To honor his legacy, Yoshida Hiroshi: Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of His Death will be held in TOKYO METROPOLITAN ART MUSEUM from 26 Jan to 28 Mar, 2021. By shining a spotlight on Yoshida’s work, which also fascinated Princes Diana and Freud, Tokyo conveys art’s power to cross borders, even when challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contact: yoshida2021@ypcpr.com
The COVID-19 pandemic has limited interactions at hotels, so the Hotel New Otani has appointed the AI home robot LOVOT as its “Omotenashi Hospitality Ambassador” to provide companionship for guests during their stay.
https://www.newotani.co.jp/tokyo/press-release/2020/1005-01/ (Japanese)
The Hotel Tokyo Garden Palace’s “Heian no Ma” is Japan’s first hotel banquet hall to feature Edo Kiriko, one of Tokyo’s leading traditional glassware. The feel of the Edo period is recreated through a variety of handcrafted decorative patterns found in the banquet hall and lobby.
https://www.atpress.ne.jp/news/227752 (Japanese)
Contact: Sales Division Kouno banquet@hotelgp-tokyo.com
To boost local tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Tokyo is encouraging businesses and organizations to feature its new “Tokyo Tokyo Flag” logo to promote Tokyo tourism.
https://tokyotokyo.jp/ja/business-support/icon/?tab=4 (Japanese)

*【Updated】Useful information on COVID-19 in Tokyo

◆Updates on COVID-19 in Tokyo

◆Prevention Measures and Updates on COVID-19 by TCVB    

◆Coronavirus (COVID-19) advisory information by JNTO (Updated)

◆Information related to New Coronavirus Infection (COVID-19) from Immigration Services Agency by Ministry of Justice (Updated)

Get Inquisitive

  MOVIE: Tokyo’s Enduring Innovation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This video provides examples of what some people are doing to combat the spread of COVID-19. Tokyo's efforts aren't limited to these people either; the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is dedicated to supporting accommodations, restaurants, tourist facilities, duty-free shops, and similar establishments that are making an effort to limit the spread of the virus. Not only is it providing financial assistance, but also expert advice. In addition, the government has launched the website "A New Normal for Each and Everyone" where business owners can share new ideas that allow visitors to enjoy sightseeing activities with an added level of safety and security. Tokyo is sparing no effort to protect the lives and health of its populace.


  Pick up Movies

Another Tokyo, TAMA Project Tokyo TAMA Hachioji Geisha, Discover the lives of Geisha working in Hachioji at the foot of Mt. Takao.

KANDA.SQUARE Concept Video, Kanda Square is a commercial complex with designs inspired by the traditional Japanese beauty of silk brocade fabric. It opened September 4 in the historic Kanda Nishiki-cho district.

Shibuya Fashion Week Official YouTube Channel, SHIBUYA FASHION WEEK 2020 Autumn “The Movie”. This year’s Shibuya Fashion Week 2020 Autumn “FASHION GOES ON” was held online on October 12-22. See the concept video for the event on its YouTube channel.


Ochanomizu: The Music Town Where Music Lovers Gather. Explore Ochanomizu “the city of musical instruments” with a video from the city of Chiyoda.

Officially Licensed Tokyo 2020 Traditional Crafts Collection. See artisans create Japanese crafts using world-renowned traditional craftsmanship.

The Tokyo Station Hotel Clean Method. An inside look at how the Tokyo Station Hotel provides a safe and healthy experience for guests during the COVID-19 pandemic.


  Tokyo Event Calendar

Check out these annual festivals and events held in Tokyo. You can see the list of all major festivals, fireworks, parades, religious events, and other events in Greater Tokyo.
*Depending on the situation, festivals and events scheduled in 2020 may be canceled. Please check the official website for the latest information.

Open Calendar


Please click on the link below to download the photos, press releases and new opening accommodation list.


From Editor

As the new year approaches, I reflect on the impact the events of 2020 have had on the world. As is Japanese tradition, I would like to visit a shrine such as Asakusa and Meiji Jingu Shrine to pray for the coming year. However, due to the global pandemic, many safety measures will be put in place to prevent too many people from gathering in these popular places of worship. This winter, the New Year’s atmosphere in Tokyo will be solemn, like the world of Zen.

Kyoko Higashi / TOKYO NOW Editorial Staff  


Issued by: Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Supported by: Tourism Division, Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs, Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
E-mail: info@tokyonowsignup.com