Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro are some of the busiest and most vibrant parts of Japan’s capital and are currently undergoing redevelopment with more transformation to unfold even after 2022. But before that, we look onto something more near-at-hand, the special season known as New Year’s Holidays for these spots!
Around December, they become something magical while celebrating the coming of the new year. However, because of COVID-19, this year will be a bit different again. Its “Blue Cave/Grotto” event where local trees are adorned with 600,000 lights has been canclled, something that many people have been eagerly waiting for. Usually, about 100,000 people gather in Shibuya for the New Year events, but, this year has each greeted its revelers with anticipation to places like Shibuya Scramble Square, the Meiji Jingu Shrine, and Yoyogi Park. Hopefully, we’ll see a return to Shibuya’s usual year-end and new year celebrations by next year.
Shinjuku will most likely also have to hold a quieter Winter Holiday than usual. As expected of the busiest station in the world that offers access to everything from skyscrapers to shrines and relaxing green spaces etc., December around Shinjuku tends to be a crowded affair, which Tokyo is trying to avoid this year.
As for the future, the city is currently widening and connecting the station’s East and West exits, which will make reveling around Shinjuku much easier… around 2047, when the work is scheduled to finish. But fret not! – you may set your eyes on the Kabukicho area as it welcomes a revamp by 2022.
So while there might be fewer celebrations in Ikebukuro this year, its future, as well as that of Shibuya and Shinjuku, is looking very bright. As for Ikebukuro, we’re currently seeing the area around the station transforming from a mecca of shopping and pop culture to a place of art galleries, stage shows. Work is also currently underway to transform the area around Ikebukuro’s West Exit into an International City of Arts & Culture. In Ikebukuro, the recommended New Year celebration includes experiences like observing the first sunrise of the new year from Sunshine City’s SKY CIRCUS Sunshine 60 Observatory, which was held on January 1, 2021.