10 Best Things To do in Tokyo in January 2024

To do in Tokyo
Writer’s profile
Writer’s profile

Rayane Nihrane Drider is a Moroccan/Spanish university student from London, United Kingdom. He is working and living in Tokyo for his internship for 7 weeks, aiming to learn more about the Japanese work culture and to have a better understanding of the Asian way of life. After the internship, he will continue traveling across Asia. Ultimately, he will go back to London to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management at King’s College London.  

Japan, an oasis of culinary delights and technological prowess, is one of the world’s most developed and preferred destinations. Understandably, Tokyo’s population is 37.4 million, making it the biggest city in the world. Through its vast history and rich culture, Tokyo embodied the fusion of traditional Japanese customs and incredible technological and cultural prowess. Moreover, you will be able to experience all sides of the city if you visit in January. From a traditional pilgrimage to a Van Gogh exhibit, whatever your cup of tea may be, this article will satisfy your needs!

1. January Grand Sumo Tournament

Sumo is a national sport dating back to Japan’s oldest historical chronicles. A sport of strength, strategy and pride. The Tokyo tournament will be the first of Japan’s six annual sumo tournaments, known as honbasho. This is an event you do not want to miss. The atmosphere and intensity are indescribable; it’s a unique experience. Get your tickets here. Don’t hesitate to book in advance since this is a significant event.

Get your sumo tour tickets here!

[Chair B seat]Tokyo Sumo Tournament Tour, May 2024 (Tickets Included)
Watch the Japanese national sport, sumo wrestling in Tokyo with a professional guide! Sumo tournaments take place six ti...

2. Geikosai New Year’s Festival

Celebrate one of the three annual festivals at Yakuoin Temple on Mount Takao; this is a memorable way to see the new year. Beginning at midnight and continuing until 5 p.m. that day, multiple goma fire rituals are performed to cleanse and purify for the new year in front of the statue of Izuna Daigongen.

3. Ōji Inari-jinja Shrine Fox Parade

The First Lunar Month by Utagawa Kunisada More: Original public domain image from Los Angeles County Museum of Art

According to the legends, before Tokyo was as we know it, foxes used to roam the land it is on. Once a year, on New Year’s, they would come together under a large tree and then parade to Ojin Inari Shrine. To commemorate this legend, every year on the 31st, Oji residents dress up as foxes and parade to the shrine. This procession contains a lot of symbolism; for instance, they will hold paper lanterns, simultaneously representing foxfires and the light of hope and life. Once at the shrine, It ends with a blessing celebrating your first visit to a shrine of the year.

4. Tokyo Mega Illumination

The Tokyo Mega Illumination, held at Oi Racecourse, truly lives up to its name. Taking over the heart of the racecourse, this seasonal light-up extravaganza offers all the enchantment of a typical illumination event, plus the unique addition of horses. This is the perfect place if you want to be mesmerized by an array of colours projected onto the air, water, and ground.

Official Website

5. Meguro River Winter Illuminations

The breathtakingly beautiful cherry blossoms, the symbol of renewal and the arrival of spring, will bring you joy and warmth even in winter! Meguro River will shine with nearly 400,000 pink-coloured LEDs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night. The lights will be powered by cooking oil waste from local homes and businesses. 

6. Seven Lucky Gods Pilgrimage

Want to warrant your luck for the coming year? We got to have the perfect thing for you! From New Year’s until the 10th of January, take part in the Seven Lucky Gods pilgrimage, a centuries-old tradition. During those 10 days, you will visit 7 Buddhist temples and collect all of their seals. The legend says whoever visits all 7 of them will be lucky for the rest of the year.

7. Tokyo Auto Salon (Jan. 12–14)

The annual Tokyo Auto Salon features an array of race cars and customized vehicles, offering enthusiasts a glimpse into the world of automotive modification. In contrast, the Motor Show serves as a platform for companies to unveil their latest street-legal vehicles.

Open to the public, tickets for the Tokyo Auto Salon can be conveniently purchased online. The event, held every January, presents an impressive display of cars and features numerous models at each booth. For anyone passionate about cars, it’s an essential experience not to be missed.

Official Website

 Admission Fee
12/01 (Friday) 14h00-19h00 4,000 yens
13/01 (Saturday) 9h00-19h00 3 000 yens
14/01 (Sunday) 9h00-18h00 3 000 yens

8. Shinnen Ippan Sanga(Public New Year Greetings to the Imperial Family) 

ぱたごん, (CC BY-SA 3.0), via Wikimedia Commons

On January 2nd, you get to visit the imperial palace grounds to wish the imperial family good luck for the upcoming year, where they will make scheduled appearances. Just enter the palace through Nijubashi, then follow the instructions to get a glimpse of the imperial family. 

9. Van Gogh Alive/Terada Warehouse G1 Building

An exhibition where you can experience Van Gogh’s worldview with all five senses, “Van Gogh Alive,” has been held not only in Japan but also around the world. Tokyo will be the 100th city in the world where it will be held. More than 3000 images of Van Gogh’s masterpieces will be displayed on a gigantic scale with classical music playing. 

Ticket price: 2,800 JPY


10. Daikon Radish Festival 2024

At Matsuchiyama Shoden in Asakusa, every January 7 marks a solemn service dedicated to the deity Shōden, featuring daikon radishes offered as a representation of his significance. Following the ceremony, these daikons transform into a delightful dish known as furofuki—sliced radish topped with savoury miso sauce—generously shared with attendees, extending the festival’s joy beyond the rituals.

Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Tokyo

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are traveling in, our knowledgeable and friendly guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Tour
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo, where you will have the chance to try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake along with your friendly English-speaking guide! 

tsukiji tour

Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo private tour

Shinjuku Bar Hopping Tour: Experience Tokyo’s Nightlife in Izakaya
Check out the best spots in Shinjuku while bar hopping through the lively and vibrant area. Try some delicious local food and drink as you explore the narrow yet photogenic alleys that the town has to offer. Experience Japanese izakaya culture and drink in Shinjuku like the locals!


Follow us on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and TikTok for more travel inspiration. Or tag us to get featured!

Happy traveling!

Stay informed of the best travel tips to Japan, the most exciting things to do and see, and the top experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel Newsletter. Once every two weeks we will introduce you to our latest content.

Stay informed of the best travel tips to Japan, the most exciting things to do and see, and the top experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel Newsletter. Once every two weeks we will introduce you to our latest content.

Other articles you might be interested in


To do in Tokyo
Sponsored links
Share this article on your social media
Copied title and URL