How People Welcome New Year 2020 in Japan

December in Japan

December is a busy month for everyone. Same as other part of the world, also in Japan many people go shopping or go out to meet friends before the yearend holidays start.

One of the events in December in Japan is bounenkai, year-end party. This is a banquet held at the end of the year, always in December. Generally speaking, it refers to a banquet held to forget the difficult events of the year. Old friends, company colleagues, family, etc. hold parties at home or gather at a Japanese restaurant bar called izakaya.

How people spend time to welcome new year in Kyoto?

Welcoming a new year is a big event in Japan. It’s a tradition that we visit a Buddhist temple on the New Year’s Eve and visit a Shinto Shrine during the first three days of January. In Kyoto, Chion-in Temple and Yasaka Shrine are popular places to celebrate the New Year’s Eve with some religious rituals.

There is no fireworks displays and parties on streets, but people visit a temple to purify themselves before the year ends. Each temple has a big bronze bell and they strike it 108 times around midnight. Chion-in’s bell is one of the biggest in Japan and struck by 17 monks. If you want to have a look at this, you should start waiting in line before 11:30pm to see the bell rung at 12 o’clock.

If you are in Kyoto on 31st December, why don’t you experience count-down in Japanese way?

Things to Do in Kyoto during holiday season

If you have an interest in sake tour, or in order to enjoy your trip in Kyoto more, come and join our tour Kyoto Insider Sake Experience. We are open on most of days during new year holiday season.
You will have a chance to taste local sake in Kyoto and learn all the basics of sake to find your favourite bottle. Send us a message if you have any questions about the tour 🙂

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Our Sake Tour Reviews

  •   We really enjoyed the sake tasting. In particular, the information you get is very interesting and practical. It is even more fun to practice your new 'sake'knowledge the next days by ordering specific types of sake in Japanese restaurants. The only downside of the 1.5...More

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    1/15/2020
  •   I was searching for a way to discover more about sake, how it was made, the different tastes and how to do proper food pairing, and this tour actually answered all my questions. Our guides Kotaro and Asahi was really nice and answered all the...More

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    1/13/2020
  •   We really enjoyed the Insider Sake Experience. The tour guides were excellent. The story behind Sake was fascinating. The pairing with food and the understanding of how to identify the various Sake options was also excellent. Would highly recommend this tour if you are in...More

    thumb BrisbaneSmiley
    1/11/2020
  •   Definitely worth it! This was a great way to get to know more about Sake and find the type that you like! We had a great guide called Kotaro who knew a lot and was great with all our questions!

    thumb 41gabrielan
    1/06/2020
  •   I reserved the tasting for my family as a Christmas present for my dad. We had a great time and the sake was delicious! Asahi was very informative and friendly. I would recommend :)

    thumb Mailelm
    1/05/2020
  •   Had an amazing time at the sake tasting. Kotaro was a great guide and walked us through everything. Highly recommend!

    thumb ZacharyM634
    1/05/2020
  •   Had a informative session with our guides Marika and Asahi. Highly recommended if you are interested in finding out more about sake!

    thumb yingster8080
    1/05/2020
  •   Had fun with our guides Marika and Asahi! Even though the weather was slightly less than ideal, our guides made it fun! Highly recommended if you wish to find out more about sake!

    thumb Ying8080
    1/05/2020
  •   While the tasting was very good with a knowledgeable guide, the brewery and sake museum part of the tour was a rip-off. Trip advisor should have known that all the breweries and the museum was closed on the date of our tour. All we saw...More

    thumb Rico4747
    1/02/2020
  •   I highly recommend this experience!! You wouldn't be able to learn everything yourself... The staff is super nice and friendly! :)

    thumb MelAcevedo
    12/30/2019

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