https://www.trip.com/blog/where-should-you-go-for-the-most-festive-atmosphere-at-new-years/

Where Should You Go for the Most Festive Atmosphere at New Year's?

TripBlog
TripBlog
Oct 28, 2019

Catalogue

  • The Most Romantic Place for New Year's – Taipei
    • Taipei 101 Fireworks Display
  • The Most Happening Place for New Year's – Hong Kong
    • Victoria Harbour Fireworks Display
  • Most Pleasant New Year's Surprises – Tokyo
    • Oji Fox Parade
  • Best Place for a Buddhist New Year's – Kyoto
    • Chion-in Temple Bell-Ringing Ceremony
    • Blessings at Heian Jingu
  • Show More

Every 31st December, the eyes of the whole world are drawn to Taipei, a place CNN once named as one of the world's ten most unique cities to spend New Year's in. If you find yourself in Taipei to ring in the new year, there's nothing more festive than watching the spectacularly colourful fireworks display and catching the star-studded open-air concert!

Every year there are rumours that this fireworks show might not happen, yet it's never actually been cancelled, so take anything you hear about this year's show with a grain of salt. On the somewhat chilly streets of Taipei everyone seems to gradually cast off the cold as if warmed by the excitement in the air, or maybe just the love of their significant others. All that's left is an enthusiastic 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 countdown and a hearty "Happy New Year!" in unison with the crowd. If you want the fireworks display to be a truly memorable experience, you'll need to strategize a bit. First, be sure to get there by 21:00 on the evening of the 31st and grab a spot with a good vantage point. The most traditional viewing location is of course Taipei City Hall Plaza, but an astounding number of people come here every year to ring in the new year, so the place is usually completely packed. The plaza is also a little too close to the display, so it's hard to take panoramic photos of the fireworks. Instead, we recommend viewing the display from Elephant Mountain, a favourite spot among photographers. In fact, many classic photos of Taipei 101 were taken from Elephant Mountain.

It's worth noting that hotels cost quite a lot more at this time of year, since Taipei attracts so many tourists around New Year's. If you do plan on going, we suggest reserving a hotel room in advance. See the recommendations below.

Where Should You Go for the Most Festive Atmosphere at New Year's?

Hong Kong's New Year's fireworks display has long dominated rankings of the most impressive New Year's Eve activities around the world, and never fails to delight with new surprises. Watching the brilliantly coloured fireworks go up over Victoria Harbour, one of the world's "top three night views", is a perfect way to say goodbye to the old year and welcome the year ahead. For that first second of the new year, it's enough to fill you with incomparable hope. Feeling that sense of hope bubbling up inside you is a truly magical sensation and a special moment to savour. Is it any wonder that so many people want to spend New Year's in Hong Kong?

The New Year's fireworks in Hong Kong can be seen from lots of places. We'll skip telling you about the usual ones – instead, we'd like to suggest some less well-known locations where the crowds are guaranteed to be surprisingly thin, the beauty arresting and your experience top-notch.

The first of these locations is the open-air car park at Ocean Terminal in Harbour City. The viewing angle is slightly skewed from here, but that won't detract from your experience at all, because it's so much less crowded! People even bring beer and snacks, so you can chat and socialize while waiting for the clock to strike midnight; it doesn't get any better than that. From inside Harbour City, go to Lane Crawford, then go to the 3rd floor, where you'll see a Ralph Lauren shop. Continue on and you'll find a Coach shop. Take the elevator off to the side to get to the car park.

The second location is Sky 100 Hong Kong, Hong Kong's highest indoor observation deck. Sky 100 allows you a 360° bird's-eye view of Victoria Harbour and even Kowloon Peninsula. From 21:00 to 01:00 on New Year's Eve, all you need is a pre-purchased New Year's countdown and fireworks ticket (available through the official Sky 100 website) to get in to the New Year's party in the observation deck. It's a perfect place to have a blast while counting down to midnight.

The last great spot to watch the show is from a Victoria Harbour New Year's fireworks cruise. You don't need to show up super early to get a place, and you'll be able to take beautiful pictures without the stress of having to elbow your way through crowds to get the best view. In Hong Kong, there are 5 or 6 companies that operate New Year's fireworks cruises, but each company's boats, itineraries, food options, entertainment and other details differ, so you'll need to choose carefully. Of course, the newer the boat and the more lavish the experience, the higher the price. Also, be sure to confirm which pier your cruise departs from and ends at – crowds are fierce on New Year's Eve, so you'll need to give yourself enough time to get to and from the pier.

If possible, we suggest staying at a hotel close to where you'll be going to see the New Year's fireworks, for a couple of reasons: firstly, the crowd will be extremely thick when the display ends, and you'll have to wait quite a while for them to disperse; and secondly, even though the Hong Kong subway runs 24 hours on New Year's, travelling a long way on the subway is no easy feat (as anyone who has ever tried to get home after a big concert can imagine). So it's best to stay nearby and walk back – that way, your New Year's will be perfect.

Where Should You Go for the Most Festive Atmosphere at New Year's?

Another surprisingly fun place to spend New Year's Eve is Tokyo. The traditional Oji Fox Parade is a great activity to bring kids along to, and you can experience traditional Japanese culture while praying for good fortune and prosperity for yourself and your family in the coming year. If you love shopping, the "lucky bags" offered by all the major department stores in Tokyo are worth fighting for. Each one contains a unique surprise, so be sure to open it with care.

Legend has it that long before the Edo period, all the foxes in the Kanto region would gather under a large tree near Oji every New Year's Eve, then don costumes and parade to Oji Inari Shrine to worship. A depiction of the foxes gathered under the tree even appears in an ukiyo-e work by the famous artist Utagawa Hiroshige. In a tradition dating back to 1993, the Oji Inari Shrine holds an annual Oji Fox Parade worship event on the evening of New Year's Eve to give thanks for the past year and pray for the coming year. If you want to experience the fun of the Oji Fox Parade, we suggest getting to Oji Inari Shrine or Shozoku Inari Shrine by 22:00 on the night of the 31st. Don't worry if you don't come in a costume, because lots of places sell fox costume accessories onsite, so it won't be hard to quickly transform yourself into a fox. This is one way of bidding farewell to the old and welcoming in the new that's sure to be a memorable experience for you and your family.

Be aware that competition for hotels in Tokyo gets fierce around New Year's, so we suggest booking in advance to make sure you can find a place in a good location at an affordable price.

Where Should You Go for the Most Festive Atmosphere at New Year's?

We've already talked about watching fireworks, going to concerts and grabbing lucky bags to celebrate New Year's. Welcoming the new year in Kyoto, however, is another experience entirely. New Year's rituals here are more Buddhist and overflowing with traditional charm.

Chion-in Temple was built at the end of the Heian period and is the largest temple in Kyoto. It's also the headquarters of the Jodo branch of Japanese Buddhism. This temple features the largest temple entrance gate in Japan and houses Japan's largest temple bell, which weighs 74 tonnes and takes the combined strength of 17 monks to ring. On the night of 31st December (known locally as "Omisoka"), the bell of Chion-in Temple is rung 108 times to eliminates the 108 earthly desires and welcome in the new year with a pure heart. Thanks to this event, Kyoto also made it into CNN's list of the world's most unique cities to spend New Year's in. A huge number of people come to take part in the bell-ringing ceremony at Chion-in Temple every year, so if welcoming the new year to the sound of a temple bell sounds like your cup of tea, make sure you get there early and be prepared to wait in line. There's no need to worry about transportation after the ceremony, as both the Japan Railway network and local busses extend their hours on the night to make sure everyone can get home.

Where Should You Go for the Most Festive Atmosphere at New Year's?

Heian Jingu, or Heian Shrine, was built in 1895 to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the founding of Heian-kyo (the former name of Kyoto). The shrine is dedicated to the spirits of the first and last emperors who reigned from Kyoto. It includes a giant torii gate, the jingumichi (shrine road), the otenmon (main gate), the daigokuden (main hall), and Shin-en garden. The architectural style shows clear Tang dynasty influences. Heian Jingu is open to visitors all night around New Year's, when many people come here to worship and pray for blessings. Of course, if you do come to Kyoto for New Year's, be sure to experience a traditional Japanese machiya, or wooden townhouse, such as the one below.

Where Should You Go for the Most Festive Atmosphere at New Year's?

Contact Center of the year 2022
Contact Center of the year 2022
Google Material Design Awards 2019
Google Material Design Awards 2019