For those who are travelling to Osaka at the end of December, you must not miss out on experiencing an important Japanese event! On the 31st of December, most attractions in Osaka will organize countdown events, there are is also the ringing of the bell and hatsumode.. Have you planned where to countdown and welcome 2016 in Japan?
＊Countdown in Tokyo? Checkout：2016! Plan your 2016 New Year celebration in Tokyo! The best places and how to get there
Most of the railway companies have special schedules for New Year’s Eve and New Years Day!
＝＝End Year Special Transport Schedule＝＝
If you are familiar with Japan’s transport system, you will be aware that the electric railway and subway stop operating after 12 am, how to get home after the countdown? Don’t worry, Osaka Transportation Bureau will have special arrangements during New Year’s Eve, on the 31st of December to the 1st of January, they offer extended services! Here are the commonly used routes on the 31st of December: ：
The main transportation in Osaka City will be extended for midnight services on the 31st of December
- JR Osaka Loop Line 大阪環状線
- JR Kansai Main Line 関西本線
- JR Sakura Island Line 桜島線
- JT Tokaido Line 東海道本線
- JR Nara Line 奈良線
- JR Wakayama Line 和歌山線
- Osaka Subway 大阪市営地下鉄
- Kyoto Subway 京都市営地下鉄
- Kintetsu Line 近鉄大阪線
- Nara Line 近鉄奈良線
- Keihan Honsen 京阪本線
（For more information, please check out: http://ekitan.com/diagram/yearend/kansai.shtml)
On the New Year’s Eve, most places such as Namba, Shinsaibashi, Tennoji, Bentencho, Shin Osaka, and Umeda are accessible by public transport, the only the JR Airport Rapid does not offers extended services, to those who need to go to the airport or are coming from the airport you have to pay attention to this detail!
The one day pass for the Osaka Subway can be used for the midnight services too.
Countdown event and hatsumode!!!
Besides organizing transportation, are you ready for the countdown? There are many events on going for the night, if you like to join the crowd, you can visit Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori, and there are a lot of events in the Umeda district too! If you still have the energy, early morning on the 1st of January, experience the hatsumode in the shrines! (First day of New Year is one of the important day for prayers for the Japanese, the shrine is usually filled with people!)
Osaka Castle Park
On the 31st of December, Osaka Castle Park also organizes a countdown event, you can enjoy the spectacular 3D show projected onto the castle!
HEP FIVE Music Concert
梅田のHEP FIVE will organize some music events, you can also watch the sunrise from the observation deck!
Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios will extend its opening hours too, and there will be a fireworks show, to those who want to countdown in USJ, don’t miss out!
Sightseeing Ship Santa Maria 觀光船サンタマリア号
Take the sightseeing Ship Santa Maria觀光船サンタマリア号 at Mount Tenpo to watch the sunrise and fireworks! It is scheduled for night tours on that day!
If you want to experience the crowd and have some drinks, do visit the famous nightclub in Shisaibashi- CLUB「VANITY」! Bear in mind, it is pretty expensive!
Tenjinsan Hatsumode 天滿宮初詣
Osaka Tenjinsan will organize a big scale hatsumode on the first day of New Year. It is one of the biggest hatsumode events in Osaka, due to its location, it is easy to get there.
A soft reminder to those who are experiencing New Year in Japan, New Year Day is one of the important dates for Japanese; most of the stores are close on that day, fukubukuro only starts selling on the 2nd of January, and some store might only start to open on the 3rd of January, pay attention to the dates for those shopaholics!
(Picture sources: gt-net.co.jp、mbs1179.com、yahoo.co/blog)