NYE in Tokyo
Maria and Michael go on a New Year’s Eve getaway to Tokyo, where they catch the countdown at Shibuya Crossing and the seasonal sales.
Michael promised me this New Year’s Eve would be one to remember. He had everything worked out in September: where he wanted to take me (Tokyo), what we should do there (party), and interesting things to see (temples). He was just having trouble finding accommodation that fit our budget in the heart of Tokyo, where all the action would be.
My ibis solution
I began asking other Accor Plus members for some tips or ideas and got a great recommendation for Tokyo’s ibis hotels - comfortable, clean and complete with breakfast. Best of all, they’re usually right in the middle of the action.
With a quick search on accorplus.com I found the ibis Tokyo Shinjuku hotel, only a 15-minute metro ride from Shibuya Crossing, which is Tokyo’s “Times Square” and the venue for the one of the biggest parties of the year on December 31st. Michael was sure it would already be fully booked, good hotels for NYE in Tokyo fill up quickly. But it only took a quick call and our room was reserved. I even boosted my Rewards points balance in the deal.
Shop, save, see the sights, stay awake!
That basically describes our New Year’s Eve in Tokyo. We arrived on the 30th, to make sure we were rested for the day and night ahead of us. Instead of buying each other Christmas presents this year, we decided to treat ourselves to a shopping spree during our trip. There are incredible savings to be had on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo, and we’d prepared our itinerary in advance, knowing that Shinjuku and Shibuya department stores hold sales on the 31st!
We then went on a tour of Tokyo’s temples and shrines all lit up for New Year’s. We followed the procession of tourists and locals around for a while, snacking on street food as we went. After that, we headed to Shibuya Crossing for the most amazing New Year’s countdown party ever! Japanese celebrities performed for us all night. We didn’t know who they were or even understand what they were saying, but it didn’t matter – they were awesome!
The next day we called in at Pullman Tokyo Tamachi, where we splashed out on a meal at KASA, their Mediterranean/Asian restaurant. Having dined on only street food, snacks at the hotel bar and a few too many celebratory champagne cocktails the day before, we were really looking forward to a great meal – sitting down! The fusion cuisine was excellent, and the atmosphere was really unique. The neighbourhood seemed charming, so after lunch we took a lazy stroll around and explored the area’s lovely canals. There was no itinerary this time, we just took in our surroundings and had little breaks in cafés whenever our sore feet told us to.
Before heading back to ibis, we stopped at Pullman’s rooftop bar for a drink at sundown. We’d been told by other lunch guests at KASA that Platform 9 was a great place to go for views of Tokyo at night. They were right! We ended up staying until midnight, sipping cocktails while getting to know another couple who wanted to experience New Year’s Eve in Tokyo. Their experience was totally different from ours. They had seen the fireworks at the port in Yokohama, not far away, from a cruise ship on the bay, no less. Then they’d slept for a few hours before heading back out onto the water for sunrise over the bay. Sounded wonderful, and tiring! After our day zooming round the shops and sights of Shinjuku, culminating in a night of intense partying in Shibuya, we’d given sunrise a miss! Maybe next year…
In any case, we went for an unforgettable night-time wander around the bay before heading back to the hotel, starry eyed. So thank you, Karine and Denis, for the great company. If our paths ever cross again during our travels, drinks are on us! And thanks ibis for the great room at just the right price, exactly where we wanted to be! In fact, the savings we made with ibis and Accor Plus meant our Tokyo shopping spree and meal at Pullman fell within budget – even with all the cocktails and extra New Year’s treats!