Nat’l Museum New Year


The days surrounding the New Year celebrations can be a little lacklustre  especially if you are staying in Tokyo and are unable to spend time with your family. Thankfully, many things are going on in the city, and the New Year at the Tokyo National Museum may be the place to hit for a dose of culture.

To celebrate the arrival of 2013, the Tokyo National Museum is opening its doors early on January 2, with a plethora of activities for the whole family. This exhibition will be centered around the new year’s zodiac sign, the snake, so expect a main display featuring the reptile in all of its forms and colours – we’re still curious to see if Japan will find a way to present the snake in a ‘cute’ way…

Besides serpent artwork, you can view a variety of traditional performances, ranging from taiko (Japanese drumming), shishimai (lion dance, often mistakenly referred to as the dragon dance but quite different as it is only operated by two people inside a lion costume), daikagura of Edo (vaudeville entertainment), a mini orchestra concert, and ikebana (flower arrangements). Kids can play a scavenger hunt to find the different types of snakes in the museum according to a worksheet, and even the gift shop will participate in the festivities with a raffle.

Check the detailed schedule here, and make sure to mark this event in your agenda to start the new year in a traditional manner.

New Year’s Celebration at the Tokyo National Museum

When: January 2 to 27

Where: Tokyo National Museum (see map)

How much: Adults ¥600, university students ¥400, under 18/over 65 free

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Main image: DonFrance-photos on Flickr



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