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Happy New Year from GaijinPot!

The year 2019 brought many new things to Japan, including sexy McDonald’s cups, the abdication of an emperor, and a subsequent new era in the Japanese calendar called Reiwa. All good things must come to an end, though, and we’re stoked to see what 2020 brings.

We’re already buzzing about the Top 10 Japan Travel Destinations for 2020, as decided by readers like you. Let’s dedicate 2020⁠—the beginning of a whole new decade⁠—to seeing all 10 of them, and beyond! With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games just over the horizon, traveling in Japan is about to get even more interesting.

Whether you’re spending the start of the new year relaxing in a hot spring with your loved one, enjoying Japan’s winter illuminations, or hitting up one of these parties, we hope your New Year’s is awesome.

If you are checking out Japan’s elaborate light displays, though, you should totally enter our photo contest. You could win a pair of tickets to Awaji Island Anime Park’s Hinotori attraction!

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✨✨We love the holiday light displays around Japan, aka Illuminations, almost as much as we love photo contests. So why not combine the two?? Huzzah! Behold our Winter Illumination Photo Contest! We're giving away two pairs of tickets to the awesome Night Walk project mapping attraction at Awaji Island Anime Park in Hyogo. It's inspired by the legendary Hinotori (Firebird) manga by Tezuka Osamu. All you have to do is tag your Japan Illumination photos with #GaijinPotTravel and #JapanIllumination for your chance to win! (Make sure you use both tags) Don't know where to catch the illuminations in Japan? Check out our list up of Japan's best winter light ups at the link in our bio. Contest goes until Jan. 20✨✨✨ #awajiisland #nijigennomori ##hyogo #tezukaosamu

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The most important thing to us is you, our readers, and we want to sincerely thank you for your readership. Let’s make 2020 a great one!