What is good to do on New Year day?

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Do most of the stores close on New year day (1/1) in Tokyo?  What about public transportation?  Will there be a holiday time table? 
Any suggestion on Event to join during these time?
Will staying in Nozawa Onsen a good option assuming it's a tourist area and the stores will open?
Thanks a lot for answering my questions!
Mari Takahashi Mari Takahashi, Living in Japan

Answered over 3 years ago

Many shops in Tokyo are open on New Years Day, like chain stores such as convenience store, big supermarket (such as AEON, Ito Yokado, etc). Some department stores and shopping malls are open from New Years Day but it is usually so crowded because it's the first day of winter sale and Fukubukuro (lucky bags ) will be sold. It depends on the stores so you should check out the website of places you would like to go when December comes. Most of those small personal owned stores and restaurants are likely to be closed. Only big, major shops are open.
In terms of public transportation, it is likely to be a holiday timetable. However, you won't feel any difference in central Tokyo. If you are in rural areas or suburb parts of Tokyo, you should be careful about the timetables but in central Tokyo, trains come in every 2-3 minutes or 5 minutes. 
Not sure about touristic areas such as Nozawa Onsen because I usually stay home with my family on New Year's Day. Ryokan are open and if you are skiing, it seems like lifts are operated from New Years Day.