Golden Week in Japan

Apr 30th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Events

Golden Newel Post Japan What happens when four national holidays fall within seven days in Japan?  Golden Week.  Many businesses close completely during this period due and many people travel abroad or within Japan resulting in extremely heavy traffic at the airports and on the trains and roadways.  While most tourist destinations and larger stores are not affected by these closures you may find that tourist destinations are very crowded so be prepared.

The term “Golden Week” is a variation “Golden Time”, a term used by Japanese radio to identify the period with the highest listener ratings.  In 1951, the managing director of Daiei Films coined the term when he noticed that during this period of national holidays in early May the attendance at movie theaters spiked.  Participation and revenue resulting from other leisure activities also rose dramatically during this timeframe and the moniker “Golden Week” stuck.

So what if you are in Japan during Golden Week and find yourself with time on your hands?  Blue Lotus has some great suggestions for Tokyoites in her article 7 Things to do During Golden Week.

Not in Tokyo?  Use the article to inspire you wherever you may be in Japan.  Take a walk in a local park, go fishing or fruit picking or browse through a local flea market.  There are lot’s of fun things do so get creative and make the most of Golden Week in Japan.

For more suggetions look be sure to peruse our regional travel resources series where we look at things to do and see in all of the regions of Japan from Hokkiado to Okinawa.

Japanese National Holidays During Golden Week:

April 29th – Showa Day (Showa no hi)
The birthday of former Emperor Showa who died in 1989.
May 3rd – Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi)
On this day in 1947, the new post war constitution was put into effect.
May 4th – Greenery Day (Midori no hi)
The day is dedicated to the environment and nature and was formerly celebrated in combination with Showa Day due to the Emperor’s love of plants and nature.
May 5th – Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi)
Formerly Boy’s Day, this is the day when families pray for the health and future success of their children.

Image Credit:  Personal Collection

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  1. [...] Kodomo No Hi is celebrate annually on May 5th in Japan.  The  day was known as Boy’s Day until 1948 when was declared a national holiday and was renamed “Children’s Day”.  Today families pray for the health, strength and future success of their children, both boys and girls, on this holiday that is one of four celebrated during Golden Week in Japan. [...]

  2. [...] On our first night in Sendai I took on the culinary challenge of gyutan at Date No Gyutan with my husband and one of his colleagues.  The restaurant has a modern feel with prompt and friendly service despite the crowds waiting to dine during the holiday rush that is Golden Week. [...]

  3. [...] case it’s silver and the name of the newest grouping of holidays on the Japanese calendar.  Golden Week in Japan takes place in late April or early May each year and, like Silver Week, it incorporates a number of [...]

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