Golden Week in JapanApr 30th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Events
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