Spring holiday in Japan

Hi, I’m Yoko, a member of iTWS japan. Hope to enjoy reading!

Have you ever heard of Japanese Golden Week? I’m wondering what you think in your mind. In Japan, we have spring holiday from the end of April to the beginning of May. It’s called “Golden Week”. There are national holidays during Golden Week such as Showa Day (April 29), Constitution Memorial Day (May 3), Greenery Day (May 4) and Children’s Day (May 5). When it approaches, people often say about it. For example, “How many days can you take your vacation?”, “Do you have any plans during Golden Week this year?” and so on. Japanese tend to think it is as same as summer vacation or New Year’s holiday. You can watch a highway traffic jam and very crowded airports on TV.

By the way, Golden Week 2019 was very special for Japan. The new era “Reiwa” started on May 1, 2019 and the day became a holiday this year. In Japan, there is a rule that the weekday between holidays become a holiday. The days from April 30 to May 2 are weekdays originally, but April 30 and May 2 became holidays because May 1 became a holiday. 2 weekends added those days, we had 10 day holiday! You could not understand what I said, couldn’t you? Well, let me explain more.

   < If May 1 is a weekday>
・Apri 27 (Sat)  → Weekend
・Apr 28 (Sun) → Weekend
・Apr 29 (Mon) → Showa Day
・Apr 30 (Tue) → Weekday
・May 1 (Wed) → Weekday
・May 2 (Thu)  → Weekday
・May 3 (Fri)   → Constitution Day
・May 4 (Sat)  → Greenery Day
・May 5 (Sun) → Children’s Day
・May 6 (Mon) → Children’s Day observed       
 ⇒ 3 holidays 3 weekdays 4 holidays                                

 <If May 1 is a holiday>
・Apri 27 (Sat)  →  Weekend
・Apr 28 (Sun)  →  Weekend
・Apr 29 (Mon) →  Showa Day
・Apr 30 (Tue) →  Holiday
・May 1 (Wed) →  Holiday
・May 2 (Thu)  →  Holiday
・May 3 (Fri)    →  Constitution Day
・May 4 (Sat)   →  Greenery Day
・May 5 (Sun)  →   Children’s Day
・May 6 (Mon) →   Children’s Day observed
 ⇒ 10 holidays!!!

Now I hope you understand what that means. Actually, I knew it quite recently.

Of course, everywhere was crowded during Golden Week. When I went to the airport, a lot of people (both international and domestic) were waiting in line for departure. When I went to the movie another day, I could only get the front row ticket. The movie was good, and the screen was too big for me!

It is May 12, 2019 today. People went back to normal life. You can see packed train in the morning, office workers at lunch or drinking after work. Parking lot is not crowded, so are department stores. Maybe you do not have to wait in line for long when shopping and eating.

If you have a chance to come to Japan in this season, you can enjoy beautiful roses from the street car window in Tokyo, or splendid bamboo garden in Kamakura. Early summer is one of the best seasons to visit Japan. I’d be happy if I could show you around!

Thank you for reading my blog.
See you!

Yoko Yoshida, a member of iTWS japan LLP


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