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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Golden Week 2014 in Japan

Golden Week in Japan is fast approaching. The end of April through around May 6th is called “Golden Week” in Japan and is a collection of four national holidays in the space of seven days. Golden Week in 2014 is based on two separate holiday periods from April 26 to April 27 with April 29 and from May 3 to May 6.

This time in Japan is a celebration of spring and the end of winter with a lot of festivals and historical events taking place.


There are four national holidays during this period: 


1. Showa Day (April 29) 

This is the first national holiday during Golden Week and is the birthday of the former Emperor Showa, and is called Showa no Hi (昭和の日) or Showa Day.

2. Constitution Memorial Day (May 3) 

The second holiday on May 3 is Kenpou Kinenbi (憲法記念日) or Constitution Memerial Day. The new Japanese constitution was put into effect on May 3, 1947.

3. Greenery Day (May 4) 

May 4 is called Midori no Hi (みどりの日) or Greenery Day, during which we show appreciation for the environment and nature.

4. Children’s Day (May 5) 

The last holiday is Kodomo no Hi (こどもの日) or Children’s Day on May 5. It’s a Japanese Boy’s festival and is a day to pray for healthy growth of boys. It’s a Japanese tradition for families with boys to hang up carp streamers (koinobori) outside their houses around this holiday. Carps are believed to symbolize successes in children’s lives. Also, samurai dolls called gogatsu ningyo (May Dolls) are displayed in their houses.

This is a very busy travel season in Japan and most tourist destinations are extremely crowded. Many Japanese offices close for about a week to 10 days, depending on the calendar with many people taking a vacation, traveling abroad or to a tourist attraction in Japan. Airports and train stations are usually overflowing with people during this time and it can be very hard to get reservations for accommodation and transportation during Golden Week.

May is a great time to travel in Japan and I would advise planning a trip to Japan after the Golden Week travel rush has ended. The travel peak is anticipated for around May 3 this year with the return rush around May 5 and 6.

For those not travelling, there are numerous local festivals and events for the whole family happening around Japan.

What are you plans for Golden Week in Japan?

Colonel Sanders all dressed up for Kodomo no Hi (Children's Day)

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Lina, A short one this weekend but looking forward to the four-day weekend next week :)

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  2. Do you have any plans?
    Actually I should already be travelling right now, but I got sick and so I had to cancel. I hope I can at least enjoy the second half of my Golden Week. I planned to go to Kyushu. :/

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    1. Hi Zooming Japan! I'm sorry to hear that you are not feeling well. I hope you are better soon. No real plans for me at this stage. Hope to get out some more to see some of the beautiful flower parks we have in the Tokai area. Looking forward to seeing and hearing about your Kyushu trip in the near future.

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    2. Thank you. I hope I get to go and can post about it soon. :)

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    3. Take care and hopefully some rest can get you back on your feet again :)

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  3. Hi Japan-Australia, I'm staying in Tokyo for Golden Week, do you have any recommendation of what to do in Tokyo? Many thanks! Gabby

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    1. Hello, We have a list of the must see places and sights of Tokyo as well as some itineraries on our travel website Japan Travel Advice. You can see it here Tokyo Travel Guide http://japantraveladvice.com/destinations/tokyo/

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  4. I'll be pedalling my heart out. I leave Ohmi Moriyama tomorrow for Matsusaka. Next day to Ise , Then toToba for the Ise Wan to Irago .Just hoping the rain of the last two days holds off. Hope you make the best of this short break.

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    1. That sounds great Llewellyn, I believe the rain is meant to stop by the end of the week. I hope you get some nice weather for the ride. I'm looking forward to getting out and about over the weekend.

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  5. Enjoy the holiday. The photo is interesting.

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    1. Thank you Cocomino! I hope you and your family have a great Golden Week, too. Do you have any plans?

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    2. I visited a large park yesterday and will go to Tokyo Dome Hotel for lunch tommorow. :D

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    3. That sounds great! I love visiting a good park with the family. Happy Kodomo no Hi and I hope you enjoy the rest of Golden Week :)

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