Japan Australia Pages

Friday, April 29, 2016

Golden Week in Japan 2016

Golden Week starts today, April 29 in Japan with Showa Day (昭和の日). What is Golden Week? It is basically a collection of four national holidays closely grouped together in the space of seven days from late April to early May. This year in 2016 Golden Week is based on two separate holiday periods from April 29 to May 1 and from May 3 to May 5.

Golden Week and this time in Japan is a celebration of spring with a lot of festivals and historical events taking place all over the country.

The Four National Holidays of Golden Week 


1. Showa Day (April 29) 

The first national holiday of Golden Week is Showa no Hi (昭和の日) or Showa Day, which is the birthday of the former Showa Emperor. It is a day to honour the birthday of the late emperor, as well as to remember the hard work and effort of the Japanese people in rebuilding their country during the turbulent Showa Era (1926 – 1989).

2. Constitution Memorial Day (May 3) 

The second national holiday of Golden Week is Kenpou Kinenbi (憲法記念日) or Constitution Memorial Day. It is a day to commemorate the new Japanese constitution, which was put into effect on May 3, 1947.

3. Greenery Day (May 4) 

The third national holiday of Golden Week is Midori no Hi (みどりの日) or Greenery Day. It is a day to show appreciation for the environment and nature. It is the perfect time to head outdoors and enjoy the beautiful spring weather and fresh green leaves of the season.

4. Children’s Day (May 5) 

The last national holiday of Golden Week is Kodomo no Hi (こどもの日) or Children’s Day on May 5. It is a day for children in general, but is primarily for boys, as girls have their own day called Hina Matsuri on March 3. Children’s Day is a day to celebrate boys and to pray for their healthy growth. It’s a Japanese tradition for families with boys to celebrate this day by raising carp streamers (koinobori) outside their houses around this holiday. Carp are believed to symbolize successes in children’s lives. The black carp of koinobori represent the father, the red carp for the mother, and blue, green, purple or orange for the subsequent children.

Golden Week is one of the busiest travel periods in Japan with most tourist destinations extremely crowded and fully booked out. 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 Golding Week without booking months in advance. Many Japanese offices close for about a week to 10 days, depending on the calendar with many workers taking a vacation, traveling abroad or to a popular tourist destination in Japan.

The travel peak is anticipated for around April 29 this year with the return rush around May 8.

If you are not traveling, there are numerous local festivals and events for the whole family to enjoy around Japan.

What are your plans for Golden Week in Japan? Please leave your reply in the comments below.

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

14 comments:

  1. No plans for Golden Week here, but I planned our very first trip to Japan for just AFTER the rush! Hoping for the same lovely spring weather without the whole country also being tourists at the same time we are. We leave May 7th!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lissa, Thank you for commenting. You must be very excited with your trip to Japan fast approaching. The Golden Week rush should be over by May 9th when everyone should be back at work. We have lovely mild weather at the moment with tops of around 20-25C and sunny blue skies. If you don't mind me asking where in Japan will you be visiting?

      Delete
    2. Perfect timing (for us) then... with time zone differences and layovers we will actually arrive in Japan on the afternoon of the 9th. We will be spending part of our time in Osaka and part of our time in Kyoto, though we'll be taking day trips to various other cities in the area as well.

      Delete
    3. That should be perfect! The must see destinations for any first trip to Japan are Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara and Hiroshima. I have lots of info on these places on my travel website, Japan Travel Advice http://japantraveladvice.com/

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the advice! We won't be going as far south as Hiroshima or as far north as Tokyo this time. (We decided to stay in a smaller area and really explore it because there is so very much we want to see just in Kansai!) We do plan on seeing Himeji for sure. And Arashiyama. I want to make my way to Otsu and see Biwako. We're also leaving several days open to explore according to the recommendations of people we meet or things that catch our eye that we didn't know about. =)

      Delete
    5. That's not a bad idea! Focusing yourself in one area will allow you to fully explore and discover more of its secrets rather than a quick visit. You can easily base yourself in Osaka or Kyoto and make side trips to Kobe, Nara, Himeji, Hikone, Ise-shima and Koya-san.

      Delete
    6. I do have a quick question for you now that I think about it. I absolutely love the ocean and I know I'll sort of see it from several places we are visiting, but with us being based in Osaka/Kyoto, where would you suggest we go if we want to see it more closely? I'm happy to go to very little towns. It doesn't need to be a real touristy area. Do you have any suggestions? If not, that's okay!

      Delete
    7. No worries! Happy to help. In Kyoto and Hyogo Prefecture, I recommend Ine no Funaya (The Venice of Japan), Kinosaki Onsen, which is a lovely onsen town on the coast of the Sea of Japan, and Amanohashidate in northern Kyoto Prefecture, which is one of Japan's three most scenic views.

      Delete
    8. Thank you for your recommendation!

      Delete
    9. You're welcome! I hope you enjoy your stay in Japan :)

      Delete
  2. What an imposing looking Colonel Sanders! :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lina, yeah more like samurai Sanders for this special occasion. I love how he changes for the seasons and events in Japan :)

      Delete
  3. We accidentally planned an overseas holiday in Japan which included Golden Week. We went to Osaka, Nara, Tokyo, Utsunomiya, Nikko, and Nasu. Everywhere I read carried on about how hectic Golden Week is in Japan, no matter where you go, but I didn't see any of the fuss. It was busier, but from what we experienced, Nagoya JR Station was way busier on a normal weekday than it was anywhere else during Golden Week. I don't know what everyone's perception of busy and crowded is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sam, thanks for the comment. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to Japan. Golden Week, Obon and New Years are the three busiest periods for travel in Japan and the peak and U-turn rush can be quite hectic. I think Japan is pretty crowded most of the time anyway, so glad it didn't bother you too much. The biggest inconvenience for me is that hotels tend to be fully booked out or increase the price due to the travel period.

      Delete

Share This via Social Media

Social Media

Get widget
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...