Golden Week

It’s Golden week in Japan, one of my favourite times of the year. Spring weather is refreshing and bright and I have a great break to enjoy!

Golden Week is a collection of 4 national holidays that fall within 7 days of each other. Together with well placed weekends this turns into quite a substantial welcome break. My work place is surprisingly holiday friendly and works it so we start back a few days early in April and then have the days off in between the holidays meaning I get a full 8 days off. Bliss!

Japanese people very rarely take long breaks from work, they often work on public holidays and don’t take there annual leave in big chunks, the two or three week family holiday is a complete enigma to the Japanese but Golden Week is one time when people do seem to take the time off.

For this reason Golden week is not a very good time to travel domestically or internationally as trains and airports are chocker block and hotels are well booked out in advance at premium rates.

It is however an excellent time to explore Tokyo and do day trips as the mass exodus of people out of town means it is “relatively people free” unless you go to Disneyland, that’s where you will find them, all lined up for 4 hour + to do a five minute ride or shopping as this seems to be a national pass time.

The national holidays making up the Golden Week are:

  • Showa Day (Showa no hi)
    April 29                                                                                                                                               The birthday of the late Hirohito, the Emperor Showa and father of the present Emperor. Until 2006, Greenery Day was celebrated on this day. (see May 4)
  • Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi)
    May 3                                                                                                                                                 The new postwar constitution was put into effect on this day in 1947.
  • Greenery Day (Midori no hi)
    May 4                                                                                                                                                 Until 2006, Greenery Day used to be celebrated on April 29. The day is dedicated to the environment and nature. The Showa Emperor was a keen botanist. It used to be a token holiday simply because it fell between 2 holidays so they decided to give it a name!
  • Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi)
    May 5                                                                                                                                                 This is also known as Boys’ Day. The Boy’s Festival (Tango no Sekku) is celebrated. A post is looming on that. Families pray for the health and future success of their sons. They hang up carp streamers and display samurai dolls, both symbolizing strength, power and success in life. The Girls’ Festival or Hina Matsuri is celebrated on March 3. Please check out my prior post on it.

So here I am grinning like a Cheshire cat at the thought of 8 glorious days, I have friends arriving from Canada on the 1st of May and adventures planned. There may be well be an overload of blogging activity as I bought my computer home, I hope that is ok!

Cecily

(Cecily, one of my favourite NZ Cartoons, I can relate!)

Today I am doing my version of the “Dance of the Patchwork Quilt”  It is the “Dance of 8 loads of laundry” I am a whirling dervish of domestic activity and my guests will arrive travel weary to clean linen.

I hope your week is golden.

Yoroshiku Onegai Shimasuimages (1)

Leanne

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8 responses to “Golden Week

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  5. When I worked in JFK airport duty-free, everything was on sale for Golden Week and how the Japanese tourists would pick the store clean for high priced gifts. It was amazing to watch. Especially since normally the customers were very reserved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes shopping is truly a national passtime and a love of brand names! Japanese are very knowledgeable about brand names. My education in such things began on arrival in Japan. I wonder if it is still like that now as the yen is no longer almighty and it may well be cheaper to actually buy here. At the moment we are seeing big tour groups ogfmainland Chinese visiting here and descending on high end shops like plagues of locust and picking the shelves clean of high end brand names. Actually not an economic disaster like a plague of locusts, very good for the Japanese economy.

      Liked by 1 person

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