The Golden Week is a holiday season in Japan that begins in the last week of April and continues until the first week of May. It consists of four national holidays – the days in between are often appointed as company holidays. Alternatively, employees take the days off and get up to 10 days holidays (including weekends).
Since the work is taken very seriously in Japan and there still is the tendency to “overwork”, people are rarely taking holidays in Japan. While this is currently changing slowly and there are efforts to improve the work-life balance across the country – as at SEKISUI where the work style reform was introduced last year – national holidays and longer downtimes, such as the Golden Week, are extremely important.
Japanese use the Golden Week to travel.
The four national holidays:
- April 29th = Showa Day (Emperor’s Day)
April 29 is the birthday of former Emperor Showa, who died in 1989.
- May 3rd = Constitutional Day of Remembrance
On this day in 1947, the new constitution of the post-war period was put into effect.
- May 4th = Green Day
The day is dedicated to the environment and nature. The Japanese should think about these topics.
- May 5th = Children’s Day
Although it is called Children’s Day, that day was originally known as Boys Day. Families pray for the health and future success of their sons by hanging colorful carp shaped flags and setting up samurai dolls. Both symbolize strength, power and success in life (many families show flags for boys and girls). By the way: The Girls Day will be celebrated on the 3rd of March.
Since many Japanese travel at this time, visiting Japan as a tourist during the Golden Week is one of the worst times. Tourist attractions are usually very crowded and the prices for accommodation and transportation are very high.