Your essential guide to Golden Week

27 Apr 2018 in Discover Japan

What is Golden Week? And is it a good time to visit Japan? Discover all!

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With 4 national holidays over 7 days, Golden Week is a rare excuse for the Japanese to take time off work!

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April 29: Showa Day
Inaugurated in 2007, this was the birthday of the much-loved Emperor Showa, who died in 1989. During his 63-year reign, he took Japan from turbulence to economic triumph.


May 3: Constitution Memorial Day
This one marks the day in 1947 when Japan established its new constitution, which includes a total renouncement of war.


May 4: Greenery Day
Created to honour Emperor Showa’s love of all things botanical, this is a day dedicated to the environment.

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Celebrations include a tree-planting ceremony attended by the current Emperor.


May 5: Children’s Day

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Expect to see carp streamers aplenty, as families pray for their children’s good health.

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While these 4 holidays don’t actually make up a full week of holidays, Golden Week can be longer some years, depending on how the calendar falls. In 2019, there are rumours of a 10-day Golden Week bonanza, as the Emperor is expected to abdicate on April 30 and the new Emperor to begin on May 1.

Both days would be declared national holidays and, thanks to a rule that any day between national holidays also becomes a holiday, the whole period from April 29 to May 6 would be an unprecedented extended break!


Thinking of visiting during Golden Week?

Our advice is to head away from the crowds to the sub-tropical surroundings of HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island!

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As a bonus, you’ll be able to catch Okinawa’s famed dragon boat races.

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Photo credits: Hillel Wright – Japan Times  / Okinawaclip

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