Golden Week in Japan

Golden Week in Japan

May 05, 2020 Tags 

Golden Week is a series of public holidays from late April to early May.

It's one of the three of Japan's busiest holiday seasons, besides Obon (a Buddhist festival in August) and Oshogatsu (New Year).

The four public holidays that make up Golden Week are:

  • Showa Day (April 29)
  • Constitution Memorial Day (May 3)
  • Greenery Day (May 4)
  • Children's Day (May 5)

Each day has its own special significance, but even some Japanese don't know what each day means! Everyone loves a public holiday, it doesn't matter why it's a day off!

Children's Day

The most popular day in Golden Week is Children’s Day.

It’s the day to celebrate that your children are healthy and to pray for their future.

Historically, it's actually known as the Boy's Festival. The Girls' Festival, otherwise known as Doll's Festival or Hina Matsuri, is celebrated on March 3.

Families who have little boys decorate the traditional kabuto (ornamental helmets) and koinobori (carp banners) and eat kashiwamochi (mochi surrounding a sweet anko filling, wrapped with a Kashiwa oak leaf).


Children's Day

What To Do During Golden Week?

Of course, this year is a little different, but this is how Japanese people usually celebrate Golden Week.

1. Go on an international trip

As it's one of the longest holiday periods in the year, many Japanese people enjoy an overseas vacation!

International Trip

2. Family visit

In Japan, most schools and new jobs start in April. Therefore, Golden Week is the best time that they can return home to catch up their family and local friends.

3. Go on a short trip

Golden Week is at the end of spring and the weather is just starting to be warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities.

A lot of people enjoy hiking, BBQ and camping with their family and friends!

For Children’s Day, many amusements parks, zoos and so on hold special events for kids and their families.


Domestic Short Trip

4. Relax

There is no public holidays in June, so Golden Week is extra precious, especially for businessmen/women to have their own time not think about their work.

Plus, as everywhere is packed with people and tourists, it might be a smart idea to be a couch potato for a few days.

5. Part-time job

As many college students have a long vacation in summer and spring, they tend to work a part-time job over Golden Week to save money for the bigger vacation later in the the year.

Vacation Associated Sayings

There are many interesting sayings associated with vacation in Japanese.

Stretch out one’s wings.
「羽を伸ばす(hane wo nobasu)」
It means to relax, feel the freedom and enjoy yourself like birds.

Washing potatos
「いも洗い (imo arai)」
This means the place is so packed that it looks like washing potatoes in a bowl.

Japanese Holiday Treats

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ZenPop's Japanese Sweets Pack


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