Japan’s Golden Week

selective focus photography of cherry blossoms
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The largest travel period in Japan comes every year during the last week in April and first week of May what has come to be called as Golden Week. Pretty much everyone in Japan goes on holiday. Likely you haven’t heard much about it.

What Exactly Is Golden Week?

Golden Week in Japan is held to mark the span of four national holidays that all occur within a seven day period. That is quite a few holidays! This is the most time workers in Japan will take off with the exception of the New Year.

The holidays that occur are:

April 29 Showa Day (Showa No Hi)

This date marks the birth of the late Showa Emperor, Hirohito. Until 2006, this day was Greenery Day.

May 3 Constitution Day (Kenpo Kienbi)

This marks the signing of the 1947 constitution in Japan.

May 4 Greenery Day (Midori no hi)

This is intended to celebrate nature and the Earth as the late Showa emperor was passionate about nature. Shinto plays an important influence into the Japanese appreciation of nature. Until 2006 this was marked as a national day of rest.

May 5 Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi)

In Japan this holiday celebrates children. Girls have their own holiday on March 3 (Hinna matsuri) of every year, but during Kodomo no hi, boys are especially celebrated.


While this year travel was discouraged, it normally sees many Japanese tourists visiting the Western U.S., Australia, and European capital cities (especially Paris, London, Rome). In domestic Japan, this is the one week of the year that tourists from outside Japan should avoid.

Why is it called Golden Week’?

The film “Jiyu Gakko” in 1951 recorded record ticket sales. The director of the film on a radio show stated that it was a “Golden Week” and since then, the name has stuck. It was a play on the term “golden time” which indicated the highest number of radio listeners during a day.

Wrapping Up

I hope you found this article helpful.