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Japan Holidays

Japan Holidays

This page details general information about Japan's Holidays, Japanese Festivals and Japanese Celebrations.

It may prove useful in your dealings with Japanese car importers and exporters - it is ALWAYS sensible to know as much as possible about the people you do business with.

The Japan Holiday, Golden Week, in particular can affect the transaction of buying or importing a car from Japan as many Japanese businesses will close for the duration of the holiday - sometimes seven to ten days.

Japan Holidays and Festivals

Golden Week

Golden Week is Japanese Holiday Week that runs from the end of April to the first week in May. It incorporates four Japanese National Holiday days.

April 29th marks the start of Golden Week and celebrates the birthday of the former Emperor Shouwa. The day itself is called "Midorino-hi" meaning "Greenery Day" and the holiday celebrates the environment and nature to honour the deceased Emperors love of nature.

May 3 commemorates "Kenpou-kinen-bi" meaning "Constitution Memorial Day". The new Japanese Constitution was put into place on May 3rd 1947 following World War 2.

May 5 celebrates "Kodomono-hi" meaning "Children's Day" celebrates the health and happiness of all children in Japan, and is a time for children to show respect for the love of their parents. In the past this festival celebrated the health of boys. Japanese families with boys still uphold the traditions and display carp streamers "Koi-Nobori" outside and Samurai Warrior dolls "Gogatsu Ningyo" inside. These symbolise strength, power and success in life for their sons, and a carp streamer is flown for each son in the family, the largest for the eldest. "Tango-no-Sekku" meaning "The Boy's Festival" is on the same day and celebrates the health and happiness of boys. There is a Girls' Festival celebrated in Japan on March 3rd.

May 4 is designated as a Japanese National Holiday because if falls between the Constitution Memorial Day and the Children's Day holidays. "Kokumin-no-syukujitsu" meaning "Between Day".

The whole week in Japan is regarded as a Bank Holiday and businesses often close for 7 days or 10 days depending on the calendar.

As a result, sightseeing, holiday and amusement venues are very crowded. Similarly, train stations and airports will be at their busiest. Hotels will often be fully booked at this time.

Golden Week Dates

  • April 29: Midorino-hi (Greenery Day)
  • May 3 : Kenpo-kinen-bi (Constitution Memorial Day)
  • May 4 : Kokumin-no-syukujitsu (Between Day, National Holiday)
  • May 5 : Kodomono-hi (Children's Day)

Obon or O-bon

Obon (O-bon) in Mid August is a Buddhist festival in Japan which celebrates the return of the familys' ancestors to the home.

Obon (O-bon) is a major holiday in Japan with almost all of the Japanese population travelling to the countryside during the three days of the festival.

During Obon (O-bon) all domestic flights will be fully booked, motorways and roads extremely busy, and public transport away from the cities is also full. In big cities, commuter trains often run almost empty as everyone in Japan enjoys the festival of Obon and takes a break from work.

Almost all businesses and stores in Japan will close over the Obon (O-bon) holiday period, which can run for up to 7 days in August.

Japan's Public Holiday Dates

January 1: New Yearís Day (Shogatsu)

2nd Monday in January: Coming of Age Day (Seijin no hi)

February 11: National Foundation Day (Kenkoku kinen no hi)

March (date varies): Vernal Equinox (Shunbun no hi)

April 29: Greenery Day (Midori no hi) - Start of Golden Week

May 3: Constitution Memorial Day (Kenpou kinen bi)

May 4: Citizenís Holiday (Kokumin no kyujitsu)

May 5: Childrenís Day (Kodomo no hi) - End of Golden Week

July 20: Marine Day (Umi no hi)

September 15: Respect for the Aged Day (Keirou no hi)

September (date varies): Autumnal Equinox (Shuubun no hi)

2nd Monday in October: Health and Sports Day (Taiku no hi)

November 3: National Culture Day (Bunka no hi)

November 23: Labor Thanksgiving Day (Kinrou kansha no hi)

December 23: Emperorís Birthday (Tennou tanjyobi)

December 31: Bank Holiday

Japan Holiday Resources

Japanese Holidays, Local Festivals and Events - Japanese Holidays, Local Festivals and Events - Boys' Festival - Geocities home page explaining the various Japanese Holidays and Festivals, with relevant pictures and links.

Japan Festivals and Holidays - Boys' Festival - Japan Festivals and Holidays - Boys' Festival - Page detailing information on the Japanese national "Boys' Festival" holiday in Golden Week.

Children's Day, A Japanese Holiday - Children's Day, A Japanese Holiday - Children's Day, A Japanese Holiday: A Multicultural Unit that Introduces Primary Students to the Customs and Traditions of Japan. By Lisa Ganguin

Japan National Tourist Organization Japan National Tourist Organization lists Annual Cultural Events in Japan and details a full year of festivals throughout Japan.

Schauwecker's Guide to Japan - Schauwecker's Guide to Japan - Schauwecker's Guide to Japan has information on Japanese holidays.

Japanese Holidays, Festivals and Cultural Events - Japanese Holidays, Festivals and Cultural Events - A month by month guide to Japan's holidays, festivals and cultural events.

Yahoo! Directory for Japan's Golden Week Yahoo! Directory for Japan's Golden Week.

Japan Holidays and Festivals


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