Holiday Seasons in Japan

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As well as normal holidays, you should be aware of relatively longer and popular holiday seasons in Japan.

The word “relatively longer” here means about 5days or more in holidays.

For those who are not familiar to Japanese holidays, I will list the longer holiday seasons in Japan below.

End of December thru first week of January: Year end and New Year holidays

Different from European countries, Japan does not have Chrismas holidays. Instead, Japan has longer year end holidays and New year holidays.  In many companies in Japan, holidays usually start at December 28 or 29, and end around January 3 or 4.  For many people who live in major cities like Tokyo, this is the time for them to go back to their home towns.  This is more home town oriented holiday season than others.

Please be reminded that it is very expensive to take longer transportations like Shinkansen or airplanes during these holidays. 

End of April thru first week of May: Golden week holidays

Golden week usually starts at the last week of April and ends at the first week of May. In this holiday season, of course, there are many people who go back to their home towns, but this is more travel oriented holiday season than others.

Do not ever try to drive on highways on this season. If you are on highways around Tokyo, you should be prepared to face most likely encounter more than 20km of traffic jams, and there is no way you can get out of it.

August: Summer holidays”Obon”

Recently, Japanese workers’ summer holidays get scattered than old days. Japanese typical summer holidays are from July 13 and a few more days by Japanese cultural customs. However, nowadays, many companies does not set the fixed summer holidays for all workers, but try to scatter workers’ summer holidays to different periods by setting the range of summer holidays from July to September. So, workers can take their holidays whenever they wish to take around July to September.

September: Silver Week holidays

September 18 is the naltional holiday called “Respect for the Aged holiday”, and September 23 is also the national holiday called “Autumn Equinox day”.

Because there are not consecutive long holidays, this holiday season is not as big as the other holidays above. But many workers can most likely 3 or more days of holidays which they can take short trips.