Cross Currents Home
Resources | About Us | 日本語サイト
Home Learn About Japan Learn About Japan-U.S. Cross Currents Learn About the U.S.

A group of young people in formal suits and kimono gather together.
Public Holidays
  1. New Year's Day or Shōgatsu (January 1)
  2. Coming-of-Age Day (second Monday in January)
  3. National Foundation Day or Kigensetsu (February 11)
  4. Spring Equinox Day or Vernal Equinox (March)
  5. Golden Week (Late April-Early May)
  6. Marine Day (Third Monday in July)
  7. Respect-for-the-Aged Day (Third Monday in September)
  8. Autumnal Equinox Day (September)
  9. Culture Day (November 3)
  10. Labor Thanksgiving Day (November 23)
  11. Emperor’s Birthday (December 23)
Listen in English English | Japanese Japanese View Article in English | Japanese
Two adults and four children pose in front of two tents
A family enjoys camping during Golden Week
Photo Courtesy of Campground Pancho.
Golden Week (Late April-Early May)
Golden Week is a major leisure season in Japan. It’s called this because it includes three holidays that fall within the span of seven days: first Green Day on April 29th; then Constitution Memorial Day on May 3rd and Children’s Day on May 5th. The 2000 revision of the Japanese Holiday Law designated May 4th a holiday as well, giving workers and students at least three consecutive days off every year during Golden Week. Green Day originally celebrated the birthday of the Showa Emperor Hirohito. When he died in 1989, this holiday was changed to Green Day, to commemorate late Emperor’s interest in botanical studies. Constitution Memorial Day was enacted in July 1949, to commemorate the promulgation of the Japanese Constitution on May 3, 1948. May 5th was originally the “Boys’ Festival,” a traditional festival to wish for the health and success of male children. When it became a national holiday in 1948, the holiday was defined as a day to celebrate all children, regardless of gender. Families with sons prepare for Children’s Day by setting up koinobori, the wonderful carp-decorated streamers, and by displaying samurai armor.
Download Podcast in English | Japanese
Document | Audio-Video | Chart | Picture | Map