If you have traveled to Japan, you might have heard of Golden Week. If not, it is the series of closely spaced holidays between late April and early May. It is the third busiest holidays in Japan next to New Year's Day and Obon, a Buddhist celebration. During this time, there's a holiday rush and every place can get very crowded.
What Holidays Are Celebrated?
There are four holidays celebrated during Golden Week. They are Showa Day on April 29, Constitution Day on May 3, Greenery Day on May 4, and Children's Day on May 5. Showa Day celebrates the birth date of the late emperor, Showa, who died in 1989. Constitution Day, as the name suggests, celebrates the founding of Japan's constitution in 1947, while Greenery Day on May 4 pays tribute to the environment and nature.
Where Did It Originate?
The term was coined by Japan's film industry. During this time, businesses experience an increase in revenues because of the holidays. In 1951, one film got record high sales in ticket during this time, surpassing those that had been shown during the other important holidays. That prompted the managing director to call it Golden Week. The idea was borrowed from radio announcers who called the time with most listeners, "golden time."
What Are the Activities During Golden Week?
You will never run out of things to do during Golden Week. In fact, you can find a variety of events and festivals during this time. If you and your friends have no special destination, you can organize a barbecue party since the weather is fair at this time of the year in Japan. If you want to be more adventurous, you can go to the beach and surf with friends. Since it's a holiday, a lot of people be in a festive mood and celebrate it in a club. If you are a first-time traveler to this part of Asia, it is a good time to get a feel of the culture.
What is Travel Like During This Time?
If you are traveling around Japan during Golden Week, you should expect major traffic jams in roads and highways. Trains are also crowded; however, they tend to arrive on time. If land travel is a bit of an annoyance, domestic flights tend to be less busy. International flights, however, are a different story since most Japanese use this time to travel abroad.
Where Are the Best Places to Visit?
The most popular destinations nowadays are the lesser-known areas of Tokyo, which you can access on foot. These areas have an old-fashioned atmosphere, which lets you experience more of Japan's traditional culture. If you want a more countryside atmosphere, you can go to the nearby strawberry farms where you can indulge in the berries. You can also go clam digging at the shores of Tokyo Bay and catch the cool sea breeze of spring.
Golden Week is a week-long holiday in Japan. During this time, four kinds of holidays are celebrated. Since there is no work or school at this time, people use this time to go on short trips, causing congested roads and highways. Despite this, there are still a lot of activities to engage in for everybody.