Golden Week in Japan is an incredibly busy time to travel as many families take advantage of consecutive national holidays. Parks, attractions, hotels, and transportation hubs pack to capacity with both Japanese travelers and locals just enjoying time away from work.
Golden week also coincides with hanami -- the deliberate enjoyment of plum and cherry blossoms as they bloom. While Golden Week can be an exciting and beautiful time to experience Japan, you'll have to fight the crowds and pay premium prices for flights, hotels, and accommodation.
- See some Japan travel tips before you go.
What is Golden Week in Japan?
Golden Week is actually a series of public and national holidays that all hit around the same time at the end of April and beginning of May. As many businesses close, hard-working Japanese families book vacations to take advantage of a rare opportunity away from work. Transportation is at its most crowded during Golden Week, and room prices skyrocket to accommodate all of the Japanese travelers.
When is Golden Week?
Golden week technically begins with the Showa Day on April 29 and concludes with Children's Day on May 5. Many Japanese take vacation time a day or two before and after, so the impact of Golden Week actually stretches to around 10 days.
- Plan your trip around other big festivals in Japan.
Holidays During Golden Week
- Showa Day (April 29): Although the current Emperor of Japan's birthday is a national holiday on December 23, Showa Day celebrates the birthday of Emperor Hirohito, who reigned from 1926 to 1989.
- Constitution Memorial Day (May 3): A national holiday in Japan, Constitution Memorial Day celebrates the implementation of the Japanese constitution in 1947.
- Greenery Day (May 4): Greenery Day is a national holiday in Japan set aside to appreciate nature -- originating from Emperor Hirohito's famed love of greenery.
- Children's Day (May 5): Children's Day was designated as a national holiday in 1948 to celebrate children. Carp-shaped flags known as koinobori are flown symbolically as each son in the family. Special sweets and cakes are enjoyed by all.
See when is the best time to visit Japan.