Golden week (GW) has arrived in Japan. What is it? What is your though of this? This is a collection of four distinct public holidays within seven days starting from end of April to early May. In Japan, foreign tourists who are willing to visit Japan are encouraged not to travel during this period of time as this is one of the busiest holiday seasons besides The New Year and The Obon week.

It is an extremely crowded holiday season of which Japanese like to travel to many places throughout Japan and visit overseas countries as well.

Visiting cherry blossom spots during Golden Week is a must thing to do. Photo Credit: /kallu at Flickr.

Golden week is seen to be the longest holiday season of the year. Hotels, flights, trains are often fully booked. Many Japanese tourists fly to other parts of the world to have great holidays there. Japanese people adore other cultural heritages and explore the things which are widely known. Some of my friends already have reached to Europe and hoping to see the historical sightseeing spots.

While on the other hand, many of them stay and pack their things to explore hanami (Cherry blossom viewing) in Tohoku region. If you don’t have any idea where to view cherry blossoms in Tohoku then visit this page. I am sure you find at least one destination there.

Golden Week Consists of Four National Holidays

Waving Koinobori, Japan. Photo Credit: yeowatzup at Flickr.

April 29: Showa Day (Showa no hi)

April 29 is the birthday of former Emperor Showa, who died in the year 1989. It’s a national holiday and the whole nation significantly celebrates it with harmony.

May 3: Constitution Memorial Day (Kenpo kinenbi)

This is a remarkable day of the people of Japan. On May 03, in 1947, the new constitution of Japan came into force replacing the Meiji constitution. The present Constitution declares that sovereignty lies with the people; the Emperor is “the symbol of the state and the unity of the people” who has no “powers related to government.”

May 4: Greenery Day (Midori no hi)

Greenery day is dedicated to the environment and nature. Japanese people have especial attachment to the surrounding nature; they know the way to love it than rest of others. This day used to be celebrated on April 29 along with Showa Day until 2006. Though, it was separated and the new law was imposed to observe it on May 4 considering that there should be a national holiday between two national holidays which are May 3 (Constitution Memorial Day) and May 5 (Children’s Day).

May 5: Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi)

Waving and hanging of carp streamers (koinobori) is the symbol of Children’s Day. You can see them everywhere in Japan on day of May 5th. The day is simply celebrated by the families in order to wish and hope for having a healthy life and happiness of Children. The Boy’s Festival (Tango no Sekku) is celebrated on this day as well in which families display different sorts of samurai dolls that represent strength, power and success.

Traveling to Japan During the Golden Week

Hanami party under cherry trees. Photo Credit: m-louis at Flickr.

If you think that you are bravo enough to travel to Japan during the Golden Week then you have got to mange some things before you proceed. Even though it is not a perfect holiday destination for foreign tourists I assume some useful travel tips could help you to have a great holiday season in Japan.

1) You must book everything (Hotel, Rental Car, Train, and Flight) in advance before you arrive in Japan. Though, get ready to pay more as everything gets expensive during this holiday season.

2) Prefer less touristy spots around Japan and avoid visiting cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Yokohama. There are so many cool places to travel to in Tohoku and Hokkaido regions. I think during the Golden week the atmosphere there is not the same like Tokyo or Osaka. It would be nice if you decide to head to some country side of Japan where natural beauty of spring would blow your mind with blossoms and paddy fields.

3) Major shopping malls remain closed, the best way to find great souvenirs are the places of many outdoor festival events. You can head to some popular hanami spots in which you would find so many things to buy as souvenirs.

4) Bring enough cash and get rid of withdrawing them during the GW.

5) Be watchful of the traffic on the route that you take to reach your destination.

As everyone is free from work, we all expect to spend a memorable holiday time with all. Students are free from the classes, employees are off from all the official works. Everyone wants to spend this holiday season on their own. I hope this year Golden Week would bring you a lot of joys and happiness.