The Golden Week is the longest vacation period of the year for many Japanese workers, and a popular time for travel. This year, it is set to get even longer, spanning 10 days.
The holiday is made up of several festivals. The first national holiday during Golden Week is April 29, marking the birthday of the Showa emperor. In modern Japanese culture, this day is called showa-no-hi, or Showa Day.
The second holiday is kenpou-kinen-bi, or Constitution Memorial Day, which falls on May 3, and on the day after that, midori-no-hi, which is known as Greenery Day, takes place. The last holiday of Golden Week is kodomono-hi, or Children's Day, which falls on May 5.
According to Imperial Household Agency officials on Monday, Japan's new emperor is scheduled to greet the public on May 4, just days after Crown Prince Naruhito takes the Chrysanthemum Throne. The public greeting has now been brought forward and is scheduled during Japan's golden week holiday.
Emperor Akihito is about to abdicate on April 30 and the 59-year-old crown prince will ascend the throne on the following day.
As a result of the imperial succession this year, April 30 and May 2 will also become national holidays. According to law, a day between two holidays also becomes a holiday, creating an unprecedented consecutive 10-day holiday from April 27 to May 6.
For Japanese people, popular short-haul destinations during the holiday include Guam, Saipan, and Hawaii. Domestic travel is also popular, with hotels and ryokan fares increase by 3 to 5 times compared to off-season prices. Many locals avoid the traffic jams and high prices by exploring leisure activities and good food in their own town. Golden Week is also the golden week for the Japanese movie industry every year. Blockbusters are intentionally released during the holiday.
(With input from Xinhua News Agency)
(Cover Photo: Photo of a Shibuya crossing taken by Tomohiro Ohsumi on May 3, 2018, during the Japanese Golden Week Holiday.)