Japan has a surprising number of bank holidays (or national holidays). Depending on your seniority and rank, you might not get as much paid leave as you might, for example, in Austria. But when you combine the days off with the Japanese bank holidays, they amount to a solid (average) 26 days of vacation time.
Planning when to use your holidays is a little more complicated this year. The postponing of the Olympic games meant that the summer holidays got changed again like last year.
List of Holidays
January 1st (Friday): New Year’s Day
January 11 (Monday): Coming-of-Age Day
February 11 (Thursday): National Foundation Day
February 23 (Tuesday): Emperor’s Birthday
March 20th (Saturday): Vernal Equinox Day
April 29 (Thursday): Showa Day
May 3 (Monday): Constitution Memorial Day
May 4th (Tuesday): Greenery Day
May 5 (Wednesday): Children’s Day
July 22 (Thursday): Marine Day
July 23 (Friday): Sports Day
August 8 (Sun): Mountain Day
August 9 (Monday): Transfer Holiday
September 20 (Monday): Respect for the Aged Day
September 23 (Thursday): Autumnal Equinox Day
November 3rd (Wednesday): Culture Day
November 23 (Tuesday): Labour Thanksgiving Day
The longest holiday
Golden week is considered one of Japans main holiday seasons. Under normal circumstances, many people would use the time to go abroad or travel domestically. During this time, the airports and roads get overcrowded. It is the same with the touristy Japanese, domestic holiday destinations.
This year, much like last year is likely going to be different, and most households are likely to stay at home.
Holidays by the Olympics
If you compare the list to your wall calendar and notice any differences, it is most probably the calendar that is off. Some calendars printed before the decision to postpone the Olympic games do not account for the repeated holiday alternations.
Or, as the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics would have us believe, everything will be alright by summer, and we can go on about our holiday plans without any worries.
The alternative is, if you want to travel domestically and avoid the larger crowds is to plan long weekends. With working from home becoming (hopefully) the standard, it should get even simpler from now on.