Today marks the start of Golden Week in Japan!
What is Golden Week?
It’s a rare period of consecutive, extended holidays at the end of April and early May where several days of public holidays are clustered together. Take a look at this year’s calendar for example:
If one took 2 days of paid leave – May 2 and 6 – one would essentially get 10 days of consecutive days off (from April 29 to May)!
Wouldn’t you agree that is pretty darn golden?
Some companies give their employees those 2 days off so they don’t have to utilise their leave, while some others might force everyone to use their paid leave so the company can remain closed for the entire period.
Golden Week is one of the longest stretch of holidays in Japan (the other being New Year’s holidays, which is end December to beginning of January) and many Japanese choose to travel during this season. When else would they travel otherwise?
Avoid Traveling to/in Japan During Golden Week
We almost never make trips during Golden Week. Even if we do, it’s just a quick day trip. Because during this extended holiday, while many Japanese will return to their hometown to visit parents and relatives, and some will travel overseas. But a fair portion go traveling domestically and that generally results in inflated prices. And insane crowds.
I recommend for people to visit Japan in May instead. But if you really have to visit during Golden Week, be sure to book your accommodation/rental car/admission tickets/etc as early as possible.
As for us? We’ll be snuggling in the comfort of our home this Golden Week while the rest battle it out at all the tourist spots hahaha.
p.s. You might be interested to know that there is a Silver Week in Japan too!