Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Friday, April 27, 2007

Golden Week

If you have anything to do with a Japanese company, you quickly learn that you had better not count on anything getting done in Japan during "Golden Week," the longest holiday period of the year, for the Japanese.

Below is the article on Golden Week from If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to the original page, where you can find more information, links, etc.

This phrase also refers to Golden Week (China)

Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク Gōruden Uīku?), also known as Ōgata renkyū (大型連休?) or Ōgon shūkan (黄金週間?), is a Japanese term applied to the period containing the following public holidays:

Note that May Day, also known as Labor Day (労働祭 Rōdōsai?) (on May 1) is not a public holiday, but is nevertheless often granted as a holiday by many companies. When a public holiday lands on a Sunday, the next day that is not already a holiday becomes a holiday for that year.


The National Holiday Laws, promulgated in July 1948, declared nine official holidays. Since many were concentrated in a week spanning the end of April to early May, many leisure-based industries experienced spikes in their revenues. The film industry was no exception. In 1951, the film “Jiyu Gakkou” recorded higher ticket sales during this holiday filled week than any other time in the year (including new years and Obon.) This prompted the managing director of Daiei Films to dub the week “Golden Week” based on the Japanese radio lingo “golden time” which denotes the period with the highest listener ratings.

At the time, April 29 was a national holiday celebrating the birth of Emperor Showa. Upon his death in 1989, the day was renamed as "Greenery Day."

In 2007, Greenery Day will move to May 4, and April 29 will be renamed Showa Day to commemorate the late Emperor.

Current practice

Many Japanese take paid time off on the intervening work days, but some companies also close down completely and give their employees time off. The longest vacation period of the year for most Japanese jobs, Golden Week is an extremely popular time to travel. Flights, trains, and hotels are often fully booked despite significantly higher rates at this time. Even some foreign destinations (such as mainland Asian Countries, Guam, Saipan, Hawaii, and cities on the U.S. west coast such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco) are affected during this season by large numbers of Japanese tourists.

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