120 days of vacation per year; Japanese national holidays and consecutive holidays

You might think that Japanese people are workaholics and hesitant to take vacations. However, this is not the case. Contrary to expectations, on average, Japanese people take 120 days of vacation per year.

Japanese holidays

  • There are 16 national holidays
  • There are 4 consecutive holidays in a year

Japanese National Holidays

Actually Japan has more national holidays than other countries. Currently, there are 16 national holidays.

The official calendar of national holidays is subject to change by the government; in 2021, some holidays were changed to other days to accommodate the Tokyo Olympics.

These are national holidays in 2021.

January 1New Year’s Day元日 ganjitsu
January 2nd MondayComing-of-Age Day成人式 seijin shiki
February 11National Foundation Day建国記念の日 kenkokukinen no hi
February 23The Emperor’s Birthday天皇誕生日 tennoo tanjoubi
March 20Vernal Equinox Day春分の日 shunbun no hi
April 29Showa Day昭和の日 Showa no hi
May 3Constitution Memorial Day憲法記念日 kenpo kinen bi
May 4Greenery Dayみどりの日 midori no hi
May 5Children’s Day子どもの日 kodomo no hi
July 22Marine Day (Originally July 3rd Monday)海の日 uni no hi
July 23 Sports Day (Originally October 2nd Monday)スポーツの日 supootsu no hi
August 8Mountain Day (Originally August 11)山の日 yama no hi
September 3rd MondayRespect for the Aged Day敬老の日 keiroo no hi
September 23Autumnal Equinox Day秋分の日 shuubun no hi
November 3Culture Day文化の日 bunka no hi
November 23Labor Thanksgiving Day勤労感謝の日 kinroo kansha no hi
16 Japanese national holidays

consecutive holidays 連休

Japan has four consecutive holidays called renkyu 連休 in a year:

Japanese consecutive holidays

  • Year End and New Year holidays 年末年始 nenmatsu nenshi
  • Golden Week ゴールデンウィーク gooruden uiiku
  • Obon お盆 obon
  • Silver Week シルバーウィーク sirubaa uiiku

Year End and New Year holidays 年末年始

New Year holidays

Traditionally, the year-end and New Year vacations are the biggest vacation season in Japan.

This holiday is called nenmatsu nenshi 年末年始, literally meaning the year end and the beginning of the new year.

From the end of the year to the beginning of the new year (usually from December 29th to January 3rd), most companies are closed.

During this time, people get together with their families or enjoy traveling with friends.

Golden Week ゴールデンウィーク

Golden Week

From the last week of April to the first week of May, there are multiple national holidays such as Showa day and Children’s day plus Saturdays and Sundays.

This period is called Golden Week.

As a result, most companies are closed during these two weeks and people can enjoy the long holidays.

Businesses and schools in Japan start in April, so Golden Week gives people a break after the busy month of April.

Obon お盆


Traditionally August 13 to 15 are called Obon.

Obon is originally a Buddhist festival to welcome the souls of our ancestors.

During this time most companies are closed and people get together with their family and visit ancestors’ graves to pray for their ancestors.

Obon is also a summer vacation for workers so some of them take advantage of this vacation to enjoy activities such as traveling abroad.

Silver Week シルバーウィーク

Silver Week

In contrast to the Golden Week holidays in April and May, the consecutive holidays in November are called Silver Week.

November has two national holidays: Culture Day and Labor Thanksgiving Day.

During the Silver Week holidays in November, the weather is nice and the temperature is not so cold, so people enjoy outdoor activities.

And more…

People in service industries are working regardless of national holidays and consecutive holidays.
I really appreciate their hard work.

There are no national holidays in June. For this reason, June is considered to be the hardest month.

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