The Golden Week is a collection of four national holidays within seven days. In combination with well placed weekends, the Golden Week becomes one of Japan's three busiest holiday seasons, besides New Year and the Obon week.

Trains, airports and sightseeing spots get very crowded during Golden Week, and accommodation in tourist areas can get booked out well in advance.

The national holidays making up the Golden Week are:

  • April 29
    Showa Day (Showa no hi):
    April 29 is the birthday of former Emperor Showa, who died in the year 1989. Until 2006, Greenery Day (see May 4) used to be celebrated on this day.
  • May 3
    Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi):
    On this day in 1947, the new postwar constitution was put into effect.
  • May 4
    Greenery Day (Midori no hi):
    Until 2006, Greenery Day used to be celebrated on April 29, the birthday of former Emperor Showa. The day is dedicated to the environment and nature, because the emperor loved plants and nature. Before being declared Greenery Day, May 4 used to be a national holiday due to a law, which declares a day, that falls between two national holidays, a national holiday.
  • May 5
    Children's Day (Kodomo no hi):
    The Boy's Festival (Tango no Sekku) is celebrated on this day. Families pray for the health and future success of their sons by hanging up carp streamers and displaying samurai dolls, both symbolizing strength, power and success in life. The Girl's Festival is celebrated on March 3.

Golden Week 2019

In 2019, the Emperor is scheduled to abdicate on April 30, followed by the ascension to the throne of the new Emperor on May 1 which will be made a national holiday. As a result, April 30 and May 2 will also become national holidays (because 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. Travel activity is expected to peak around the beginning and end of the holiday period.

Mon
April 22
Tue
April 23
Wed
April 24
Thu
April 25
Fri
April 26
Sat
April 27
Sun
April 28
Mon
April 29
Tue
April 30
Wed
May 1
Thu
May 2
Fri
May 3
Sat
May 4
Sun
May 5
Mon
May 6
Tue
May 7
Wed
May 8
Thu
May 9
Fri
May 10
Sat
May 11
Sun
May 12

Golden Week 2020

In 2020, the weekends are placed in a way to create a 5-day weekend. Travel activity is anticipated to peak on May 2 with people leaving the large urban centers (especially Tokyo) and on May 5 and 6 in the opposite direction.

Mon
April 27
Tue
April 28
Wed
April 29
Thu
April 30
Fri
May 1
Sat
May 2
Sun
May 3
Mon
May 4
Tue
May 5
Wed
May 6
Thu
May 7
Fri
May 8
Sat
May 9
Sun
May 10

Silver Week

Every five to six years, a favorable accumulation of national holidays (Respect for the Aged Day, Autumn Equinox and an eventual in-between holiday) and a weekend creates a longer holiday period similar to Golden Week around late September. The holiday has popularly become known as "Silver Week". The next notable Silver Weeks will be in 2020 when a four-day long holiday will be observed and in 2026 with a five-day long holiday.