In April 2000, we sent questionnaires to 4100 people who were registered in the category of Japan of our pen pal service and who indicated that they are willing to participate in surveys. We received 393 valid responses from Japanese people who live in Japan; 75% of them were female, 40% were students and 75% were below the age of thirty. In addition to the unbalance in age and gender, we must consider the fact that all survey participants are registered in an online international pen pal service, which may mean that they are overall more internationally and less traditionally oriented than the average Japanese.

The Golden Week is a collection of several national holidays within seven days in the end of April and beginning of May. It consists of four national holidays: Green Day (Midori no hi) on April 29, Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi) on May 3, "Between Day" (Kokumin no kyujitsu) on May 4 and the Boy's Festival (Kodomo no hi) on May 5. For more detailed information on the holidays, please visit the Golden Week information page.

This year, a weekend favourably just follows the Boy's Festival, so that most people are able to enjoy at least 5 consecutive holidays. Depending on the company or school, the Golden Week holidays may be extended to span 9 consecutive days from April 29 to May 7. According to our survey question of how many consecutive days of holidays one is able to enjoy during this year's Golden Week, 33% indicated five days. Surprisingly, as many as 30% are able to enjoy only three or less consecutive days of holidays. On the other hand, 21% receive nine or more days of holidays.

Another question asked for the activities during Golden Week. From a given set of possible answers, "Relaxing" was the most popular answer and chosen by 61% of all survey participants. 33% of the company workers and 54% of the students indicated to work/study during the Golden Week. Other popular activities are travelling (37%), shopping (34%), watching movies (29%), watching television (28%) and visiting one's family (15%).

With over a third of all the survey participants indicating to travel, it is not surprising that the Golden Week is known for especially large crowds at stations, in trains, on highways and at airports. TV news often report live from Narita airport, Tokyo station and other busy places to inform about the spectacular travel activities during Golden Week. After many people preferred staying at home during this year's New Year holidays due to Y2K worries, the number of overseas travellers is reported to be especially high during this Golden Week.

Of all the survey participants, 30% indicated that they will undertake a domestic trip. Among the domestic travellers, one's hometown (29%), a hot spring resort (24%) or a theme park (19%) are popular destinations.

Of all the survey participants, 7% indicated to travel overseas. This percentage is naturally higher among company workers (10%) than students (3%). The most popular overseas destinations according to our survey were Japan's neighbours Korea, mainland China and Taiwan as well as Thailand, the United States and Canada.