In Japan, it’s difficult for businessmen (and women included) to take long vacations.
If you are a freelancer there’s a chance you can take a vacation as long as you can. But when you work for a company, you are only allowed to take 3 days for summer “vacation”. We even don’t have a Japanese word for “vacation” (We rent a Chinese word). But it’s easier to take a vacation on the first week of May and the third week of August. Let’s see why.
There are many national holidays in Japan.
The newest one is “Mountain Day” on August 11th. Maybe we are supposed to be climbing mountains on that day. We are lucky to have 4 national holidays from the end of April to the beginning of May.
For example, April 29th is “Midori no Hi”, a birthday of the emperor of Showa. May 5th is “Kodomo no Hi“. It’s a day for kids, especially for boys. These holidays are not in a row, but many Japanese choose to take paid holidays and take a week or 10 days vacations. We call it “Golden Week”. The Golden Week might be the longest vacation in a year.
We usually can’t take that long vacation so we travel abroad or somewhere in Japan on this term. Plane tickets and room rates get very expensive. Bullet trains are packed and you can’t take a seat if you don’t reserve in advance. We have terrible traffic jams on highways as well during this time. If you live in Tokyo and want to relax on the Golden week, the best thing is to stay right where you are. There are fewer people and it becomes slower than usual.
There is only one national holiday in August. However, many Japanese take a vacation on this month. The third week of August is a special week for us. It’s called “Obon“. It’s said that dead ancestors come back to our home on Obon. We also go back to our parents’ home and prepare to welcome them. Some companies are closed on this week, so you may not have to use paid holidays.
Schools are in summer vacation in August, so many people take a family trip abroad instead of going to their hometown. In Obon, there are many traditional festivals and events everywhere in Japan. I’d like you to enjoy them, but reserve trains and hotels as soon as possible.
Holiday seasons might be different from your countries.
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