Spring and Summer

Many company employees take their summer holidays in mid-August during the Obon festivities. This is a good time to travel. Resorts attract families and others who want to get away from the heat. Other families and young adults also head for the outdoors.

Swimming in the sea and marine sports are very popular in July and the first half of August. Japan is surrounded by the ocean, but there are surprisingly few places where you can swim safely, so famous beaches are crowded when the swimming season is in full swing.

Large pools and water sports facilities in suburban areas offer plenty of attractions and are easy to get to by road or rail.


Fall and Winter

Fall is famous for the ‘leaves changing colour’; a riot of reds, oranges and golds throughout the country. Many people look to get out into the countryside to enjoy the autumnal colours. Winter brings the snow to many parts of central and northern Japan. Skiing, and possibly now more popular, snowboarding, brings thousands out to the slopes. Japan boasts some of the best powder skiing in the world.

When schools and workplaces close down for the New Year’s holiday, many people take off on a trip or go to their hometowns, just as they do during the summer holidays.


National Holidays

Japan has one of the most generous calendars of national holidays in the developed world. Each year, there are 15 government-recognized national holidays. The law also allows that if a national holiday falls on a Sunday, the next working day shall also become a holiday.

Name of National Holiday Date
New Year’s Day 元日 Ganjitsu January 1
Coming of Age Day 成人の日 Seijin no Hi Second Monday of January
Foundation Day 建国記念の日 Kenkoku Kinen no Hi February 11
Vernal Equinox Day 春分の日 Shunbun no Hi Around March 20
Shōwa Day 昭和の日 Shōwa no Hi April 29
Constitution Memorial Day 憲法記念日 Kenpō Kinenbi May 3
Greenery Day みどりの日 Midori no Hi May 4
Children’s Day こどもの日 Kodomo no Hi May 5
Marine Day 海の日 Umi no Hi Third Monday of July
Mountain Day 山の日 Yama no Hi August 11 (from 2016)
Respect-for-the-Aged Day 敬老の日 Keirō no Hi Third Monday of September
Autumnal Equinox Day 秋分の日 Shūbun no Hi Around September 23
Health and Sports Day 体育の日 Taiiku no Hi Second Monday of October
Culture Day 文化の日 Bunka no Hi November 3
Labour Thanksgiving Day 勤労感謝の日 Kinrō Kansha no Hi November 23
The Emperor’s Birthday 天皇誕生日 Tennō Tanjōbi December 23