Golden Week

Golden Week is a significant period in Japan, encompassing several public holidays that create a cluster of days off at the end of April and beginning of May.

Showa Day (29/04)

This day commemorates the former Emperor Showa (Hirohito Showa) and was established to reflect on the Showa era, coinciding with his birth date on April 29, 1901.

It encourages public reflection on the 63 years of tumultuous reign during the Showa period. However, it's important to note that this holiday is not meant for glorifying the emperor or the era itself. During Golden Week, there are often lectures held throughout Japan that delve into the events of that time and their implications

Golden Week

The Golden Week encompasses several holidays at the end of April and early May:

Showa Day29/04
Constitution Memorial Day03/05
Greenery Day04/05
Children's Day05/05

Many Japanese people take time off during this period to extend their holidays. Over a span of 10 days, one can partake in various festivals and celebrations, making it one of Japan's busiest and most important times of the year.

Aside from festivals, celebrations, and visits to historical sites, you can also explore parks for picnics or venture to more rural areas with camping facilities.

It's crucial to be aware that some places, especially in cities like Tokyo, can become incredibly crowded during this time. For those not accustomed, navigating Tokyo, for instance, can be challenging. Many stores in Tokyo are small compared to Western ones, making it difficult to move around comfortably. However, if you're up for the challenge, prepare for queues at events, promotions, and public transportation. Wear comfortable shoes, stay hydrated, and maintain a good diet to fully enjoy bustling Tokyo.

Another point worth noting is that while many places in Tokyo are touristy, they may not always be the best for shopping. Famous shopping districts often sell products at much higher prices than market value. For example, buying an action figure online can save you up to four times the original price! These areas are interesting to visit and perhaps purchase a few souvenirs, but be cautious not to overspend.

It's worth remembering that bathrooms are generally free in Japan; however, it might not be easy to find one when you're a tourist or not accustomed to the current environment. Most bathrooms are indeed free, but you might come across some paid ones at certain locations like train stations, which can be inconvenient since they are usually easier to find.

Despite Japan being one of the safest countries globally, exercise caution. If you feel like you shouldn't be somewhere, it's likely best to avoid it. Scammers targeting tourists aren't as rare as one might think. Not all are scams, but be careful— not every type of entertainment fits in your pocket. Pay extra attention to people inviting you to join events and attractions, even if they seem initially free, as it can end up costing a lot when trying to leave the establishment or location.