“Shukujitsu (public holiday)” is a special day for celebration and many workers have day-off from their works even if it’s not Saturday nor Sunday. Your trip might be affected too as flight prices can fluctuate and tourist spots get busy because of that. Here below is a list of Japan’s public holidays and what they are about (plus which day exactly they are in 2016).
【New Year Day (1st January) 】
The very first day of a new year. A day to celebrate the beginning. Many Japanese companies are off during 1st-3rd January.
【Coming-of-Age Day (11th January)】
Day for congratulating those who have reached their majority and are now ready to make their own way in the world.
【National Foundation Day (11th February)】
Day to celebrating the foundation of Japan and to nourish patriot love.
【Spring Equinox Day (20th March)】
Day for praising nature and showing love of all living things.
【Day of Showa (29th April)】
Day for reflecting on Japan’s Showa period when recovery was made following turbulent times, and for thinking of the country’s future. (This day was celebrated as the birthday of the Emperor Showa up to 1988, but after The Emperor’s demise, the public holiday, the birthday of the Emperor moved to 23rd December and 29th April came to be defined as Day of Showa.
【Constitution Day (3rd May) 】
Day for commemorating the enforcement of the Constitution and reaffirming hope in the growth of the nation. This day was set as Constitution Day as the Constitution was enforced on 3rd May 1947.
【Greenery Day (4th May) 】
Day to enrich one’s spirit by communing with nature and giving thanks for nature’s blessings. This completes a 3 days public holidays sequence along with the Constitution Day (3rd May) and the Children’s Day (5th May) and this 3 days holiday period (sometimes even longer with Saturdays and Sundays) is called “Golden Week”.
【Children’s Day (5th May) 】
Day on which wishes are expressed that the children will grow up good and find happiness. It is also for expressing thanks to mothers.
【Marine Day (18th July)】
Day for giving thanks for the many blessings Japan receives from the ocean as a country completely surrounded by water and also for reaffirming the people’s desire to prosper as a maritime country.
【Mountain Day (11th August) 】
Day to encourage people to develop familiarity with mountains and to feel grateful about blessings mountains are giving us. It’s will become a official national holiday from 2016. It came about with people requesting a special day for mountain as equivalent to that of ocean, Marine Day in July.
【Respect-for-the Aged Day (19th September)】
Day for showing respect and affection for the elderly who have devoted themselves to the society for so many years, and for celebrating their long life.
【Autumn Equinox Day (22nd September)】
Day on which ancestors are honored, and the deceased remembered.
【Health and Sports Day (10th October) 】
Day for sports and to foster a sound mind and body.
(Commemorates the 1964 Tokyo Olympiad, the opening ceremony of which took place on 10th October).
【Labor Thanksgiving Day (23rd November) 】
Day for praise and celebration of labor and production. The people give thanks for the benefits of labor. (it was on this day that the Emperor made an offering of newly harvested rice to the Shinto gods.)
【The Emperor’s Birthday (23rd December) 】
Day to celebrate the Emperor’s birthday.
It is customary considered to be the most celebrated national day.