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National Holidays in Japan

Please take notice that the actual dates of Japan's National Holidays vary each year. Almost every month of the year has a National Holiday, so when you do travel to Japan, check with your first Japanese contact, whether it be a currency exchange clerk at the airport or your accommodation front desk clerk, and ask for the exact dates.

January - 1月(いちがつ)

New Year's Holidays -
OShogatsu お正月 and Ganjitsu 元日 (or Gantan 元旦)

December 28 to January 4 and adjoining weekends. Arguably the most important holiday in Japan - all government, school, public or private organizations and companies are closed. Everyone goes home to visit relatives; the downtown of cities like Tokyo are deserted. However, many shops and stores such as convenience stores open even during the holidays.

Coming Of Age Day - Seijin no Hi 成人の日

(A floating holiday)
The second Monday of January, a day of honour for those who have their 20th birthday. All of these "age of consent' adults are now legally allowed to smoke and drink.

February - 2月(にがつ)

National Foundation Day - Kenkoku Kinen Bi 建国記念日

February 11 is the commemoration of the founding of the Japanese nation.

Emperor's Birthday - Tenno Tanjobi 天皇誕生日

February 23 is the birthday of the Emperor

March - 3月(さんがつ)

Spring Equinox - Shunbun no Hi 春分の日

March 20 or 21, an important period in the Buddhist calendar for paying respect to one's ancestors and also officially the first day of the spring season.

April - 4月(しがつ)

Showa Day 昭和の日

April 29 is the birthday of Emperor Showa (Hirohito). In 1989, after the death of Emperor Hirohito, considered a lover of nature, the day was declared a " Greenery Day ". And, in 2007, Greenery Day has been changed to Showa day.

May - 5月(ごがつ)

Golden Week ゴールデンウィーク

Several days at the end of April and/or the beginning of May which includes observed holidays and other celebration days that together make up a full week of holidays 

Constitution Day - Kempo Kinembi 憲法記念日

May 3 commemorates the establishment of Japan's constitution in 1947.

Greenery Day - Midori No Hi みどりの日 

May 4 is Greenery Day. Greenery Day was formerly on April 29, the birthday of the Showa Emperor.

Boy's Day - Kodomo no Hi こどもの日

The celebration day, May 5 of children in Japan. Very large carp streamers are hung from flagpoles outside of houses. The fish(carp) represent the courage and perseverance that young boys should have in life.

June - 6月 (ろくがつ)

None :(

July - 7月(しちがつ)

Marine Day - Umi no Hi 海の日

The third Monday in July
* In 2021, it will be on July 22

In 2021, Sports day will be on July 23.

August - 8月(はちがつ)

Mountain Day - Yama no Hi 山の日

(A floating holiday)
August 11 is Mountain Day, a national holiday that has newly added in 2016, so people can take a bit longer holiday during Obon.
*In 2021, it will be on August 8.

Obon お盆

The Buddhist summer event to honor the dead or welcome the spirits of the dead on their annual visits to the earthly world. It has been said that the time of their visit is from August 13 to 16 in rural areas and most parts of western Japan. (and July 13 - 16 in Tokyo and parts of eastern Japan.) During the O-Bon period in August, most businesses close for the summer holidays.

September - 9月(くがつ)

Respect for the Aged Day - Keirou no Hi 敬老の日

The third Monday in September

Autumn Equinox - Shubun no Hi 秋分の日

September 22 or 23 Similar to the Spring Equinox celebration.

October - 10月(じゅうがつ)

Sports Day - Sports no Hi スポーツの日

(A floating holiday)
October 10 is basically the day to promote health and physical development; also a commemoration to the 1964 Olympics held in Tokyo.

* In 2021, it will be on July 23

November - 11月(じゅういちがつ)

Culture Day - Bunka no Hi 文化の日

November 3 is the birthday of the past emperor Meiji, considered the father of the Japan's modernization. In 1946 the holiday was renamed Culture Day; the holiday is an homage to Japan's growth as a nation.

Children's Day - Shichi-go-san 七五三

Each year on November 15, the 7, 5 and 3 years old children are celebrated throughout Japan. The "7 5 3" originates from a shinto rite which considers that these three ages are critical stages in an individual's life. (Children's Day is not a national holiday.) 

Labour And Thanksgiving Day - Kinro Kansha no Hi 勤労感謝の日

November 23 is a day to appreciate and thank all those who ensure the country's economic prosperity by their daily work. Originally a thanksgiving Shinto ritual at the end of rice harvests.

December - 12月(じゅうにがつ)

None :( , but the new year holiday begins around December 29.

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